Emiratos Árabes Unidos

The Medicis of the Middle East?

For a long time, the United Arab Emirates was known mostly for a boom-and-bust real estate market, the consumerist glitz of Dubai, and vast oil resources. But over the last two decades, the UAE’s reputation has undergone a dramatic shift. Under President Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE has spent billions of dollars building up and modernizing its military, becoming what former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has dubbed “Little Sparta.” The UAE has also made itself the Middle East’s financial center. And the country has forged working relations with almost all the region’s actors, including Israel, as well as with every worldwide power, particularly the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Dubai, a ‘Good Vibes Only’ Approach to Climate Change

On a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, I felt as if I’d entered a fever dream of green exuberance. It was more than two months before COP28, the annual global climate meeting now in progress in Dubai, but the country was already awash in environmental hype. On the highway, banners for an event hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the fossil fuel behemoth known as Adnoc, read: “Decarbonizing. Faster. Together”. A placard in my hotel bathroom asked me to conserve water by using the two-tiered flush, although the flush had only one tier. A friend’s utility bill was labeled “green bill” — although U.A.E.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the landscape of international diplomacy, the choice of a host country for a global summit is often symbolic. As the world prepares to converge in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the COP28 climate conference, the decision to host such a pivotal event in the heart of the Middle East warrants scrutiny.

The UAE has sought to position itself as a beacon of modernity. Yet the decision to hold COP28 in the Gulf state is problematic. The UAE’s economy is heavily reliant on oil and gas, and it is one of the world’s highest per-person carbon emitters. The BBC has just reported on leaked documents that suggest the UAE was looking to use its position as host of the summit to negotiate bilateral fossil-fuel deals.…  Seguir leyendo »

En esta ocasión especial, la Fiesta Nacional de España, me complace extender mis más cálidos saludos y sinceras felicitaciones a Su Majestad el Rey Felipe VI, y a Su Majestad la Reina Letizia Ortiz, así como al gobierno y al pueblo de esta gran nación. Como Embajador de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos ante el Reino de España, me es de gran honor participar en la celebración en este día significativo, que marca no solo la unidad del Reino de España, sino también subraya la amistad duradera y la cooperación entre nuestras dos naciones.

Los lazos entre los Emiratos Árabes Unidos y España van más allá de la política y la economía.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center left, and Saudi Arabia's King Salman, right, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 14, 2019. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

The U.S.-led effort to thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin is being actively undermined by America’s supposed Persian Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The dictators who run these petrostates are raking in profits from oil sales while sky-high prices are filling Putin’s coffers and hurting the U.S. and European economies. With friends like these, who needs enemies? And why is the Biden administration playing along?

As Putin uses Russia’s energy to both blackmail and punish the West for helping Ukraine, Saudi Arabia’s de factor ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) and UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (known as MBZ) have been rejecting calls to do the one thing in their power that would help: pump more oil.…  Seguir leyendo »

There has been a noticeable relaxation of tensions in the Middle East over the past year. Various antagonistic actors have resumed communications—though one hesitates to elevate them to the notion of “dialogue” just yet—suggesting that the region’s leaders are recalibrating after the heady, unpredictable years of Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States. One of the most dynamic, versatile and forceful actors is the United Arab Emirates, which has been projecting itself militarily in various theaters for several years, but now says it is shifting to a greater emphasis on diplomacy.

The UAE is sometimes referred to, admiringly or disparagingly, as “little Sparta”—a power that punches above its weight in a treacherous neighborhood.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Israeli foreign minister meets the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi on 29 June 2021. Photo: Government Press Office of Israel/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

15 September 2021 marks the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords, the agreements that normalized ties between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. At the time, the accords were portrayed as a barter ending Israeli annexation of the West Bank in exchange for normalization of ties with the UAE.

The Trump administration viewed them as a model for outsourcing regional security that would allow the US to prioritize its interests beyond the Middle East, a tectonic regional shift brokered by the United States. However, only Morocco and Sudan have so far followed suit and signed normalization agreements with Israel.…  Seguir leyendo »

Observation deck of the Dubai Frame, which is positioned so visitors can see landmarks of modern Dubai from one side, while older parts of the city are seen from the other. Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images.

