Home   »   India-UAE Relations

India-UAE Relations

Context: UAE’s ambition to strengthen food security will be driven by India-UAE food security partnership.

Decoding the News: India and Global Food Security

  • Food production: India is the second largest food producer in the world and a global agri-export powerhouse. Apart from selling its produce on international market, India has been providing food to developing countries on humanitarian grounds.
  • Subsidy programme: India runs the world’s largest food subsidy programme in form of Public Distribution System, which provides nearly 800 million citizens with subsidized grains.
  • Nutrition programme: India has also initiated the world’s largest nutrition programme for children and women in form of Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyaan.
  • Promoting millets: As part of its G 20 Presidency, India has been promoting the consumption and farming of millets, which are considered to be nutritious, drought-resistant and sustainable crops.
  • How can India and UAE collaborate on Food Security? 
    • Investments in agriculture sector: UAE has committed $2 billion in investment towards constructing food parks in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It has signed an arrangement for a food security corridor under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
    • India’s food export gateway: UAE, due to its location between Asia and Europe, can serve as India’s food export gateway to West Asia and the Africa region.
  • This will help India’s agri-products to reach wider market across the globe.
    • Infrastructure creation: Companies from UAE have pledged $7 billion as investments for creation of mega food parks and other agriculture-related infrastructures. It will include mega parks, logistics and warehouse hubs, and fruits and vegetable hubs.
  • Potential Benefits of the Partnership:
    • Creation of non-farm agri-jobs
    • Better prices for farm produce
    • Creation of global demand for Indian agri-products
Potential Benefits of the Partnership
Potential Benefits of the Partnership

India-UAE Relations

Trade and Economy

  • Trade:
    • India-UAE trade is valued at $ 73 billion, making UAE India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2021-22 after US and China.
    • UA E is India’s second largest export destination (after US) with an amount of over US$ 28 billion for the year 2021-22.
  • India is the second largest trading partner for UAE (year 2021) with an amount of around US$ 45 billion (non-oil trade).
  • India and  UAE has signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022, which will help in increasing bilateral trade in goods to $100 bn within five years and trade in services to $15 bn.
  • Export-Import:
    • India’s exports:  Precious Metals and Stones, Gems & Jewellery, Minerals & Refined Petroleum Products, Textiles, Cereals, Sugar, Fruits & Vegetables, Tea, Meat, and Seafood, Engineering & Machinery Products and Chemicals.
    • India’s import:  Petroleum and Petroleum Products, Gems & Jewellery, Precious Metals, Stones, Minerals, Chemicals, Wood & Wood Products.
  • Investments:
    • UAE is the 7th biggest investor in India in terms of FDI. It has invested around US $ 20-21 billion of which $ 15.18 billion is in the form of FDI while the remaining is FPI.
    • Indian investments in UAE would be more than $85 billion.

Defence and Security

  • Defence exercise: UAE Air Force has participated in Trilateral Air Exercise on Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR).
    • UAE has also participated as a third partner in Exercise Varuna, which initially involved India and France.
    • Air forces of India and UAE participated in the air combat exercise Desert Eagle II.
  • Deportation of fugitives: UAE has deported fugitives who had fled Indian law enforcement and settled in the country.
    • It has cooperated with India on various de-radicalization initiatives of Indian diaspora community.


  • Conventional energy: UAE is India’s fourth biggest supplier of crude oil, with Indian importing 8.8% of its total crude oil from the Gulf Country.
  • Renewable energy: The UAE-India cooperation in climate aims to support India’s ambition to achieve 450 GW of renewable energy installed capacity by 2030.

Cultural Ties

  • More than 3.3 million Indian diaspora community lives in the UAE. This has helped in spread of Indian arts and culinary culture.
  • UAE and India signed an agreement in 1975 to deepen their cultural ties. Both countries will cooperate in art, culture, and education.

Multilateral Groupings

  • I2U2: India and UAE have been part of I2U2 grouping, with Israel and USA being other participants.
    • The grouping aims to focus on six areas of cooperation, namely: Water, Energy, Transportation, Space, Health and Food security.

Science and Technology

  • Space: ISRO launched UAE’s nano-satellite, Nayif-1 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

Challenges for India-UAE Relations

  • Slow implementation: The investments made by UAE are not implemented within the given span, discouraging future investments. This is further aggravated by India’s red-tape culture.
  • Declining Indian workers: Indian workers in the UAE are being replaced by cheaper labourers from other Asian countries such as Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • Iran factor: Iran and GCC countries share an acrimonious relationship due to their ambitions of dominating the Muslim-world. Normalization of relations would help India increase its footprint in the Gulf region.

Sharing is caring!

Download your free content now!


We have received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Download your free content now!

We have already received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Incorrect details? Fill the form again here

General Studies PDF

Thank You, Your details have been submitted we will get back to you.