Australia is considered one of the UAE's largest trading partners and relations between the two countries have been steadily growing in all areas.
The historical relations between the UAE and Australia span more than 40 years, since the opening of the UAE embassy in Canberra in 1997. These relations have developed to advanced levels and are currently heading towards a strategic partnership.
In the framework of strengthening cooperation between the two countries, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is currently on a visit to Australia. This latest visit is H.H.'s fourth to Australia, having previously visited in 2010, 2012 and 2015, meeting with the Australian Foreign Minister and senior officials there.
In 2015, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, during his visit to the country. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also received Tony Abbott, Australian Prime Minister, and his accompanying delegation in 2015, during their visit to Abu Dhabi.
In the same year, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah also met with Andrew Robb, Australian Minister for Trade and Investment who was on a visit to the UAE. Again in 2015, Sheikh Abdullah met with the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, during a visit to Australia.
In 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his Australian counterpart signed a cooperation agreement for the peaceful use of nuclear energy between the two countries, which set a framework for mutual cooperation in the field and facilitated the trade process between them of nuclear materials and equipment.
Arthur Milton Spiro, Australian Ambassador to the UAE, has praised the strong bilateral relations between his country and the UAE, especially in the field of trade and strategic relations, stressing his country's desire to develop these relations in all fields. The ambassador also said that Sheikh Abdullah's visit will contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries and further develop them.
The UAE is considered the largest trading partner for Australia in the Middle East and also the country's 15th largest trading partner worldwide.
Trade of goods and services between the two countries reached $9.3 billion in 2014, and Australian exports to the UAE increased by 20.3% to reach $3.96 billion dollars between 2014-2015.
The bulk of Australian exports to the UAE include cars, meats, oils and foodstuffs, while the value of UAE exports to Australia, mostly petroleum products, rose to $5.34 billion during the same period.
The UAE is considered an attractive commercial market for Australia, and the record of non-oil trade volume between the two countries reached $2.6 billion or the equivalent of AED9.5 billion in 2014 according to a report issued by the Ministry of Economy.
Crude oil remains to be one of the most important products exported by the UAE to Australia, which also exports aluminum, passenger vehicles, live animals and dairy products to the country.
In addition, trade services between Australia and the UAE is also increasing in other fields, particularly in construction, financial, and professional services, as well as tourism and education.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority became one of the largest hotel owners in Australia in late 2013, when it acquired 31 Accor branded hotels.