Chinese President Xi Jinping Visits UAE Amid Push to Increase Influence
Xi Jinping (Image: Getty)

Dubai, Jul 19: Chinese President Xi Jinping is heading to Abu Dhabi in his first trip to the United Arab Emirates as the leader of China and as the two countries look to strengthen trade ties and expand investment.

It is Xi's first trip abroad since he was appointed to a second five-year term as president in March and comes as China pushes to expand its influence in a region where it sources much of its energy needs. Xi is to arrive today evening and have meetings with top officials tomorrow.

China and the UAE conduct some 50 billion dollars in annual trade, which they hope to double in the next decade. UAE Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber has called his country's relationship with China a "long-term strategic one".