The recent doom and gloom between UAE and Saudi Arabia appears to be lifting as both sides soften – there is nothing more sobering than demand destruction looming on the horizon – but unless the hardwired distance between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi is bridged, further OPEC+ negotiations could be derailed and a period of uncapped price volatility ushered in.

This is the second time the UAE has made clear its displeasure with the rudiments of the April 2020 production agreement – the first time was following the November OPEC meeting – and it is hard to imagine either Emiratis or Saudis backing down from their fundamental positions at the next OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) and set of ministerial meetings.…  Seguir leyendo »

Paddle boarders in the Red Sea close to the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company's (EAPC) oil terminal at Eilat, a destination for Emirati crude oil under a new UAE-Israeli deal. Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images.

Although the jury remains out on whether the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Murban oil futures contract will become the new regional benchmark, it does reveal Abu Dhabi’s clear vision of its future and the role hydrocarbons are going to continue to play in it.

Only time will tell, but setting up the Murban contract to launch on Abu Dhabi-based exchange ICE Futures is certainly part of ADNOC’S strategy to displace S&P Global Platts monthly crude price assessments and ‘hold the pen’ on the emirate’s oil future, leveraging its hydrocarbon endowment to the full.

The futures trading platform tests the market appetite for Murban, which looks promising and, if successful, helps Abu Dhabi consolidate its position as a major producer in a shrinking oil market as well as again call into question the UAE's commitment to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – unclear since December’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee.…  Seguir leyendo »

A view of Jerusalem: the Israel/UAE agreement ‘threatens the status of Jerusalem’s holy sites’. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Tomorrow, the Israeli parliament will be voting on the agreement to normalise relations with the United Arab Emirates. A large majority will approve a hugely favourable step towards the Israeli government’s goals: perpetuating its systematic violations of international law and of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights. Those parliamentarians who believe in justice and equality are going to vote against this agreement. I’m afraid, though, that we are a tiny minority.

This week, we were given copies of the agreement, which I read in the three languages (Arabic, Hebrew and English) and figured out a few things. First of all, those who wrote it in different languages tailored it to their audiences.…  Seguir leyendo »

The agreements between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain on the one hand and Israel on the other, brokered by the Trump administration and signed at the White House on Sept. 15, attempted to normalize the abnormal in spite of their misleading declarations about realizing peace.

In fact, they succeeded in normalizing occupation, oppression, annexation, and grave violations of international law, including international humanitarian law.

We must call things by their real name. The UAE and Bahrain agreed to open regular diplomatic ties with Israel, but these were not "peace treaties." They ended no wars, as the three countries have been engaging in secret security, intelligence, and economic deals for years.…  Seguir leyendo »

El primer ministro israelí Benjamín Netanyahu celebró el acuerdo que normaliza las relaciones entre Israel y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos —que ambos países firmarán en una ceremonia en la Casa Blanca el 15 de septiembre— como un paso histórico igual a los anteriores acuerdos de paz de Israel con Egipto y Jordania. El líder israelí también presumió de que el acuerdo con los EAU reivindicó su «doctrina Netanyahu» de paz a cambio de paz, en vez de tierras a cambio de paz.

Pero incluso lograr la paz con un país con el que Israel no comparte ninguna frontera y nunca estuvo en guerra obligó a Netanyahu a renunciar a sus planes de anexar gran parte de Cisjordania.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Emirati, U.S. and Israeli flags are pictured attached to an airplane of Israel's El Al upon its arrival at the Abu Dhabi airport in the first commercial flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 31. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

Some observers seem to assume that the recent agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates means the end of efforts to achieve a reasonable, two-state outcome to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Some Israelis may hope that improving relations with Arab states would obviate the need for further negotiations with the Palestinians.

