Sanctions against Iran were lifted on the 16 January 2016 when an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear programme and allow UN inspections was reached, ending more than ten years of crippling restrictions. Experts and analysts had all agreed that the lifting of the sanctions on Iran would be of benefit to business with many neighbouring countries in particular the UAE.
The sanctions had a huge impact on Iran with its economy shrinking by 35 per cent in four years and trade figures between the UAE falling from $8.5 billion in 2013 to just $5 billion in 2014. An estimated $50 billion in net foreign assets were also frozen due to the sanctions.
Dubai is in important strategic location being a traditional gateway for goods to travel to Iran. Dubai’s shipping and aviation hubs will definitely benefit from the passing of goods essential to the extensive infrastructure development, energy projects and construction planned in Iran as a result of the lifting of the economical restrictions. Iranian traders who already had office spaces in the UAE immediately sought bigger spaces upon hearing of the proposed lifting of the sanctions. The UAE also has respected stock exchanges, real estate and bilateral trade set to benefit from the surge in investment expected due to the release of the frozen net foreign assets as Iranian businessmen look for investment opportunities. Tourism is also expected to gain in light of the fact that the number of hotel guests from Iran almost halved after the introduction of the sanctions.
It is estimated that due to these and numerous other factors that $13 billion will be added to the UAE’s economy between now and 2018 an equivalent of 1 percent GDP growth per year.