DUBAI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Trade between the Gulf state United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China is expected to increase to 60 billion dollars by the end of this year, up from 54.8 billion dollars in 2015, said Hani Rashid Al-Hamli, Secretary-General of the Dubai Economic Council here on Thursday, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
Al-Hamli made the remarks during a meeting with a Chinese business delegation earlier Thursday.
He added that the UAE is now China's second largest trading partner in the Middle East and the region's biggest market for Chinese goods.
China, whose trade with the UAE stood at only 63 million dollars in 1984, now has more than 4200 companies operating in the Gulf Arab country as well as eight billion dollars in direct investments concentrated in the UAE construction and trade segments, said Al-Hamli.
The emirate of Dubai alone, he added, accounted for 89 per cent, or 49 billion dollars, of the trade between China and the UAE in 2015.
He noted that the Dubai Expo 2020 will represent a vital area of activity for Chinese companies. Dubai is regarded the trade, tourism and financial hub of the UAE as 90 percent of Emirati oil (eight percent of the world's known reserves) is located in the neighbor emirate Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.
"Transforming Dubai into the biggest destination of Chinese direct investment in this region is being driven by directives from the wise leadership to bolster economic relations between the two countries and make China a strategic partner in development projects," said Al-Hamli.