17-20 November, 2019

Trade Mission to the U.A.E.

Explore the gateway to the Middle East and North Africa

Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates

Come and explore Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah with other C-Level Executives as a guest of the International Trade Council. Learn about doing business, explore the market, gain exposure to the business culture, meet with potential customers and find new partners.

Trade Mission Starts in:

Why Participate?

Direct access to high-level business and government officials suited to your needs

Personalized list of trade leads for each delegate - based on their individual / unique needs

Personalized pre-arranged business-to-business meetings for each delegate based on their unique business needs

Personalized online calendar of your scheduled 1:1 meetings

Personalized market research report for each delegate

Presentation of each delegate's business in the 1/2 day Export Cafe

Personalized / tailored networking events with government officials and local business executives

Participation in the Dubai Business Opportunities and Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates Seminars

Hands on and up-to-date market information from senior officials and UAE industry leaders

Logistical support from experienced trade commissioners

Beneficial intra-group exchanges

Educational and cultural experiences

The opportunity to meet other CEO's / Presidents from leading companies across the world who will also be visiting the UAE for the trade mission

Press releases and social media support - highlighting the attendance and meeting needs of each delegate

Delegate corporate profiles distributed to 30,000+ C-Level executives in the UAE

Positive effects of International Trade Council Trade Missions include higher sales revenues, lower procurement costs and better sourcing, education, cultural/international business savvy, preparedness, professional development, visibility/goodwill and perspective. An additional benefit is that the mission participants develop close friendships among themselves and a useful, professional network.

Who Will You Meet?

The Trade Mission aims to bring participating foreign companies into contact with potential agents, importers, distributors / wholesalers, retailers, joint venture partners, licensees, local businesses, and government agencies in the United Arab Emirates. Delegates are asked to tell the Council’s Trade Commissioners the industries they’re looking to connect with and the job-title / profile of the appropriate decision-makers.  Council staff will then undertake a study to find the most appropriate companies who are qualified to meet the specific needs of each delegate and schedule 1:1 meetings with those organizations.

Who Should Participate

We’re looking for highly ambitious businesses who’ve been trading for a minimum of two years and have plans to increase customer base, employ more people and expand to new markets (including the designated market) in the next 24 months. You can come from any industry as this is a multi-sector trade mission.

Each Trade Mission is Limited to 25 International Delegate Organizations

This limit allows our trade commissioners to create personalized market research, targets/leads lists, site visits and other activities for each delegate. This is a multi-sector trade mission, so no two delegates are alike. Council trade commissioners carefully research the objectives of each delegate and set appointments according to those needs. Limiting the number of attendees also allows the Council to circulate each attendee profile to our 120,000+ contacts across the United Arab Emirate without ‘flooding’ those local executives with too many options for meetings.

Photos from 2018 Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates:

Early-bird discounts available. Register before 30th August 2019.

Why the United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates consists of seven independent and rather autonomous subjects. Each Emirate has its own specifics and offers its unique economic features for business. The country is located on the crossroads of trade routes from West to East and into Asia. Owing to such an advantageous location, the UAE has become the major international center of business – import/export/trading, retailing, banking, manufacturing, modern logistics and more. The national economy has remained resilient and has been successful in mitigating the effects of challenging regional and global market conditions, including the much-discussed oil price fluctuations. As the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, the UAE has indeed proven its high economic diversity and flexibility.

The Trade Hub of the Middle East and Africa

The United Arab Emirates is located in the heart of the crossroads of the trade routes of East and West, Europe and Asia. It helps to organize effectively an international trade flow with the minimal costs. There are modern sea and air transport companies, ports and airports in the UAE, which are connected with all the leading international transport hubs, and which provide the possibility of delivering goods from and into any part of the world. The location of the country allows flying quickly to the UAE from a large number of the countries – particularly from the Middle East, Europe, Asia or Africa.

High Level of Disposable Income

In 2017 the United Arab Emirates imported $273.66 billion USD worth of goods (up from $270 billion USD in 2016)Non-oil sectors now contribute about 70% of the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts, as of March 2018, it’s expected to be the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia in terms of GDP (in current prices). The IMF expects UAE to be ranked 25th globally (in current price terms), with a 2017 GDP per capita of $40,698.85 (up from $37,346 in 2016). 

