Consul General of Italy in Dubai and the Northern Emirates

Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Consul General of Italy in Dubai and the Northern Emirates highlights the diplomatic and commercial lineage between the United Arab Emirates and Italy

Published: Mon 25 Apr 2022, 11:13 AM

The Italians make up one of the biggest European groups in the UAE. What do you think are some of the things that make the UAE a popular destination for Italian expats?

In Italy, as in the world, the United Arab Emirates and Dubai are perceived as an extremely dynamic, multicultural and forward-looking country, offering numerous business opportunities to highly qualified professionals. And the UAE’s growing economic importance to Italy is reflected in the marked increase in the Italian resident community, which has quadrupled in recent years to more than 12,500 currently officially registered residents. However, the attractiveness of business is only part of the charm of the UAE and Dubai for Italians: I believe that my compatriots also appreciate and highly appreciate its unique multicultural richness preserved by a strong spirit of tolerance between different cultures and religions, a crucial asset for a foreign resident. And, last but not least for an Italian, the good weather and the food.

What has been the trajectory of relations between Italy and the UAE and how do you see it evolving in the years to come?

Italians’ appreciation for Dubai and the UAE is mutual as Italy is widely associated here with culture, art, fashion, design, technology and high-quality agri-food.

Our trade relations with the United Arab Emirates bear witness to this: despite the general and global suspension caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, trade between the United Arab Emirates and Italy reached 3.44 billion euros, with a increase of +41.36% in the first half. of 2021 (compared to the first half of 2020). It is also worth mentioning that, according to data from the first half of 2021, the United Arab Emirates was our third destination market for jewelery products, while at the same time we were the third largest supplier of gold and accessories in the world. precious.

There is certainly considerable scope for consolidating and further intensifying our bilateral trade relations in the years to come. The United Arab Emirates is among the top five countries in the world with the greatest potential for importing these Italian products which represent our excellence in terms of design, attention to detail, quality of materials and workmanship – what we let’s call it ‘Bello e Ben Fatto’. “Bello e Ben Fatto” is the most easily recognizable expression of “Made in Italy”, stemming from Italy’s cultural heritage, traditions, landscapes and works of art. And such easy recognition of the Italian spirit, beauty and superior craftsmanship of Italian products are well appreciated around the world; consumers in the United Arab Emirates are no exception to this rule and are more and more willing to recognize a higher value in a “Made in Italy” product and to prefer it to its competitors.

The recent visit to Italy in February 2022 by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, will give a new impetus to our bilateral relations for the years to come, ranging from attracting investments to a increased cooperation in the field of innovation, aerospace, renewable energies, research, manufacturing and industrialization. It should also be noted that, thanks to their strategic position at the heart of three continents, Dubai and all the UAE could represent an important springboard for Italian products in the world. Moreover, Italy’s active participation in Expo 2020 Dubai provided a unique showcase for Italian excellences and our distinguished technological contribution to a more sustainable development model and fostered new cooperation opportunities not only in the sector business, but also in the cultural and tourist fields.

How have the synergies between the commercial and business communities and associations of the two countries contributed to deepening the relationship?

The UAE is home to a thriving Italian business community with over 600 companies operating in various free zones as well as across the country.

There is no doubt that the links between our business communities and, in general, “business diplomacy” make a considerable contribution to the strengthening of political and institutional relations between our nations. Given the growing trade between Italy and the United Arab Emirates, the Italian business community and its invaluable support to our bilateral relations are expected to grow further. I take this opportunity to thank all UAE compatriots for their support in promoting Italy here.

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