Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul said that remarkable developments are occurring the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that they relate to development, prosperity, and innovation.
Then he said that the UAE has reached a historic achievement in the Middle East peace process through the signing of a peace agreement with Israel in September 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords.
On Korea-UAE economic relations and cooperation, Ambassdor Al Nuaimi said, “Bilateral trade has performed well in recent years and in 2020 it totalled US$9.4 billion, and we look forward to further expanding this figure in the years to come.”
Asked to introduce areas where Korean companies are wanted to invest in the UAE, Ambassador Al Nuaimi said, “There are many UAE sectors in which Korean companies seek to invest. These include the logistics, biological medicine, automotive, shipbuilding, mining, tourism, supply chain, fintech, renewable energy and information and communication technology sectors.”
Details of the interview follow:
Question: Please introduce the latest developments in your esteemed country.
Answer: Recent remarkable developments in my country, the United Arab Emirates, relate to development, prosperity, and innovation. The UAE reached a historic achievement in the Middle East peace process through the signing of a peace agreement with Israel in September 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords. The agreement led to the initiation of relations between the UAE and Israel, paving the way for cooperation in all key fields and contributing to broader efforts to strengthen security, peace, and prosperity in the Middle East.
The UAE also hosted His Holiness the Pope's first visit to the Arabian Peninsula in 2019, which led to the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. The UAE became the first Arab country to launch a probe to Mars in 2020 and established the first civilian nuclear facility in the region at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant for peaceful purposes. Later this year, the UAE will host Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be the first Expo to be hosted in the Middle East and celebrate human brilliance as countries collectively develop solutions to address recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN recently elected the UAE as one of five members to the Security Council for 2022-2023.
Q: Please introduce your Head of Government in detail, including his major achievements.
A: The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his fellow founding fathers established the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Sheikh Zayed’s major achievement was leading the transformation of the UAE into a modern, cosmopolitan country that is now home to more than 200 nationalities that live together in harmony. The path of the founding fathers is now followed by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who continues to lead the nation’s march to progress and prosperity.
Incredible achievements in the UAE in recent years have been made possible under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their fellow members of the Supreme Council and Rulers. They have consistently contributed to developing the country by embracing knowledge and innovation in all fields.
Q: What is the present volume of bilateral trade, it looks in the next 12 months?
A: Bilateral trade has performed well in recent years. In 2020, it totalled US$9.4 billion, and we look forward to further expanding this figure in the years to come.
Q: What are the areas in your country where you want Korea companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your businessmen to invest in Korea?
A: There are many UAE sectors in which Korean companies seek to invest. These include the logistics, biological medicine, automotive, shipbuilding, mining, tourism, supply chain, fintech, renewable energy and information and communication technology sectors. We look forward to welcoming additional Korean investment in the above-mentioned sectors, taking into consideration the numerous incentives that the UAE offers to foreign investors. It is worth noting that the Commercial Companies Law in the UAE was recently amended to grant additional incentives to foreign investors.
These incentives include full ownership in all sectors with the exception of strategic impact activities, full ownership of all legal forms of companies, the possibility of ownership in sectors with a strategic impact under certain legislation, practicing banking and insurance in all legal forms for companies, no obligations for a limited liability company to be under the name of its owner, no need for a local service agent, the freedom of settling disputes, no minimum capital requirement for limited liability companies, and the possibility of calling a general assembly meeting if requested by partners holding 10 percent of the LLC's capital, to mention just a few.
Areas in which UAE investors may seek to boost their investment in Korea include renewable energy, oil and gas, transportation and infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, education, defense and aerospace, real estate, tourism, agriculture, and water.
Q: What are your competitive products and/over services attractive to Korea? Who are the companies of your country exporting your products to Korea?
A: Numerous UAE-based companies export products from the UAE to the Republic of Korea. UAE products attractive to Korean importers include mineral products, base metals and articles, machinery, and sound producers, reproducers, and parts.
Q: What are the Korean products and services that your country might wish to import?
A: Major Korean technological products that the UAE might wish to import include machinery, sound producers, reproducers, parts, transport vehicles, and base metals and articles, among others.
Q: Who are the Korea companies actively engaged in bilateral economic cooperation, the SMEs as well as the big companies?
