20230719 uae turkey
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed (R), receives Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey (L), during an official reception at Qasr Al Watan. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday received President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who arrived on an official visit to UAE on Tuesday night.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed escorted President Erdogan to the podium of honour, where the national anthems of both the UAE and Turkey were performed, marking the start of this significant diplomatic visit.

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Tweeting on the occasion, President Sheikh Mohamed said: “Today in Abu Dhabi I enjoyed fruitful talks with President @RTErdogan as we explored ways to continue building on the close, historic ties between our two countries. The UAE and Türkiye remain committed to fostering regional stability, growth and sustainable economic development.”

Following his arrival at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, President Erdogan was accompanied inside by His Highness to be greeted by groups of local children eagerly waving Turkish and UAE flags. The two leaders inspected the guard of honour and witnessed a performance of the national anthems of both countries.In the grounds outside the palace, a 21-gun artillery salute marked the visit of the Turkish President.

Following the ceremony, the Presidents of the UAE and Turkey met to further reinforce the strong ties between the two countries.

The meeting between Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, during the Turkish President's official visit to the UAE.

UAE-Turkey relations

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed the visit as an opportunity to continue building upon 50 years of UAE-Turkey relations, noting that both countries share the same ambitions for stability, economic growth and sustainable progress.

The longstanding bilateral relationship between the two countries received a significant boost earlier this year with the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Strategic Council

During the meeting of the two leaders on Wednesday, these ties were further cemented with the announcement of a joint accord on the establishment of a high-level strategic council between the UAE and Turkey.

Additional MoUs and major agreements were also exchanged, with the aim of increasing collaboration even further, including investments in strategic sectors such as the economy, trade, energy, finance, digital transformation, technology, and the space sector. His Highness stated that the UAE is keen to continue expanding and strengthening its partnership with Turkey in various fields.

His Highness and the Turkish President reaffirmed their commitment to promoting stability, both within the region and internationally, stating their shared belief in the importance of dialogue and diplomacy as a means of solving disputes and avoiding conflict.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed (R), receives Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey (L), during an official reception at Qasr Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Wam

COP28 participation

The UAE President confirmed that Turkey's participation at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai later this year is eagerly anticipated, especially in light of the growing collaboration between the UAE and Turkey in the area of renewable energy and climate action.

President Erdogan thanked His Highness for his hospitality and expressed his pleasure to be visiting the UAE again.

He reaffirmed his shared interest in continuing to enhance relations between Turkey and the UAE, with the aim of promoting stability and enabling the people of both nations to enjoy a secure and prosperous future.

The Turkish President left an entry in the Qasr Al Watan VIP guestbook, conveying his wish to continue building on the strong foundations that underpin relations between Turkey and the UAE.

Following the meeting, a dinner was held in honour of the visit of President Erdogan and his accompanying delegation.


Earlier, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said the UAE and Turkey are steadfast in finalising procedures related to their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), as its enforcement date draws near. The two countries had officially ratified the agreement at the end of May 2022.

Al Zeyoudi stated that according to the approved timeframe, the CEPA would come into effect in early September, adding that it aims to stimulate the non-oil intra-trade between the two countries from the current total of US$18 billion to over US$40 billion annually within the next five years, by reducing or eliminating customs duties on 82 percent of tariffs in both countries, covering 96 percent of their traded goods.

Economic ties

Regarding the size of the Emirati and Turkish economies compared to the region’s total economy and their ability to stimulate trade exchange on the bilateral, regional and global levels, Al Zeyoudi affirmed that the combined population of the two countries is currently some 100 million, and they are both are among the top 30 economies in the world with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of nearly US$1.5 trillion.

In addition, the structures of their economies in terms of the contribution of sectors to GDP are somewhat similar, especially services that account for more than 50 percent, he added, and there are unlimited opportunities for economic cooperation across various sectors in which both countries lead regionally and globally, such as services, tourism, trade, technology, industry, agriculture and infrastructure.

Non-oil trade

Data on growth in 2022 indicate that the non-oil trade between the two countries grew by more than 40 percent compared to 2021, reaching US$18.9 billion, and Turkey is the sixth most important destination for non-oil UAE exports, while the UAE is among the top five countries that import goods from Türkiye, he further added.

Upon its implementation, the CEPA will contribute to establishing long-term partnerships between the two countries’ business communities, which will help turbocharge growth, prosperity and expansion through leveraging their strategic locations as key regional and international business hubs, Al Zeyoudi stressed.

The UAE ranks 15th among Turkey’s top international trading partner, second among Arab countries, and first among Gulf countries, with the UAE accounting for around 50 percent of Turkey’s trade with Gulf countries, and around 15 percent of its trade with all Arab countries, he said in conclusion.


Meanwhile,Tugay Tuncer, Ambassador of Turkey to the UAE said that the tour of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which includes a visit to the UAE, his first since his re-election, highlights Turkey’s growing relations with the UAE and other GCC countries. In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Tuncer said Erdogan’s official visit to the UAE will see the signing of several agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between the two nations, which they have been preparing for around 18 months, and will serve as a launch pad towards achieving their objectives in the next decade.