A top German official says that an increase in tourist traffic between the United Arab Emirates and Germany has strengthened bilateral economic relations and people-to-people exchanges.

The enthusiasm to support the economic transition of the UAE by companies in Germany has also contributed to the shift.

Over 560,000 German tourists came to the UAE in 2018, and 85,000 Emirati tourists reciprocated this by visiting Germany.

The German Federal Foreign Office’s Minister of State, Niels Annen, who was in Abu Dhabi on an official visit last week, says that these figures are a reflection of the enhanced relations being shared by the two nations.

Annen told Emirates News Agency WAM that a set of common values, including respect for cultural diversity and religious tolerance, have brought about the friendly relations.

The growing number of tourists from the two nations visiting the other reflects this, Annen says.

He adds that they want to forge even stronger links between the two countries so that they can learn from each other in areas such as culture, tolerance and society.

The level of cooperation should send a message to others that the foundations of peace and stability are collaboration and the celebration of diversity.

Germany is the UAE’s most important export market and trading partner within the Middle East and North Africa region.

Germany is also one of the UAE’s largest importers.

Annen says that the current trend is that businesses in Germany want to be part of the UAE’s economic transition.

Germany should be at the forefront of UAE minds in regard to the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and digitalisation.

This includes the likes of German education and training, development and research, and medium to small businesses.

Export volumes in 2018 reached AED33.41bn.

The main imports to the UAE from Germany were engineering products such as aeroplane and motor vehicles.

Up to as many as 900 German businesses that are active within the UAE are part of big projects, particularly in the petrochemical industry, Annen revealed.

2018 also saw the strengthening of energy cooperation between the UAE and Germany when German gas and oil firm Wintershall was given a 10% stake in an Abu Dhabi concession area.

This area consists of Dalma, Ghasha, Hail and a number of other offshore sour gas fields.

This marked the first time that a German business has ever been given such a stake.

Annen says that German firms have a lot to bring to the UAE’s strategy of diversification, sustainability and growing in-country value.

Germany and the UAE both depend on fair and free trade, international connectivity and global markets, Annen admits.

Anyone who is planning to travel from the UAE to Germany, or vice versa, should take out travel insurance before they do so.

Travel insurance helps to protect the traveller from a financially adverse outcome in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

These circumstances can include cancelled flights, the theft of personal valuables, and falling ill while overseas.


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