Shurooq's participation in the event during their inaugural visit to Russia forms part of the Authority's strategy to promote Sharjah's investment potential. The Authority will be represented by Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Shurooq COO, and Elie Armaly, Director of Business Development at Shurooq and will be will be taking part in conjunction with Hamriyah Free Zone, SAIF Zone and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part of the UAE delegation participating under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy. As part of the event, Shurooq will be taking part in the exhibition and attending the associated business programme and conference. With the main objective of the event being to expand trade and economic relations between Russia and the Arab world, to help participants to establish partnerships, and to organise bilateral meetings and negotiations, Shurooq has also scheduled a series of meetings with a number of participating bodies. Commenting on Shurooq's aims for the event, Al Qaseer said: "With this being Shurooq's first visit to Russia, our participation in Arabia Expo 2013 will provide a golden opportunity to not only showcase Sharjah's varied and unique investment opportunities through the exhibition itself, but also to engage with Russian businesses and potential investors through a series of meetings, the aim of which is to expand cooperation and establish mutually beneficial joint projects and attracting investment cooperation." The UAE and Russia has a strong and distinguished relationship, as is evidence by a double taxation avoidance agreement signed in 2010 and a bilateral cooperation agreement in the field of peaceful nuclear energy, which was signed in 2012, Al Qaseer added. Investment flows between the two countries have also witnessed a big surge during the past few years in numerous joint projects. The UAE-Russian investments touched Dh81 billion ($22billion) in 2010. There are 450 Russian companies operating in the UAE, including joint ones, while Emirati investments in Russia amounted to Dh66 billion. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah's distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world. Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.