Demonstrating the goodwill between the two countries, the United Arab Emirates will join the celebrations on the occasion of Oman's National Day. On 18 November, the Omani flag will be projected on several emblematic buildings in the country, such as the Burj Khalifa. The Emirati authorities will also welcome Omani nationals visiting the country with flowers and other gifts, such as a special passport stamp. Emirates will also organise special events in various parts of the country.
The Omani National Day coincides with the birthday of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, who began building the modern state after he came to power in 1970. The day also marks the independence from Portugal in 1650, making Oman the oldest independent country in the Arab world.
"I congratulate my brother, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and the brotherly people of Oman on National Day. I pray to Almighty God to preserve the sultanate and perpetuate its glory, prosperity and progress," Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted. "We Emirati people are your brothers and sisters and we celebrate this day with you," the Emirati leader added, wishing Muscat "happiness and success".
أهنئ أخي السلطان هيثم بن طارق والشعب العماني الشقيق باليوم الوطني .. داعياً الله عز وجل أن يحفظ السلطنة ويديم عزها ورخاءها وتقدمها .. الإمارات وعمان تاريخ مشترك وفرحة واحدة وأخوة لا تزيدها الأيام إلا قوة ورسوخاً. pic.twitter.com/98cTYYJXg7— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) November 18, 2022
All these events confirm the close relations between the UAE and Oman. The two nations have a strong and deep economic and trade cooperation. According to Al-Ain data, the volume of trade between Abu Dhabi and Muscat reached 32.4 billion dirhams during the first eight months of 2022, an increase of 6% compared to the same period last year.
Emirates is Oman's largest trading partner. Emirati imports account for more than 40% of the total, while exports account for 20%. Despite the heavy weight of oil in the region, trade between the two countries goes beyond the crude oil sector. During 2021, for example, the value of non-oil trade exceeded 46 billion dirhams, according to data from the Emirati Ministry of Economy.
Abu Dhabi is also one of Oman's main investors, focusing mainly on the tourism sector. Al-Ain highlights that Emirati resorts in the sultanate welcomed more than 256,000 guests in 2021. In this regard, it is worth noting that Emirates is the largest source of tourists to Oman within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with a 162% increase in the number of visitors, according to ForwardKeys International data.
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Oman for the first time as president last September. There he met with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, with whom he signed 16 agreements to increase bilateral cooperation in various fields, such as culture, infrastructure, scientific research, education and agriculture. Abu Dhabi and Muscat also agreed on a railway project to link the two countries. This visit, described as "historic", marked a turning point in the ties between the two countries, which share a border, roots, heritage and a common past.
During his trip, the Emirati leader stressed that Oman was "a beloved country that holds a special place in the hearts of Emirati leaders and citizens". Earlier, the Omani Sultan visited Abu Dhabi to offer his condolences on the passing of former Emirate President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Prior to these two important visits, senior Emirati and Omani officials met with the aim of enhancing cooperation.