A: The UAE market is open to all Korean companies in different fields. A number of Korean companies, including small and medium enterprises, have established branch offices in the UAE to promote and distribute their products in the country and wider region. These companies have benefited from the UAE’s free zones, modern infrastructure, prime geographic location, and available workforce. The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry also opened an office in Seoul to promote bilateral economic cooperation and trade.
Q: Korean People, especially the up-and-coming Korean businessmen need rest and recuperation. What are your tourist attractions?
A: There are diverse tourist destinations in the UAE open around the year, making the country a favorable destination for tourists and businessmen from around the globe. These sites include beaches famous for their golden sands and clean water, huge malls for tourists coming for shopping, high-quality recreational facilities, several golf resorts, an indoor ski resort that provides ski lovers with the opportunity to enjoy it year-round (Ski Dubai), distinguished sports such as falconry and horse and camel rides and racing, sand skiing made available by desert tourism operators, diving, natural reservoirs such as in Yas Island, and Yas Marina Circuit, among others.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is also a famous destination in the UAE, as it includes thousands of artistic pieces from around the world. There are many theme parks in the UAE, such as the Warner Bros. Park, zoos, and many other entertainment facilities. These tourism offerings are made possible by the UAE Government’s policies, the country’s security and stability, safety, openness to other nations and cultures, religious tolerance, distinguished location, airports equipped with modern facilities, and flights that connect major UAE cities with most parts of the world.
Q: What are the most important festive days in your country? Please elaborate.
A: The UAE celebrates Eid al-Fitr, which falls on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. It marks the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting and prayer. Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. The UAE also celebrates Eid al-Adha, In addition, we celebrate our National Day, which falls on the 2nd of December every year. National Day commemorates the establishment of the union of the UAE. The UAE marks its Commemoration Day (Martyr's Day) on November 30. It involves both official and public commemorations of the sacrifices of the country's martyrs.
Q: Do you have Honorary Consul(s) in Korea? If yes, how are they contributing to the promotion of cooperation and friendship between the two countries?
A: After the establishment of official diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea in 1980, the UAE opened its embassy in Seoul in 1987. Since then, the UAE Embassy in Seoul takes manages relations between our two countries. The UAE Embassy exerts every effort to advance bilateral cooperation in all fields. Thanks to the efforts of the leaders of the two countries, bilateral relations between our two countries were ultimately upgraded to a Special Strategic Partnership in March 2018.
Q: Your Excellency as the Ambassador of your esteemed country perform the important role of a bridge between the two countries. And the government, business and various other circles in Korea wish to learn more about Your Excellency. Please introduce yourself in detail, including your career, family and hobbies.
A: I joined the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in 2016 when I was appointed the UAE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea and officially presented my credentials on 27 December 2016.
From 1992 to 1997, I worked at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as a Senior Analyst. In 1997, I was seconded to the Privatization Committee for the Water and Electricity Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, taking on the role of Director of Independent Water and Power Projects.
As part of my responsibilities, I became the first Emirati to preside over a unique UAE privatization enterprise that aimed to produce water and electricity in one integrated project. My success with the project was recognized with a number of awards, including the MENA energy sector’s Power Personality of the Year 2014.
In 2011, I was appointed Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, where I continue to serve as an advisor. I have also been nominated chairman of the board for a number of public and private enterprises in the UAE and a board member for other companies.
I was a member of the Follow up Committee of the Initiatives of the UAE President until 2014 and President of the Canadian-Emirati Businessmen Council. I was shortlisted for the Abu Dhabi Excellence Award in the Administrative Sector (2008/2009).
In 2011, I was cited by a specialized scientific magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the energy sector. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the UAE University in 1992, I attended several graduate courses in the USA. I am married and a father to six children.
Q: Please add whatever other details that Your Excellency might consider to be important.
A: I would like to underscore that the Special Strategic Partnership between the UAE and the ROK covers a wide range of areas of cooperation, including political, economic, and cultural, which are advanced through high-level specialized bilateral meetings.
These include the Special Strategic Dialogue between the two foreign ministers, the (2+2) meetings at the level of vice foreign and defense ministers, the Joint Economic Committee meeting, and the High-Level Consultations on Nuclear Cooperation.