Utah Trade Mission Led by Governor Spencer J. Cox Visits the United Arab Emirates to Develop Economic Partnerships and Joint Cooperation Projects

September 21, 2022

Hosted by the Trade Office of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, the 60-person Utah delegation met with Emirati political and business leaders following a visit to Israel

Washington, DC (September 21, 2022) – The Trade Office of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC hosted Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox and a high-level state delegation to Abu Dhabi and Dubai last week. The mission focused on establishing new business opportunities and partnerships in priority sectors, building on growing ties between the Beehive State and the Emirates.

Joining Governor Cox was First Lady Abby Cox, House Speaker Brad Wilson, Senate President J. Stuart Adams, and over 60 Utah government officials, business executives, and community leaders.

The trip was organized in collaboration with the State of Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, World Trade Center Utah, and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council. Utah is the fastest growing U.S. state per capita, making for an excellent trading partner with the UAE.

“This trade mission led by Governor Spencer Cox is an essential element of establishing trade and commercial ties between our two dynamic economies – the state of Utah and the United Arab Emirates,” said Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counselor for the UAE Embassy to the U.S. “The Utah delegation saw firsthand the potential that exists when partnering with Emirati businesses and innovators and we agreed the opportunities for partnership are limitless.”

The Utah delegates engaged with Emirati counterparts with expertise in healthcare and life sciences, aerospace and defense, transportation, and water security. The group also toured the Louvre Abu Dhabi and met with representatives from the local faith community. Just over two years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the construction of a temple in Dubai, the first of its kind to be built in the Middle East. Utah is home to the largest Mormon population in the U.S., comprising more than 60 percent of the state’s residents.

After visiting the Dubai Future Foundation, Governor Cox tweeted: “The UAE is teaching artificial intelligence and coding. In Utah, tech accounts for 68,184 employees – and Silicon Slopes is on the cutting edge of information technology.”

Delegates also discussed opportunities in the innovation economy with UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama. In a meeting with H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, they reviewed opportunities for U.S. collaboration in projects related to water and renewable energy. With large areas of arid desert and limited water resources, climate is a priority for both the UAE and Utah. The state legislators also H.E. Mariam AlMheiri, UAE Minster of Climate Change and Environment.

Governor Cox noted the delegation arrived in the UAE following meetings in Israel. He emphasized the unlimited bilateral and multilateral commercial opportunities now possible between Utah, the Emirates, and Israel due to the Abraham Accords, the diplomatic normalization agreement signed two years ago between the UAE and Israel.