UAE and Italy A historical friendship and a mutual desire to develop and protect common interests09 May 2021
UAE and Italy A historical friendship and a mutual desire to develop and protect common interests
H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal
Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)
With the establishment of diplomatic relations between UAE and Italy in 1971, we at Shurooq have been working consistently to fulfill our common goals of boosting Sharjah’s bilateral trade and foreign direct investments through various economic partnerships. The result of these strategic efforts is reflected in Italy’s rank as UAE's third-largest European trading partner.
Italy’s close relationship with Sharjah has evolved as the emirate expanded. We are seeing more Italian companies setting up here and are proud to host the headquarters of some of the largest Italian companies such as Saipem and Mannino Marine, as well as major consumer food brands Italian Dairy Products and Lamprell based at the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority. Sharjah is also home to major commercial businesses such as Faber, Seko and Altanova Group who continue to serve clients and customers from the UAE and the region.
Sharjah’s diverse economy continues to offer Italian investors unique opportunities in fast-growing sectors like agri-tech, health, tourism, media, entertainment and culture, in addition to Sharjah’s close ties with Italy in key sectors such as family businesses, arts and culture.
The trade between Sharjah and Italy stood at AED 74,942,357 in 2020, he added: “We are home to 258 Italian companies which have expanded exponentially and grown their operations locally and regionally from the Emirate’s mainland and free zones. As a resilient market reliant on non-oil sectors as well as tech-driven entrepreneurial ventures across a wide range of industries, Sharjah is poised to be the Italian investors as well as Italian startups the preferred gateway to Arab, African and Asian markets.
The emirate’s relations with Italy goes beyond just economic ties. Both states are also culturally inclined towards each other. Sharjah believes that deeper cultural ties are key to economic prosperity. On this, Italy is very similar to us. Sharjah is home to major art centers such as Maraya Art Centre by Shurooq, and it also hosts the Sharjah Biennial, organised by the Sharjah Art Foundation, which is considered one of the leading international platforms for experimentation for artists from the region and beyond.