A Rapidly Developing Economy

It is not a secret for anybody that over the recent decades the United Arab Emirates has become a major international center of business activity.  Interests of many large corporations and holding companies are concentrated here. Moreover, the Emirates began to take leading positions in the field of international tourism. The investment capitals, which flock to the Emirates from all over the world, are devoted to the implementation of many large-scale projects that contribute to the active development of the economy in the country.  The year to year increasing domestic consumer demand on the import of goods, which are necessary for the local requirements, as well as a significant increase in the volumes of export and re-export, also plays an important role for taking decisions about entering the market in the United Arab Emirates.

Multiple Free Trade Zones

The United Arab Emirates has a number of ‘free zones’- there are 38 in Dubai alone- within which foreign investment is strongly encouraged. The free zones offer numerous benefits including 100% foreign-ownership of companies, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no personal income tax, 50 years tax-free foreign investment and laws and regulations written in English. These free zones make exporting from Australia to the UAE profitable and much easier to understand and establish.

Simple Regulatory Environment

As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and as a party to various regional free trade agreements throughout the GCC, the United Arab Emirates has low rates of tariffs. Import duties are normally charged on products imported into the UAE (outside of the free zones), at rates, which can vary according to the nature of the import. There are no duties or tariffs on exports.

Diversification of Import/Export Industries

The strategies created by Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2015 and the UAE’s 2021 Vision are made to attract foreign capital into the industrial and other export-oriented sectors, including heavy industry, transport, petrochemicals, tourism, information technology, medical technologies, consumer goods, telecommunications, renewable energy, aviation and oil and gas services. In order to realize the expansion of these sectors and support economic diversification, the government has invested heavily in infrastructure and other development projects. Education is also one of the UAE government’s top priorities. The country is keen to build a knowledge based economy and position itself as the academic hub in Gulf region.

Snapshot of the United Arab Emirates

The majority of the United Arab Emirates population is made up of expatriates. In In 2016 14.9 million people visited the country. Incentives for businesses exporting to UAE include:
  • a diverse economy which is continually growing and expanding
  • it’s an entry route into other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries
  • it’s an important market for re-export into other countries
  • no taxation on personal income and capital gains
  • it’s ranked 21st in the World Bank’s ease of doing business overall ranking, but first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
  • the strong cultural and historical ties as many Emiratis have studied in abroad, have homes in western countries and visit regularly
  • English is widely spoken and accepted as the language of business
Strengths of the UAE market include:
  • its strategic geographical location; Dubai is regarded as a regional hub and commercial capital for the Middle East, north Africa and beyond
  • large expatriate population
  • a liberal trade regime which attracts capital from across the region
The United Arab Emirates economy continues to grow and the overall economic outlook is positive:
  • The UAE’s reserves of oil and natural gas both rank in the top 10 largest in the world.
  • The UAE is the third fastest growing economy in the GCC .
  • The UAE has diversified its economy to help to make the country’s revenue sources more balanced and create a sustainable economy that can withstand long-term oil price volatility.

Trade Mission Schedule


Assemble at Hotel & Transit to Breakfast

8:00am - 9:30am

Networking Breakfast in Dubai

9:30am - 9:45am

Opening Remarks by Chairperson for the UAE and Local Officials

9:45am - 10:30am

Doing Business in India Seminar Covering Economy, Business Culture, Government Initatives etc

10:30am - 10:45am

Break for Refreshments

10:45am - Midday

Seminar on Business Opportunities, Areas of Market Growth, Industry Clusters, IP Protection, Regulations etc

12:00pm - 12:30pm

Set up for Export Café

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Networking Lunch: Meet with Top C-Level Executives from Dubai

1:30pm - 5:00pm

EXPORT CAFÉ: Showcase Opportunity for Delegates to meet with CEOs

8:30am - 5:00pm

Pre-Scheduled 1:1 Meetings and Site Visits

7:30pm - 7:45pm

Assemble at Hotel for Bus Pickup

8:00pm - 10:00pm

Group Transit to Abu Dhabi (Overnight in Abu Dhabi)


Assemble at Hotel Lobby

Informal networking breakfast for those staying in the official hotel of the trade mission.

