Punjab & UAE: Envisioning a future of strong bilateral ties


Relations between India and UAE have been close and strong since 3000 BC. Barter trade for clothes and spices from India in exchange for dates and pearls from the region have existed for centuries.


Both the nations not only share trade relations but also share similar cultural values of religious tolerance and importance of building multicultural societies. Indians form the largest foreign community in UAE. Around 3.1 million Indians live in UAE which constitutes more than 30% of total population of UAE.

Using the springboard of this friendship the nations have been able to flourish bilateral relations. Bilateral Trade is around US $60 billion making UAE, India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2018-19 after USA and China.

UAE and India partnership is going through a golden era. The deepening of energy ties was the highlight of last year. Energy sector ties have morphed into a strategic partnership in energy security, with both countries investing in each other’s energy sector.

The entrepreneurship of the Indian business community has been recognized in UAE where they are present on a big scale. The growing investments from UAE into the Indian economy in key areas like infrastructure, energy, healthcare, retail, hospitality and, real estate are anticipated to increase and will constitute a dynamic pillar of our partnership.

Taking advantage of this Indo-Emirati friendship the vibrant state of India- Punjab is leaving no stone unturned to woo investors from UAE. UAE is also recognizing that Punjab is the emerging hub of investment opportunities, especially with the new initiatives by Punjab Govt. to facilitate trade and investment, encourage the investment institutions of UAE to raise their investments in Punjab.

The footprints of UAE based companies are already very strong in Punjab.

  • Punjab recognizes that rapid development of infrastructure holds the key to meeting Punjab’s development aspirations. UAE’s EMAAR Group has come up with their first integrated township in Mohali, Punjab which is spread over 630 acres.

  • Lulu Group already has a strong presence in Punjab. They have recently acquired a unit in Derabassi in Mohali district of Punjab for starting the first Meat Processing Plant outside of UAE.

  • Lulu Group has also collaborated with Ludhiana-based Mrs Bectors through their brand cremica. Lulu is selling these biscuits through their retail chains in UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

  • Hind Terminals, a 100% subsidiary of Dubai-based shipping giant Sharaf Group, is establishing a state-of-the-art multimodal logistics hub in the Ludhiana District.

  • A MoU has been signed with Virgin Hyperloop One for installing the superfast hyperloop mass transit unit in Punjab.

Future of Food Focused Engagements

The Food Bowl of India can help achieve UAE’s Food Security Strategy which was launched in 2018 with the aim to achieve zero hunger by ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all throughout the year. One of the aim of which is to diversify food import sources. Punjab and UAE can work together on this front and establish B2B relations.


Leader in rice yield, Punjab has a long history of trade of basmati rice to UAE. Punjab’s glorious Agriculture and Food Processing sector can provide the investors with infinite opportunities to tap on. UAE’s industry leaders; Emaar Group is looking to enter the food sector – sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables from Punjab, besides looking at setting up a poultry unit in the state. The state is now moving to horticulture produce (kinnow, guava, musk melon, peach, pear, cabbage, carrot etc) as well, and has been ranked 2nd  in Mandarin (kinnow) production, accounting for 24% of total production of India. Keeping up the demands of the modern world Punjab farmers are shifting to organic farming with the help of institutional support provided by the government. Over 13,500 acres of land with 3,100 farmers have been brought under certified organic production with additional 8,000 acres under registration.

Apart from abundance of raw materials the state has numerous warehouses (162), cold storages (600+), dedicated research centres and 3 state- of – the art mega food parks which provide the investor with  plug and play sheds, fully developed plots, bulk material handling equipments, common effluent treatment plant and much more.

The state makes continuous engagement efforts to take this relationship to new heights.

  • A senior level delegation from Punjab participated in the 2nd edition of India-UAE Partnership Summit in Oct, 2018 at Dubai where they interacted with investors in Retail, Real Estate, Healthcare, Logistics & Warehousing, Agro & Food Processing sectors. An eye on the future was the manifest of the dialogue. 

  • UAE was the partner country in Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit 2019 where Mr. Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to UAE was the key note speaker.

  • A dedicated UAE desk at Invest Punjab has also been created with the aim to facilitate the investors coming from UAE and ensure smooth execution of strategic partnerships.

A major player in Punjab’s logistics sector- UAE can benefit a lot from the lush green fields of the state. Punjab with its attractive fiscal incentives, world class infrastructure, skilled and peaceful manpower, favourable government policies and a plethora of sectors to invest in is trying to build a strong bridge of bilateral relationship with UAE. Sky is the limit for the endless opportunities Punjab is ready to offer.

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