The volume of non-oil trade between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stood at $1.5 billion (N525 billion) in 2018, UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Fahad Al Taffaq, has said.
Al Taffaq also said around 100,000 Nigerians visit UAE annually, while one of UAE’s main airlines operates 21 flights weekly from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai.
The Ambassador, who spoke on Wednesday at the Dubai Tourism Road Show 2020 in Abuja, said Nigerians visit Dubai either for tourism or medicals.
His words: “Nigeria represented the fastest growing market for Dubai with an impressive 33 per cent increase in visitor arrivals…..
“This truly is a testament to the success of Dubai’s market diversification strategies, its global appeal and the excellent work of Dubai Tourism and other stakeholders like you all present here today.
“Our economic cooperation and tourism growth has been fuelled by enhanced connectivity between both nations. As at 2018, the total volume of non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Nigeria was $1.5 billion
“One of the two main UAE Airlines, Dubai-based Emirates Airline, operates a combined 21 flights weekly from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai.
In addition, Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, recently launched three weekly flights from Nigeria to Dubai via Sharjah.”
Al Taffaq also said trade relations between both countries have improved tremendously after the two visits of President Muhammadu Buhari to his country in 2016 and 2019.
The envoy said around 100, 000 Nigerians visit UAE on annual basis either for medical tourism or mainly for leisure.
He also said there are trade missions have been established on both sides as part of the efforts to improve the bilateral relations between both countries, which have attracted both state and private sectors.
Speaking on the roadshow, Al Taffaq said: “This year 2020 we are hosting Dubai expo, which is going to be a six month affair, from April to October, in which we expect more than 25 million visitors to Dubai during the 2020 expo.
“So far, we have more than 200 countries that have confirmed participation and we are also proud and glad that Nigeria has confirmed participation in Dubai expo 2020.”
On the number of people expected from Nigeria, he said “We are still looking into the number, but we hope that the number will live up to expectations and excellent relationship we have with Nigeria.”