Abu Dhabi: The UAE has invited Algerian business community to explore investment opportunities as the country diversifies its economy and shifts focus to non-oil related industries to boost revenue in the wake of drop in oil prices.

Speaking at the UAE-Algeria Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi yesterday, the Economy Minister Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri said the contribution of oil to the UAE’s economy will be reduced to about 20 per cent in the next five years.

“We are focusing on non-oil sectors like real estate, tourism, renewable energy and small and medium enterprises to diversify our economy and reduce reliance on oil for revenue. There is an opportunity for Algerian business community to explore opportunities in these sectors,” said Mansouri.

He added that tourism can play vital role in both the countries. “Due to volatility of oil prices, tourism can play a major role. This is a vital sector in the UAE and also in Algeria.”

“Algeria has potential to attract tourists from the UAE and other parts of the world due to its geographical position overlooking the Mediterranean region. We should give full freedom for air carriers from both the countries to operate to boost tourism sector.”

The bilateral trade between Algeria and the UAE stands at Dh3.6 billion in 2015 and the UAE investments in Algeria amounted to more than $9 billion. Algerian Minister of Industry and Mines Abdesselam Bouchouareb said the country is seeking to double the UAE investments to around $20 billion (Dh73.4 billion) on the medium term.

“A number of projects are under study between the two countries to boost investments,” he said while speaking at the forum.