Land on a flight from the UAE to either London Heathrow or Manchester airport and it is likely the first thing you will see is a vehicle sporting the familiar logo of dnata, the UAE's global airport services company.
It is only the most obvious indication of how intertwined the United Kingdom's and the UAE's aviation industries have become in recent years.
If you land at London's Gatwick airport, for example, you will be stepping on to property partly owned by Abu Dhabi.
The airline links first forged in 1923, when giant Imperial Airways biplanes landed to refuel and give their passengers a good night's sleep in Sharjah on their way to India and Australia, have grown to be one of the busiest air routes in the world. And UAE airlines now buy aircraft built in factories in the UK. The planes are fitted with parts manufactured in the UAE.
Dnata, which was established in 1959 in Dubai with just five employees - the name stands for Dubai National Air Travel Agency - is now one of the largest suppliers of combined air services in the world offering ground handling, cargo, travel and flight catering services.
It is in 37 countries and employs more than 20,000. Its UK arm, founded in 2009, runs services at Heathrow and Manchester airports and its clients include EVA Air, Emirates Airline, Singapore, Etihad Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Air New Zealand, Air India, Jet and Cathay Pacific.
Dubai International is the second-busiest destination out of Heathrow after New York's John F Kennedy. While Heathrow continues to be the world's busiest international airport it is a title it is likely to lose to Dubai International by 2015, if Willie Walsh, the chief executive of the International Airline Group, which owns British Airways, is to believed.
Emirates flies 16 times a day between Dubai and the UK, to Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, and Etihad five times a day to Heathrow and Manchester. The other major UK airport, Gatwick, in 2010, sold 15 per cent of its equity to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, for an undisclosed sum, widely reported later to be US$196 million.
The current Air Services Agreement between the UK and UAE, which regulates the routes, capacity, number of frequencies, types of aircraft used between the two countries, is one of the most flexible in the aviation world, and even allows for specific fifth freedom rights, which allows airlines from each country to pick up passengers in the other, and fly them onward to a third country.
Aviation trade and industry links go deeper still.
Both Etihad and Emirates are major customers of Airbus, the civil airliner division of the European aerospace giant, which has the UK's BAE Systems as a main partner. The UAE airlines already operate Airbus A340 and A330 twin-aisle long-haul airliners, and Etihad also has a fleet of the smaller A320 workhorse for use on regional routes.
Emirates already has 31 A380 double-deck superjumbos in its fleet and will by 2017 have 96, making it the largest single operator of the four-engined giant. Etihad has 10 A380s on order, due for delivery beginning next year. It also has orders for Airbus's next generation airliner, the composite-made A350. The wings for all the main Airbus types are manufactured at Broughton near the English town of Chester. But other sections are fabricated in Al Ain, in the UAE.
In February, the first of four fully assembled ailerons manufactured at Strata's Al Ain plant were delivered to Airbus for fitting to an A330 to be delivered to Etihad this month. Ailerons are moveable control surfaces on the wing's trailing edge used to turn or adjust the aircraft's altitude, and they are one of several carbon-fibre parts Mubadala-owned Strata has the contract to manufacture for the Airbus A330, 340s and 380.
And the UK is hoping the links will not stop there. BAE is still confident of selling the EADS-made Typhoon to meet the UAE Air Force's requirement for a new strike fighter.