Canada - United Arab Emirates Relations

Priorities for the Canada - UAE Relationship

Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a broad and deep relationship focused principally on:

  • Building prosperity for both our societies
  • Strengthening regional and global security
  • Contributing to economic and social development in third countries, including empowering women and girls
  • Deepening people to people ties


The UAE is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa, and is Canada’s 16th largest export market globally. Canadian merchandise exports reached a record of $1.79 billion in 2016. Foreign Direct Investment is a key area of common interest with the UAE with investments in Canada totaling $9,68 billion in 2015 (Statistics Canada). Canadian companies are supported by The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada and The Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The UAE provides easy access 2.5 billion consumers within a 5 hour flight, that is partly why over 150 Canadian companies have based their regional operations in the UAE and approximately 40,000 Canadians live and work in the UAE. Canadian Business Councils are active in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Business links are also fostered by the Canada-UAE Business Council and the Canada Arab Business Council.


Canada and the UAE are partners in combatting international terrorism, including the fight against Daesh.

Canada and the UAE work together to counter violent extremism, including through Canada’s membership on the International Steering Board of the UAE-based Hedayah Centre.

Canada and the UAE have committed to sign a Defence Cooperation Arrangement to support further military cooperation.


Canada and the UAE signed a Development Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding in April 2014 to collaborate on development policy and to help third countries pursue sustainable growth.

With 1.09% of its gross national income dedicated to official development assistance in 2015 (OECD 2015), the UAE has been a leading contributor of development assistance and ranked first, globally, in official development assistance disbursements as a percentage of gross national income in 2014 and 2015.


In the UAE, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General in Dubai. Our strategic partnership is supported by the following Canadian departments and agencies present in the UAE:

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October 2016

Graphic: Imports per capita of Canadian goods in 2015.
See detailed text version of this graphic.

Fairview container terminal in Prince Rupert, BR
(image from

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan visits the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
in Abu Dhabi in December 2015

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