The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba (https://twitter.com/yousefalotaiba1?lang=en), recently discussed plans for growing the commercial relationship between the two countries.
With one of the top ten busiest container ports located in Dubai, and eight of the world’s top economic zones, the UAE is looking more attractive to opportunity hungry US businesses. The sentiment is reciprocal. Emirati business interests in the US, including Florida’s Port Canaveral currently operated by the UAE’s Gulftainer, demonstrate a symbiotic relationship in these nations’ economic ties. This is signified by the more than four hundred percent increase in trade since 2008. US capital also represents one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in the Gulf state.
The diversity of endeavors includes partnering in the aerospace and defense industries. The Emirates have purchased over $20 billion worth of US defense articles and services over the past decade, and the UAE military boasts the largest fleet of F-16s outside the US. Lockheed Martin, along with NASA, are working with the UAE Space Agency to establish the fundamentals of a space training program. Emirati airlines are the largest buyers of US aircraft and ordered over $120 billion in Boeing passenger craft in 2013 alone.
With its political stability, strong infrastructure, and relative security in a turbulent region, the UAE is positioned as a global hub for accessing emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Taking advantage of the pro-business environment and robust financial services, US companies can project operations from this strategic center between East and West. The high pace of trade and tourism is revealed by the over 280 direct flights to ten US cities every week.
Some of this collaboration occurs in the health care and technology sectors. Joint venture healing institutes, specializing in advanced well-being, pediatric and cancer care, exist in Washington DC, Houston, and Abu Dhabi. Emirati investment has fueled US-based semiconductor manufacturing and prospective undertakings include petrochemicals and telecommunications.
With conflict in Yemen, Libya, and Syria, and belligerence from Iran, the UAE offers a bastion of hope for a more peaceful and economically balanced Middle East. As less than thirty percent of the Emirati economy is derived from the oil sector, the UAE embraces a wide range of trade opportunities.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba concluded that security and prosperity are complementary to a stable Middle East. The US-UAE relationship evinces confidence in its achievement.