The UAE and Scotland are exploring areas of potential co-operation in fields such as renewable energy projects and science.
The Emirates seeks to enhance commonalities between the two sides to take economic and trade co-operation to new heights, with a focus on advanced technology, space exploration and carbon neutrality, said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, according to state news agency Wam.
He led an Emirati delegation of business and investment leaders on a visit to Scotland, where they took part in round-table meetings with senior government leaders and executives.
The meetings focused on areas related to renewable energy, infrastructure, trade and the establishment of companies and projects.
Dr Al Zeyoudi stressed that there were great prospects for improving co-operation in priority sectors.
The volume of non-oil trade between the UK and the UAE stood at $7.4 billion in the first nine months of 2022, a 32 per cent increase from the same period in 2021.
The UAE is already working on major projects in Scotland through Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar, which has a strong foothold in the UK market.
The company owns stakes in London Array, one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, and Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm.
“We see plenty of room to develop other projects with a similar impact,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said.
In October, Masdar acquired London-based energy storage developer Arlington Energy to further expand its presence in the region.
In 2019, Masdar also invested £35 million ($40 million) in the UK’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, a £400m plan that aims to double the country’s number of electric vehicle charging points.
The Emirati delegation also discussed the potential for hydrogen production in Scotland.
The UAE and the UK can team up to become leaders in the booming hydrogen sector through a “broad” collaboration involving policy, innovation, trade and investment, according to a report published by the World Green Economy Organisation and UAE-based consultancy Zest Associates in October.
Existing agreements between the two countries could be focused on hydrogen to “match the scale of investment required to achieve net zero”, the report said.
Hydrogen, which can be produced using processes powered by both renewable energy and natural gas, is expected to play a key role in the coming years as economies and industries transition to a low-carbon world to mitigate climate change.