India is one of the largest trade partner for the UAE and the second largest supplier to UAE after China. Bilateral trade reached US$ 72.9 billion in 2021-22 from around 50 billion in 2017-18, however mainly due to rise in imports. Merchandise exports to UAE is marginally behind the pre-pandemic level at US$ 28 billion. The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is estimated to take bilateral trade between India and the UAE to US$100 billion by 2030.
In engineering, UAE remains among the top three export destination for Indian engineering products with a share of around 5.5 percent in India's global engineering exports. India's engineering exports top UAE has increased over the years from US$ 4 billion in 2016-17 to US$ 5.6 billion in 2021-22, registering a CAGR of 6.6%. During 2021-22, India's engineering exports to UAE recorded a growth of more than 74% over the previous year. Major engineering products exported to UAE from India include Iron and Steel, Ships, Boats and Floating Structures, Products of Iron and Steel, Electric Machinery and Equipment, Motor Vehicle/cars, Industrial Machinery for dairy, agriculture, food processing, textiles, paper, chemicals, etc .In case of auto and auto components which is the focus product of Automechanika 2022, India's export to UAE was US$ 453.9 million in 2021-22, registering a growth of 47.6% viz-a-viz 2020-21.
UAE is one of the top three destinations for exporting Indian engineering products. Engineering products therefore, is always on a high demand in the UAE. Moreover, India and signed an FTA with UAE called Comprehensive Economic partnership Agreement a few months back that will further strengthen the bilateral trade and investment relation between these two nations and Indian businesses will certainly have much more avenues to exploit in the UAE including engineering. This agreement will also act as a gateway for India to expand businesses in Gulf region, Central Asia and a part of Africa that had not yet been so smooth for India to penetrate. UAE has adopted an industrial strategy called 'Operation 300 billion' with an aim to develop the UAE's industrial sector and enhance its role in stimulating the national economy. India, as one of the major suppliers of engineering products is likely to have an instrumental role to play.
Automechanika Dubai 2022 continues to be Middle East's leading international exhibition for the auto service industry. From its strategic location to its future-ready infrastructure, Dubai is being perceived as a key automotive hub for exports and re-exports of vehicles in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Indian automobile exports is projected to grow to USD 160 million in the next five years indicating ample scope for Indian automobile businesses to penetrate the market of UAE.