Emirates, which now serves three gateways in Iraq, will be the Official Carrier for TRADEUAE Iraq, a forum promoting trade between the UAE, Iraq and its Kurdistan region.

The airline will have a dedicated stand at the event, which takes place today and tomorrow in Erbil. TRADEUAE Iraq is designed to provide UAE-based companies with the knowledge and contacts to do business in the Iraqi market.

“Emirates is very much about connecting people, ideas and stimulating business around the world. This is an important event and supports the UAE government’s efforts to help rebuild Iraq economically,” said Haitham Al Battawy, Emirates’ Manager, Iraq.

“Since launching Basra in 2011, and then Baghdad the same year, our operations have grown steadily in Iraq. In August of last year, we started services to Erbil. We know there is a great deal of interest in this market, particularly Erbil, so this event is a very useful platform to generate new business opportunities,” said Mr Al Battawy.

Emirates’ flights to Iraq across its three gateways are served with Airbus A330-200s, which can carry up to 17 tonnes of cargo per flight.

Emirates SkyCargo reports that air freight is showing strong growth in Iraq – so much so, Emirates is sending in three 777 freighters each week. Coupled with passenger aircraft capacity, this brings a total air freight capability of nearly 450 tonnes, feeding a burgeoning oil and gas sector.

“With three departure points from Iraq connecting to our globally renowned hub of Dubai, we are superbly equipped to link Iraq with the rest of the world through our vast network of 132 destinations across six continents,” added Mr Al Battawy.

TRADEUAE is backed by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, Dubai Exports, Dubai FDI, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kurdistan’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The event is being held at the Saad Conference Centre in Erbil.