For decades, the global centre for oil trading has been Geneva, Switzerland. But Russia’s war in Ukraine changed that. Sanctions have made it harder for western traders to move Russian oil. Now, traders are flocking to a new trading hub that has no restrictions on oil from Russia: the United Arab Emirates. The FT’s energy correspondent Tom Wilson explains how this shift has helped the UAE replace Switzerland, and whether the global energy industry is shifting away from western economies.

Plus, do you have your own burning questions about business or finance? Send us your questions and we may use them in a future show. Record a voice message here and we may even play it on the show: Or, email Michela at, or message her on Twitter at @mtindera07

Update: A new version of this episode was uploaded on August 9, 2023 to correct that Fujairah is roughly an hour’s drive east from Dubai, not west.

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For further reading:

How Dubai became ‘the new Geneva’ for Russian oil trade

Switzerland questions oil trader over sidestep of Russian sanctions

Letter: Energy trading is opaque — and that suits Big Oil

Switzerland/Paramount: block loopholes which swerve oil sanctions

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On Twitter, follow Tom Wilson (@thomas_m_wilson) and Michela Tindera (@mtindera07)

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