UAE and Egypt celebrate golden jubilee of bilateral ties

The two nations have a connection that dates back before the formation of the UAE

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Egypt and the UAE will mark 50 years of ties this week, with a lavish three-day festival planned in Cairo.

The golden jubilee will be attended by President Sheikh Mohamed and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Five decades of partnership has led to co-operation in a variety of fields, including retail transport, warehousing, finance, construction, tourism and agriculture.

“The UAE-Egypt partnership is witnessing a remarkable growth in trade exchange, and a significant increase in the volume of mutual investments," said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, speaking to official news agency Wam.

"The economic and trade relations between Egypt and the UAE are a model for Arab and regional relations."

Today about 420,000 Egyptians live in the UAE, attracted by lifestyle and employment opportunities. They sent home $3.5 billion in remittances during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President, said the celebration of five decades of close ties "shows the distinctiveness and strength of the historical relations between the two brotherly countries and peoples".

Odah Saeed, a 74-year-old Bedouin Egyptian from the country's northern Sinai desert, has lived in the Emirates for 40 years.

In an Emirati accent, he told The National that he thanks God for allowing him to live in the UAE for so long and says many of his countrymen feel the same.

"The UAE has a special love and place in the hearts of Egyptians," he said. "Since the country's founder Sheikh Zayed and until today, the UAE has been a sponsor and supporter of development and humanitarian projects in Egypt."

UAE investment in Egypt rose to $1.9bn in the first half of 2022, compared to $712.6 million in 2021, according to Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics.

Egyptian companies have invested more than Dh4bn in the UAE, Wam reported.

"The relationship between Egypt and the UAE runs deep even before the founding of the UAE in 1971," Sammy Badran, an assistant professor at the American University of Sharjah who focuses on North African politics, told The National.

"The two countries have close economic ties and shared goals in terms of foreign policy as well as cultural ties which have gotten even stronger once President El Sisi came to power."

Notable achievements

The UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, made sure his country contributed to Egypt's reconstruction after the 1967 war with Israel.

Under Sheikh Zayed, the UAE allocated $100m to rebuild the governorates of the Suez Canal.

Today, Egypt has an entire city named after Sheikh Zayed.

Many of the UAE's veteran officials are Egyptian, as Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser sent delegations of teachers, engineers and doctors to support the country as it began to grow as a nation.

The UAE is now the number one direct investor in Egypt.

"Signs are clear that there are increasing ties between the two states and I foresee that continuing over the next years," Mr Badran said.

Updated: October 26, 2022, 7:55 AM