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04 October 2023

UAE, Türkiye: Growing relations towards holistic partnership


 The United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Türkiye remain steadfast in their efforts to strengthen their bilateral relations with the support of the leadership of the two countries.

Affirming their significance in driving comprehensive development in both countries, UAE-Türkiye ties promote opportunities for prosperity in the region and achieving peace and stability for people.

Relations with Türkiye are of great importance to the UAE, and stem from its strategy to strengthen partnerships and expand relations with various friendly countries. The UAE is strengthening bridges of cooperation with Türkiye in all fields, given the latter's regional and global presence and importance.

Official Visits

The official visits and meetings between the leadership of the two countries reflect the depth of the Emirati-Turkish relations. President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Türkiye on 24th November, 2021, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the Republic of Türkiye visited the UAE on 14th February, 2022. Additionally, the two presidents held a summit remotely in last March, during which they witnessed the signing ceremony of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and Türkiye.

The ongoing visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to the Republic of Türkiye marks a new phase in the process of consolidating bilateral relations between the two countries, based on mutual understanding and respect, as the two countries move forward in their plans to enhance joint cooperation in various fields.

The official visits of the leaders of the UAE to Türkiye have always been highly appreciated by officials and people alike. The historic visit of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to Türkiye in 1984 was welcomed with unparalleled hospitality. The media at the time paid due attention to the visit, and its details were on the front pages of major Turkish newspapers.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on 1st April, 1977, UAE-Türkiye ties have witnessed great development, especially after the opening of the Turkish embassy in Abu Dhabi in 1979, the opening of the UAE embassy in Ankara in 1983, and then the opening of the UAE's Consulate General in Istanbul in 1989.


The UAE and the Republic of Türkiye have signed dozens of strategic agreements and MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation in economic, security, environmental, technological fields, among others.

On 24th November 2021, the two countries signed a number of agreements and MoUs, which included an MoU between the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the UAE and the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) in Türkiye; a cooperation agreement between the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) and the Türkiye Wealth Fund (TWF); a cooperation agreement between the Abu Dhabi Holding Company and the TWF; a cooperation agreement between the Abu Dhabi Holding Company and the Investment Bureau of Türkiye; an MoU between the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and Borsa Istanbul; an MoU for exchanging information in banking sector between the Central Bank of the UAE and the Central Bank of Türkiye; an agreement for joint administrative cooperation in Customs Affairs between the UAE and Türkiye; an MoU in the field of energy; and an MoU in the environmental sector.

On 14th February 2022, the two countries witnessed the exchange of 13 cooperation agreements, memoranda of understanding and protocols that are aimed at strengthening cooperation and expanding partnerships between the two countries in several fields, including investment, health, agriculture, transportation, industries, advanced technologies, climate action, culture, youth, and others.


The economic aspect is one of the most important pillars of the growing cooperation between the two countries, as the strong economic relations between the UAE and Türkiye date back to the establishment of the UAE and have continued to develop over the years.

In 1984, the two countries signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, followed by several agreements that strengthened economic and trade cooperation, leading to the signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) last March. It is expected that the CEPA will contribute to increasing non-oil intra-trade to US$40 billion within five years, as well as create 25,000 new job opportunities by 2031, and increase UAE exports to Türkiye by 21.7 percent.

The total non-oil trade between the UAE and Türkiye reached nearly US$19 billion in 2022, an increase of 40 percent from 2021 and 112 percent from 2020, making Türkiye the fastest growing partner among the top 10 trade partners of the UAE.

In November 2021, the UAE announced the establishment of a US$10 billion investment fund in Türkiye, focusing on strategic investments, most notably in the logistics sectors, including energy, health and food.


Operation Gallant Knight 2, launched by the UAE following the earthquake that hit Syria and Türkiye on 5th February 2023, embodied the strong UAE-Türkiye relations, as the UAE sent medical, relief and food supplies, research teams and vehicles equipped with rubble removal equipment, medical teams, and established a field hospital to treat the injured in İslahiye of Gaziantep Province and another in Hatay.

On 27th April, President Erdoğan bestowed State Medal for Sacrifice on 'Operation Gallant Knight 2' team, in honour of the UAE's efforts in search and rescue work in the earthquake-hit areas.


The UAE-Türkiye cultural relations are built on their rich and inspiring cultural history and literary traditions. To enhance these ties, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the cultural field in February 2022.

Recently, the two countries have witnessed growing cultural collaboration, which was reflected by Türkiye's participation as the Guest of Honour in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023, and the remarkable Turkish presence during Expo 2020 Dubai.

Also, the Emirates Publishers Association took part in the Seventh International Istanbul Arabic Book Fair last October, during which it showcased 284 entries representing 31 Emirati publishing houses.