Record-Breaking Export and Import Volume Solidifies the United Arab Emirates’ Position as the United States’ Largest Trading Partner in the Middle East

February 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC (February 10, 2012) – According to statistics released today by the United States (US) Department of Commerce, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the single largest export market for US goods in the Middle East in 2011 – the third straight year that the UAE has held the top position.  Last year, total trade volume between the UAE and US rose to $18.3 billion, a 43 percent increase over 2010. 

The 2011 figure represents the highest ever trade volume between the two countries, and was fueled by a surge in exports from the US to the UAE.  Total exports from the US to the UAE reached $15.9 billion in 2011, a 36 percent increase over 2010.  Imports to the US from the UAE also doubled last year, to $2.4 billion.

“These trade figures underscore the depth and breadth of this important bilateral relationship.  The UAE has one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, and is a substantial trading partner with the US,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.  “In fact, the UAE has trade relationships with every state, supporting hundreds of thousands of US jobs in key sectors such as aircraft, manufacturing, services and defense equipment.”

There are over 800 US companies with a presence in the UAE.  Bilateral trade volume between the UAE and US has nearly quadrupled since 2001. 

The UAE-US trade relationship is underscored by the broad range of goods and services being delivered between the two countries.  UAE airlines (Emirates and Etihad) are the largest purchasers of Boeing commercial aircraft in the world, US energy companies support the UAE’s oil and gas sector, and many American engineering, construction and architecture firms are assisting with the development of the UAE’s infrastructure.  In addition, US-based Westinghouse is participating in a  consortium that is executing a $20-billion contract to build four nuclear reactors for commercial energy generation in the UAE.

The US Department of Commerce is expected to release more detailed data regarding UAE-US trade in the coming weeks.  The statistics will include a state-by-state breakdown of import/export volume and data on trade by key sectors. 

Previous years’ trade data, including a state-by-state breakdown of US exports to the UAE can be found on a dedicated page of the UAE Embassy website.  Additional bilateral trade information can be found at the UAE Embassy’s Trade and Commercial Office website: