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|23 September, 2018

UAE, Saudi combine GDP to hit $1.1trln

The UAE and Saudi Arabia can look forward to stronger relations in key areas of business across various sectors, with econo...

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the Saudi-UAE Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 6, 2018. Picture taken June 6, 2018. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the Saudi-UAE Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 6, 2018. Picture taken June 6, 2018. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

The UAE and Saudi Arabia can look forward to stronger relations in key areas of business across various sectors, with economic analysts predicting that integrating the two economies will create an economic entity with a GDP of around $1.1 trillion.

Trade and economic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the largest among the GCC countries, and the UAE is a key trading partner of the kingdom in the Arab region. According to the latest figures, the value of the trade exchange between the two countries reached around Dh88.3 billion in 2017. The GDP of Saudi Arabia last year reached $685 billion, while the UAE's GDP reached $407.2 billion.

Speaking during the Saudi National Day celebrations, experts noted that several UAE companies have plans to increase their investments and strengthen partnerships in KSA in the coming years.

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Etihad Airways unveiled a series of activities to celebrate the 88th National Day of the Kingdom, with the airline's flagship Year of Zayed branded A380 being deployed on EY311 and EY312, between Abu Dhabi and Jeddah.

"Over the coming months, Etihad will continue to strengthen this relationship and announce new partnerships with key Saudi Arabian organisations that will add even greater value to our guests," said Ahmed Al Qubaisi, senior vice-president, Government and International Affairs, Etihad.

Etihad also recently announced the sponsorship of Riyadh-based Al Nassr FC, one of Saudi Arabia's most popular football teams. Similarly, Emirates operated a special one-off A380 service to the capital city of Riyadh, to mark the occasion.

"The UAE enjoys a strong relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through fraternal ties and constructive cooperation, as well as a shared vision for the future. Bringing the Emirates A380 is a fitting way to support the National Day celebrations, and for customers in Riyadh to try the superior A380 product for themselves," said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice-president, Commercial Operations Centre, Emirates.

The joint investments between the two countries have also contributed to their bilateral relations. The value of Saudi investments in the UAE exceed Dh35 billion, and around 2,366 Saudi companies and 66 commercial agencies registered at the Ministry of Economy are operating in the UAE. There are also 206 Saudi projects in the UAE; while the number of joint Emirati-Saudi projects is 114 industrial and service projects, valued at SR15 billion. The value of Emirati investments in Saudi Arabia is over $9 billion. The launch of King Abdullah Economic City, at a cost exceeding SR100 billion, is an important achievement in the economic relations between the two countries. Saudi Arabia is also implementing its Vision 2030, which aims to reduce its dependency on oil by 50 per cent, through launching infrastructure projects in the sectors of electricity, energy, roads, water, transportation, construction and tourism.

"The UAE and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are global leaders accelerating innovative and bold visions to digitally transforming their economies and societies. SAP proudly supports the objectives of UAE Vision 2021, Saudi Vision 2030, and the Smart Cities goals through ongoing investment," said Steve Tzikakis, president of South Europe, Middle East, and Africa at SAP.

In June 2018, the UAE and Saudi Arabia advanced their bilateral ties to unprecedented levels, to include a joint vision of economic, development and military integration through 44 joint strategic projects, as part of the 'Al Azm Strategy' which was planned over 12 months by 350 officials from 139 government, private and military authorities from both countries.

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