Dubai: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to send its ambassador, Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, to Tehran to restore diplomatic ties with Iran after a huge gap of 6.5 years, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Sunday.

"In line with UAE efforts to strengthen relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and as part of a previous decision to increase diplomatic representation to the rank of ambassador, Sputnik reported citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).

The Ministry stated that his excellency Saif Mohammed Al Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to Tehran, will resume his duties in the coming days.

Al Zaabi will resume his office in Tehran "to contribute to further advancing bilateral relations in cooperation with officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran to achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region," the ministry added.

Notably, the UAE downgraded the diplomatic relations with Iran in 2016 amid Tehran's rupture of diplomatic ties with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Sudan after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in the country following Riyadh's decision to execute Shia cleric Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr, who questioned the Gulf monarchy's authority, according to Sputnik.

Last week, the Emirati and Iranian foreign ministers had a telephone conversation and they discussed boosting ties, UAE state media reported, where they discussed sending an ambassador back to Tehran.

Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian discussed ways of strengthening bilateral relations and areas of cooperation for the benefit of both countries.

After years of animosity, the UAE started re-engaging with Iran in 2019 following attacks in Gulf waters and on Saudi energy sites.

The UAE has business and trade ties with Iran stretching back more than a century, with the United Arab Emirates being one of Tehran's main links to the outside world.

Fellow Gulf state Kuwait earlier this month appointed its first ambassador to Iran since 2016, according to Al Jazeera.