Group Transit to Venue

8:30am - 8:45am

Arrival at Venue (Head Count)

8:45am - 9:15am

Set up of Export Café

9:15am - 9:45am

Registration of local CEO’s for Export Café

9:45am - 10:00am

Opening Remarks by Chairperson for the United Arab Emirates and Officials from Abu Dhabi

Come and experience Sharjah with our guide on this tour of the city.
10:00am - 10:30am

Introduduction of Each International Delegate and 1 Minute Elevator Pitches

11:00am - 1pm

EXPORT CAFÉ: Showcase Opportunity for Delegates to meet with CEOs from Abu Dhabi

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch Break

2:00pm - 6:00pm

1:1 Meetings

8:30am - 3:00pm

Pre-Scheduled 1:1 Meetings and Site Visits in Abu Dhabi

3:30pm - 3:45pm

Assemble in Hotel Lobby for Transit Back to Dubai

3:45pm - 5:00pm

Transit Back to Dubai

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Closing Event / Tapas and Refreshments at UAE Office of the International Trade Council

Benefits of Attending

Free With Attendance

All attendees will be provided with:

A minimum of 5 pre-scheduled appointments with companies and contacts appropriate to their target market - $500 in value

Customized research on import/export trends relevant to your industry - $650 USD in value

Entry to the welcome official networking events + free admission for 1 additional guest - $120 in value

Entry to the 'Doing business in the United Arab Emirates' seminar - $450 in value

Delegate working lunch - $65 in value

Showcase of each delegate business at the half day Export Cafe - $890 in value

Entry to the 'Business Opportunities Dubai' seminar - $450 in value

A customized list of trade leads from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates - $380 USD in value

An electronic database of 22,000 UAE-based traders, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, importers and exports - $1000 USD in value

1 free press release distribution to major media outlets about their attendance at the Trade Mission - $95 USD in value

Full page advertisement in the Mission Delegate booklet - circulated to more than 30,000 local CEO's - $615 USD in value

Support for the Mission

Scheduled One-to-One Meetings

Prior to the Trade Mission you will be contacted by an accredited International Trade Council Export Consultant who will work to understand your business, your market potential and your desired target audience. They will then set appointments for you for the Trade Mission. We also strongly advise that you also use any contacts you may have or are looking to establish, to arrange your own meetings. Businesses that have the most success on our missions have always done a mix of meetings they have sourced as well as those arranged via the Council.

Pre-Mission 1:1 Conference

A Trade Commissioner will contact you to better understand your mission objectives, the types of organizations that you’d like to meet and your expected outcome at least 1 month prior to the Trade Mission. This briefing may include advice on how to do business in the United Arab Emirates. It is also an opportunity to  discuss the Mission logistics and connect with other participants.

Shared Market Intelligence

Businesses attending the Trade Mission will have different levels of experience in the market.  Those new to the market will benefit from the experiences of others.  Members of the Trade Mission are invited to join other members of the group and our sponsor’s representatives each evening for dinner which provides an opportunity to discuss issues and ideas.

Mission Booklet - Distributed to 30,000+ Executives in the UAE

The Council will produce a booklet containing the corporate profile of each delegate organization  taking part in the Mission.  The images, text and contact details will be approved in consultation with yourself.  If you’re successful in your application we’ll ask you to supply a high-resolution company logo, 1/2 page corporate profile, head and shoulders photo and 1/2 page biography to include in the brochure.

Press Coverage

We’d like to promote your connection with the Trade Mission. Therefore, if you’re successful in your application we’ll share your details with our public relations team.

Register for the Trade Mission now!

Secure your place before all spots are taken and lock in the early bird discount.

Register for the Trade Mission

Early Bird Pricing for Non-Council Members

Offer applicable for non-Council members who register and pay before the 30th August 2019.Register Now

Early Bird Pricing for Trade Council Members

For International Trade Council Members who register and pay before the 30th August 2019. Register Now

Standard Pricing After 30th August 2019

Standard non-member pricing for those who register after the 30th August 2019.Register Now

Need additional information? Want to take a colleague along at a discounted rate? Get in touch with one of our trade commissioners to discuss your specific needs.

Government Grants and Subsidies

Various international governments provide grants for exporters of various sizes looking to enter new markets. These grants will often partly pay for expenses incurred in attending trade missions (usually on a reimbursement basis). You can check here to see if a grant is available for companies incorporated in your jurisdiction. http://www.tradecouncil.org/2019-export-development-trade-mission-assistance-grants/ Note: You will have to make the application directly with the appropriate government agency where you are incorporated. While the Council can provide proof of your attendance on the trade mission and official receipts on request we cannot complete the application for a grant on your behalf.

