Sweden and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a long history of strong bilateral relations and fruitful cooperation. The first Swedish companies established in the UAE back in 1960s. Today, the UAE is Sweden’s second largest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa with over 200 Swedish companies present in the market.

Currently, around 200 Swedish companies are present in the UAE through establishments in the mainland and one of more than 40 country’s economic free zones. Despite the ups and downs with the pandemic, the oil price fluctuations in recent times, and now the war in Ukraine, the majority of Swedish companies have mostly reported profitability from their UAE operations.

When asked to evaluate their expectations for the turnover in the UAE during the upcoming year, 73 per cent of respondents expressed optimistic view, anticipating their turnover to increase.

The UAE is a distributor-driven market and before establishing in it, Swedish companies tend to test their potential selling via local distributors. Brand awareness is the key ingredient for maintaining competitiveness in the UAE. Sales competence and customer feedback were indicated as the other two most important areas for running a successful business in the UAE, followed by cost efficiency.

Please download the report to fully overview the results with a detailed analysis. 



Currently, around 200 Swedish companies are present in the UAE. Conducted in April 2022, this survey seeks to understand the perceptions of economic and market developments and what opportunities and challenges Swedish companies are facing. The total of 64 respondents is in line with the total number of respondents in the 2020-year study. The web-based survey contained 24 questions.

We hope that this report will provide you with valuable insights on how Swedish companies within different industries are affected by changes in the business climate, and what they expect to see in the future.

Lastly, we would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to the participating companies and respondents which have contributed to this report.