Since 3000 BC, relations between India and the seven emirates which now makes up the United Arab Emirates were traditionally close and brotherly. The UAE and India had enjoyed close and friendly ties based on historic and cultural ties. People-to-people contacts and barter trade for clothes and spices from India in exchange for dates and pearls from the region have existed for centuries. After the creation of the Federation in 1971, India-UAE relations flourished. Today UAE and India share political, economical and cultural links. There are over a million Indians in the United Arab Emirates, being by far the largest migrant group in the country. A large Indian expatriate community resides and engages in the UAE in economically productive activities and has played a significant role in the evolution of the UAE. However, many incidents concerning India's expatriate workforce in the UAE, have caused friction in Indo-Emirati relations.The UAE has expressed its interest to invest in India's agriculture. Besides, the UAE, which is India's top trading partner in the entire West Asia North Africa (WANA) region, as it alone represents 75 per cent of India's export to GCC nations, has seriously taken forward the relations with India. Leading Indian journalist and an expert on India's relations with the Middle-East, Ravi S Jha says, Indian exports to the UAE account for 6 per cent of India's global exports. The relations between the two countries are expected to flourish with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's likely visit to Abu Dhabi in March, 2013.
In 2008-09, India emerged as the largest trade partner of the UAE with bilateral trade between the two countries exceeding US$44.5 billion. UAE and India are each other's main trading parthers. The trade totals over $75 billion (AED275.25 billion).