Trade between the UK and the GCC is expected to rise in the wake of the former leaving the EU as it will be able to negotiate deals with the more liberal countries in the Gulf.

Analysts claim that the British pound should also strengthen after Brexit, which will be a boost to tourism to Dubai as well as its real estate sectors because of a growth in the number of UK tourists and more Brits investing in the emirate’s property market.

According to data, trade between the UK and the United Arab Emirates increased by 7.4% to as much as Dh24.45bn in the first half of last year, a big jump from the Dh22.76bn recorded in the same period the previous year. 

Although there was a fall in UAE exports to the UK in 2019, from Dh7.26bn in the first half of 2018 to Dh6.1bn in the first half of last year, UAE imports from the UK actually increased by 18.4% to as much as Dh18.35bn, rising from Dh15.5bn. 

In a June 2016 referendum, the people of Britain voted to take the country out of the EU, and after winning the most recent UK general election in a landslide, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ensured that Brexit will happen at the end of this month. 

Even the GCC is relieved that Brexit is finally happening after more than three years of political in-fighting, according to the chief investment officer of Century Financial, Vijay Valecha. 

The ties between the EU and the UK are still stable, which should help the British pound to rally, and now the GCC will soon be able to trade with the UK as the latter will be free to negotiate trade deals with more liberal Middle Eastern countries, Valecha points out. 

Core partner David Abood believes that buyers in the UK will continue to invest in Dubai given the long history of British investment in the UAE. 

The introduction of the five-year UAE tourist visa is likely to mean more interest in holiday and second homes within this demographic, Abood says. 

Abood adds that interest levels for buyers based in the UK are also expected to remain steady thanks to Dubai’s ongoing price softening and a stronger British pound in comparison to the dollar. 

Capital preservation and the inherent appeal of the UK is a profound perception for buyers based in the UAE.

Although trade deals may take some time, the UK has already expressed an interest in exploring free trade agreements with countries in the GCC after its exit from the EU. 

Relations in the travel and tourism sectors are also enjoyed by the UAE and the UK, with the UAE being visited by approximately 1.5 million British nationals every year. 

Air traffic between the two countries will keep expanding and will suffer no negative consequences from Brexit, says London-based StrategicAero Research chief analyst Saj Ahmad. 

Anyone who travels from the UAE to the UK, or vice versa, should guard against financial issues caused by cancelled flights and lost luggage by taking out travel insurance


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