June 22nd, 2012
12:37 PM GMT
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Abu Dhabi (CNN) – Growing economic ties between the UAE and South Korea are encouraging an influx of Koreans into the Gulf nation.

There are currently an estimated 7,500 Korean in the UAE, and that number is expected to reach 13,000 in the next two years.

Lee Hyo-Won owns a restaurant in Abu Dhabi and has experienced the influx first hand. “Twelve years ago, it's not easy finding Koreans in the street. Now we can see anywhere, shopping malls, schools, it's easy to find Koreans,” she told CNN’s Schams Elwazer.

Last year, trade between South Korea and the UAE grew 24% to $22 billion. The boom is riding the economic momentum created in 2009 when the UAE granted a South Korean consortium a $20 billion contract to build four nuclear reactors - the first in the region outside of Iran and Israel.

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