Yet the Palestinians are not going anywhere, and the reality is that Israel cannot retain its core character as both a Jewish and democratic state if it ignores the Palestinian issue. Fortunately, those who still seek a two-state solution have no cause for despair. The Emirati-Israeli breakthrough could be a much-needed bridge to overcoming the current impasse.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last week, an Israeli flight made its way from Israel to the United Arab Emirates in what was regarded as a historical journey. Credit Christopher Pike/Reuters

Last week, an Israeli airliner made its way from Israel to the United Arab Emirates in what was regarded a historical journey. The first ever such flight, the direct flight was the outcome of a deal made last month between the two countries.

While Israel and the Trump administration celebrated the moment, Palestinians sounded an opposite note. The Palestinian prime minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, declared the flight “a clear and a blatant violation of the Arab position toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

“We had hoped to see an Emirati plane landing in a liberated Jerusalem, but we live in a difficult Arab era,” he said.…  Seguir leyendo »

Desde el día fundacional de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, la mujer ha jugado un rol fundamental en el desarrollo histórico de nuestro país. La igualdad de derechos de la mujer y el hombre está consagrada por nuestra Constitución, y ha sido siempre una máxima en el desarrollo de políticas por parte de nuestro Gobierno. Es por ello que el 28 de Agosto de cada año, celebramos y reconocemos la labor de la mujer emiratí por hacer de nuestro país un modelo de sociedad tolerante y abierta.

Nuestro Gobierno ha enfatizado, a lo largo de nuestra historia, la necesidad de empoderar a la mujer emiratí.…  Seguir leyendo »

On 13 August 2020, US President Donald Trump announced the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He celebrated the development as a breakthrough that will “advance peace in the Middle East.” The two states plan to exchange ambassadors and begin open cooperation in areas of security, tourism, trade, and healthcare. The agreement makes the United Arab Emirates the fourth Arab country—after Egypt, Jordan, and Mauritania—to formally recognize Israel. In exchange, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to pledge not to move forward with annexation, with the White House declaring that Israel had agreed to “suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the [US] president’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”…  Seguir leyendo »

The impending peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a game-changer for the entire Middle East.

In addition to wedding one of world's wealthiest states (the UAE) with its most innovative (Israel), it also opens new avenues toward peace. Realizing that other Arab states may soon follow the UAE's lead, and that time is no longer on their side, the Palestinians may well return to the negotiating table.

An Israeli public that is secure in its newfound relations with the Arab world will be more likely to make concessions. Stalemated for almost 30 years, the peace process might finally be revived.…  Seguir leyendo »

We don’t hear many good news stories out of the Middle East, particularly recently, in the midst of the despair over Beirut, regional conflicts and the ravages of covid-19. But on Thursday there was a hopeful development: President Trump announced a historic peace agreement that will normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Now what had been taking place below the table will be put on top of it. Security cooperation can be acknowledged in public and won’t have to exist in the shadows. Israeli companies will be able to operate openly in the UAE, and Israelis will be able to fly directly to the Emirates using their Israeli passports.…  Seguir leyendo »

The useless agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is nothing but a ploy to artificially inflate the Trump administration’s foreign policy achievements ahead of the election. In real terms, it was nothing but leaders trading with used goods.

On Thursday, President Trump announced that U.S. diplomats had brokered a major breakthrough. The agreement basically declares that the corrupt government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will postpone its plans for the unilateral annexation of occupied Palestinian land in return for normalization with a small but rich Arab Gulf state. The problem with the big hoopla around this is that it is neither a genuine breakthrough nor will it bring peace between Israelis and Arabs anytime soon.…  Seguir leyendo »

An artist's rendering of the Dubai Expo 2020 site.

Over the past few months, the United Arab Emirates has worked diligently to meet the needs of all our citizens and residents, even at a time of unprecedented global uncertainty and insecurity.

We have safely shut down, and now seek to reopen, what is today a major international hub for trade, tourism, logistics and more. And we have achieved this while also meeting significant and myriad external interests and obligations.

This is how we have responded to our new reality.

The United Arab Emirates had planned to host the largest and most ambitious international event in the history of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, over the span of six months starting this October.…  Seguir leyendo »