How Dubai Became a Hub for Russian Oil Trade (

How Dubai Became a Hub for Russian Oil Trade (

Dubai has emerged as a major hub for Russian oil trade, taking over from Geneva as the primary location for traders selling Russia’s oil to consumers globally. Since Switzerland joined the embargo on Moscow following the Ukraine invasion, a significant portion of the trade has shifted to Dubai and other cities in the United Arab Emirates.

According to Russian customs documentation analyzed by the Financial Times, companies registered in the UAE purchased at least 39 million tonnes of Russian oil worth over $17 billion from January to April. This accounted for around a third of Russia’s declared exports during that period. While some of the oil was received in the UAE, most of it was directed to new buyers in Asia, Africa, and South America.

The UAE’s energy trading industry was already growing prior to the Ukraine conflict, but the conflict and subsequent western sanctions have accelerated this growth. The customs data reveals that eight out of the top 20 traders of Russian crude in the first four months of the year were registered in the UAE. In refined petroleum products, such as diesel and fuel oil, the UAE dominated even further, with ten of the largest 20 traders being registered in the country.

This trading boom has brought significant economic benefits to the UAE, with billions of dollars in additional oil revenue passing through its banks and attracting numerous new companies to its free-trade zones. However, it has also strained relations with allies such as the US, which wants Russian oil to continue flowing but is cautious about creating trade routes that undermine sanctions.

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