On UAE National Day, I would like to congratulate the leadership and the people of the UAE.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a special relationship that extends across economic, social, and cultural areas.

This connection is deep, mutually beneficial, and it is ever-growing.

At the heart of our relationship is the conviction that we can work together in the development of our economies.

This in many ways is a partnership of old friends forging a new path.

Both countries have the largest economies in the Arab world, and recently we’ve witnessed cooperation between KSA and the UAE soar to newer, even greater heights because of the trade and investment potential on offer between the regions. This is especially true across several mutually beneficial priority sectors such as food, telecommunications, energy, defense, and ports.

In September 2022, trade between KSA and the UAE totaled SAR 67bn in the first half of 2022. Interestingly, non-oil foreign trade between the two countries grew by 92.5 per cent over the past decade to SR128bn in 2021, compared with SR66bn in 2012.

With this in mind, we believe that the special trade connection has an immense opportunity to take on a profound new meaning, and at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) – we’re here to help usher in a new era of economic cooperation.

FAB has been in KSA for nearly 5 years, and we’re fully committed to the Kingdom. Throughout this time, it’s been obvious to us that the decision to establish a presence here in KSA is what makes all the difference to our Saudi and Emirati clients.

This is because we can draw on local knowledge and expertise from both markets. We can provide Emirati business investors a window into the Saudi economy, and vice versa we can support Saudi businesses by helping them define their approach to entering the UAE market.

FAB plays the dual role as both a strategic advisor and financier. Throughout the last 5 years we’ve supported and partnered with Corporates and Sovereign Wealth Funds in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 – we’ve helped businesses from Riyadh to Ras Al Khaimah, from Dammam to Dubai – but most importantly, we’ve helped them succeed.

Along the way, we’ve built partnerships with local and foreign entities resident in KSA. We’ve also become a strategic partner of local entities, and our activities have complemented the objectives of the economic development agencies of both nations respectively. We see trade development as a collective enterprise involving multiple adjacent stakeholders as well as some of our peers.

As we look to a world full of new challenges and opportunities, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE share a similar vision for the economic transformation – our countries seek to be at the forefront of the new technological developments that will bring far-reaching advances to our people and those around us.

Consequently, we believe that banks will play a more meaningful role by unlocking further trade potential and integration between our economies through solutions such as advisory, trade and export financing, as well as products targeted towards working capital expenditure.

At First Abu Dhabi Bank, we will continue to provide a vital link between KSA and the UAE. We have the capability to support corporate, institutional, and private clients across both nations – and we will ensure that the future of cooperation between both nations remains a partnership of possibilities.

Fahad Aljuwaidi is the Country CEO at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) – Saudi Arabia