The official visit of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, to Malaysia constitutes a paradigm shift in the longstanding and promising bilateral relations between the two friendly nations.
The visit provides an ideal opportunity to advance these relations toward greater cooperation and steady growth for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their people. It comes within the framework of mutual and continuous official visits and meetings between senior officials in both countries, which underscore the depth and solidity of their bilateral relations. The close relationship between President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the King of Malaysia, His Majesty Al Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al Mustafa Billah Shah, is one of the most important factors in cementing bilateral relations between the two nations.
Malaysia receives special attention in the UAE’s strategy to expand its network of relations and cooperation with Southeast nations in various fields given Malaysia omnipresence and heavyweight in its regional environment.
Relations between the two nations have been growing stronger, particularly after the establishment of the Malaysian embassy in Abu Dhabi in 1983 and the UAE embassy in Kuala Lumpur in 1995. In November 2017, the UAE and Malaysia signed two MoUs on political consultations and establishment of a joint cooperation committee.
The economic relations between the two countries are witnessing robust growth and prosperity, as the UAE is the first destination for Malaysian exports and the second largest source of its imports from West Asia.
The UAE is Malaysia’s largest economic partner in the Middle East and West Asia, and non-oil trade between the two nations reached roughly $4.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 20% from $3.5 billion in 2020.
The annual joint exercise “Desert Tiger” demonstrates the two countries’ desire to share military expertise and improve their military cooperation. The joint exercise is part of a larger effort by the leaders of the two nations to forge illustrious partnership and broaden the sphere of collaboration in order to realise a shared goal of exchanging knowledge and enhancing military capabilities between the two sides to improve performance, combat effectiveness, and teamwork.
On the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2023), the ground forces of the two nations inked an agreement for military cooperation in the areas of training, coordination, and exchange of experiences.
Cooperation between the two countries in response to COVID-19 constituted a model of constructive international cooperation in confronting the pandemic and containing its humanitarian repercussions. In March 2020, the UAE sent an aid plane carrying 20,000 COVID-19 testing kits to Malaysia. It also sent in mid-May another plane of medical equipment carrying 14,000 units of disinfectant fluids. In addition to that, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation provided food aid during the month of Ramadan 2020 to alleviate the suffering of needy groups in light of the COVID-pandemic. More than 100 entities and thousands of individuals have benefited from it.
Culture & Education
The demographics and cultural diversity of the UAE and Malaysia reflect the values of tolerance and moderation shared by the two nations.
Malaysia is an educational destination for Emirati students pursuing studies in its universities, particularly in the fields of management, accounting, and law.