Services Not Included in Ticket Price

Airfares and Accommodation Costs

It is the responsibility of each delegate to book and pay for their own airfares, accommodation and meals outside of the scheduled welcome dinner, after 5 drinks and networking breakfast. We will recommend a 4* hotel where the Council will conduct its opening ceremony, presentations, panel discussions, export cafe and business round-tables.  You can make your own travel arrangements but it is recommended that you stay in the mission hotel in order to make the most of the networking opportunities. Please do not book any travel or accommodation prior to receiving conformation of your place on the Trade Mission. The Council can assist in booking airfares and accommodation where requested. (The preferred hotel is the Rove Dubai Marina Hotel – special rates apply if booking via the Council.)


Trade Mission members are strongly advised to take out adequate travel and sickness insurance.  We always recommend that this insurance includes cover for cancellation of the visit for reasons beyond the control of the International Trade Council.  If a mission is cancelled for reasons beyond our control, the International Trade Council can take no responsibility for any loss you may incur.


Please check necessary individual health precautions for the countries of the market visit with your local travel nurse.  The International Trade Council accepts no responsibility for advice in this specialized field.  For the latest available information on health requirements in the countries on your Emirates itinerary, try this search tool: https://www.emirates.com/ae/english/before-you-fly/health/find-health-vaccination-information.aspx


Most countries do not require visas to enter the United Arab Emirates for short stays. The Council will issue an official Letter of Invitation to those participants who do require a visa.  Before you travel to the UAE, please check your visa requirements and make sure you have a valid visa if needed, or if your passport needs to be valid for a minimum period. Holders of non-standard passports and travel documents may also have different entry requirements: find out if you need to apply for a visa and other passport requirements.

Terms and Conditions of Participation


If you decide not to join the Trade Mission, and inform us by fax, letter or email, arriving on or before the 31st August 2019 we shall refund 50% of the Mission participation fee.  After 1st September 2019 there will be no refund.  Note: We are generally to substitute individuals from the same company should one or another fall sick and be unable to attend. Please contact us if this occurs.

General Terms and Conditions

The participant must submit a completed and signed registration form and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the company's products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation.

Upon submission of the registration (whether online, via fax, email, post, courier or in person), the participation for the Trade Mission will be binding and the participation fee will be due.

The International Trade Council reserves the right to evaluate the ability of the applicant to meet the participation criteria.

The participant must hold and maintain travel and other appropriate insurances in connection with attendance at, and participation in, the Trade Mission.

Flight from your country of origin to Dubai and all hotel, food or ground transportation expenses outside the denoted meals and activities are borne by the participants

The participant accepts full responsibility for all the business and organizational outcomes arising from their participation. The International Trade Council will not be held responsible for the commercial endeavors of any party that participates in the trade mission.

The participant agrees to provide a 1/2 page biography and photograph of their nominated delegate (person representing their company) at least 2 months prior to the date of the trade mission and acknowledges that a failure to do so may mean exclusion from the delegate book.

The participant agrees to provide a 1/2 page company profile and high resolution company logo at least 2 months prior to the date of the trade mission and acknowledges that a failure to do so may mean exclusion from the delegate book.

The participant agrees to participate in a separate survey to evaluate the Trade Mission.

The participant agrees that cancellation for trade mission attendance due to non-receipt of a visa is not grounds for a refund; unless the participant informs the Council of their visa non-issuance prior to the 31st August 2019.

The International Trade Council reserves the right to reject any application without being obliged to discuss the reasons for doing so. Any decision made by the Council will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Market Intelligence

Learn more about the United Arab Emirates market by reading our regular blog updates.

Interested in Sponsoring?

If your organization is interested in sponsoring a panel discussion, breakfast, dinner, social mixer or other event during the Trade Mission to the United Arab Emirates, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a quick email and we’ll get right back to you.

Contacting the Council

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Contacting the International Trade Council

Mission Administrator
Melanie Walker
Email: mwalker@tradecouncil.org

ITC International Headquarters

Rond Point Robert Schuman 11, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 588 5803
Fax: +32 2 588 5804
Email: info@tradecouncil.org
Website: www.tradecouncil.org

United States of America
Co-Chairperson: Michael Waechter
Gold & Diamond Park
Building 4 Office 215
Dubai 102755
T: + 971 4 406 9797
F: + 971 4 341 6877
E: michael.waechter@tradecouncil.org