Key Areas of Bilateral Cooperation
Located at a critical strategic position bordering the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Hormuz, and less than 100 miles from Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an important and reliable ally of the United States.
Economic and Trade Relations
With one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, the UAE is a dependable and substantial economic partner with the United States.
- The UAE is the United States’ single largest export market in the Middle East, with over $22.5 billion in exports in 2012 – the Fourth straight year the UAE has held this distinction.
- Every state in the United States exports to the UAE, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
- Over 1000 US firms have an on-the-ground and expanding presence in the UAE.
- The UAE pegs its currency, the dirham, to the dollar.
- Through significant investments in the United States for over 40 years, the UAE has been a dependable and long-term contributor to US economy, providing liquidity to US capital markets, growth for US companies and job security for US workers.
- In 2008, the Government of Abu Dhabi initiated a global dialogue to clarify the investment principles of government-owned funds. Through this work, 23 countries have committed to operate their funds purely on commercial principles. And, as part of this commitment, the funds would adopt critical transparency measures.
- In 2012, the UAE and US launched the first Economic Policy Dialogue to facilitate new and ongoing initiatives aimed at strengthening economic, commercial and trade relationships between the two countries.
- The US-UAE Business Council includes companies from both countries committed to expanding bilateral commercial opportunities.
- Boeing: The UAE is the largest customer for Boeing commercial passenger aircraft. Customers include Emirates Airlines, which is the world’s largest operator of 777 aircraft and the only airline to operate every Boeing model type.
- Oil and Gas Sector: The UAE is the only Gulf state to allow private-sector participation in its oil and gas sector.
- ExxonMobil is a strategic partner with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
- Bechtel has a number of projects in the gas sector.
- Foster Wheeler is a key contractor in the UAE gas sector, recently awarded a contract for management of a major gas complex expansion.
- Occidental Petroleum owns 24.5 percent of the Dolphin Energy project, an initiative to import Qatari natural gas to the UAE.
- Emirati company Taqa Global has invested in a 205.5 megawatt Lakefield wind project in Jackson County, Minnesota. When operational, the field will produce enough sustainable energy to power over 60,000 homes.
- In December 2010, The Mubadala Development Company made an additional investment of $500 million in The Carlyle Group general partnership. The Carlyle Group first sold Mubadala a 7.5% stake in its general partnership in September 2006.
- The UAE is the largest operator of Boeing’s 777 aircraft. In November 2011, Emirates Airlines placed a $24 billion record-breaking order for 50 Boeing 777-300ERs.
- Westinghouse will take part in a South Korean-led consortium that has won a $20-billion contract to build four nuclear reactors for commercial energy generation in the UAE.
- The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) acquired an 11 percent share in the Hyatt Hotels Group in December 2009.
- The Mubadala Development Company and General Electric have multiple cooperative projects, including an $8 billion joint venture in high technology.
- In January 2008, Jafza International of Dubai announced its intention to establish a new warehouse and transportation hub in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The “greenfield” facility reportedly would involve a $600 million dollar investment in a location with high unemployment and create as many as 5,000 new jobs.
- GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company of Abu Dhabi, will soon open a $4.2 billion manufacturing facility in Saratoga County, New York.
The UAE and the United States work closely to preserve security and stability in the Gulf. US homeland security is tied directly to the UAE’s role as a source of security and stability.
- The UAE was the first country to support the United States at the advent of Desert Storm.
- The UAE is the only Arab nation to participate with the US in five coalition actions over the last 20 years: Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Bosnia-Kosovo and the First Gulf War.
- The UAE’s Special Forces are the only Arab personnel undertaking full-scale operations in Afghanistan, an ongoing ten-year commitment.
- The UAE deployed a dozen fighter jets for combat missions under NATO command to protect the Libyan people throughout the conflict, and support the National Transitional Council.
- A formal Defense Cooperation Agreement has been in place since 1994.
The UAE provides ongoing and essential support for US forces in the region:
- Hosting more than 2,000 US military personnel.
- Providing critical logistics support for US Navy fleet operations; US Naval vessels visited more UAE ports than any other foreign ports in the world.
- Supporting the US Air Force through critical logistics and facilities at Al Dhafra Air Base.
- Actively supporting the Mideast peace process.
- Hosting the Joint Air Warfare Center and joint training exercises with US forces.
The UAE’s contributions to the fight against terrorism include:
- Significant intelligence cooperation with various US government agencies.
- Joint task forces on money laundering, terrorist financing, and nuclear proliferation.
- Enforcing export control laws to prevent the transshipment of sensitive goods and technologies.
- The UAE was the first Middle Eastern country to join the US Container Security Initiative, allowing US customs officers inspect US-bound cargos at UAE ports.
- The UAE is a signatory to the Proliferation Security Initiative.
- The UAE fully supports and enforces UN sanctions to contain Iranian nuclear weapons capabilities.
- Headquarters for the new Global Center for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism, a center that will focus on combating terror and radicalism
The UAE currently has a number of military equipment programs with the United States, including:
- Patriot PAC-3 (Raytheon and Lockheed Martin)
- HAWK Air Defense Missile System (Raytheon)
- AH-64 APACHE Helicopter Longbow (Boeing)
- UAE Air Force Command and Control System (Northrop Grumman)
- C-130 Cargo Aircraft (Lockheed Martin)
- C-17 Aircraft (Boeing)
- F-16 E/F Advanced Fighter Aircraft (Lockheed Martin)
- Multiple weapon systems associated with F-16 E/F (Northrop Grumman, Raytheon)
- UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters (Sikorsky Aircraft)
- High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Lockheed Martin)
- Maverick air-to-surface missiles (Raytheon)
- In the pipeline: AVENGER, SLAMRAAM, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system, known as THAAD.
Working for Peace in the Region
The UAE actively promotes a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- The UAE supports two key United Nations agencies working in the West Bank and Gaza: the UN Development Programme, (UNDP) and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
- The UAE Red Crescent and other UAE charitable organizations have contributed over Dh2 billion (US$544 million) to humanitarian projects in Palestine and in Syria for Palestinian refugees, including the construction of a girl's school at a refugee camp near Damascus in association with the UNRWA.
- The Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation has built several schools, hospitals and medical centers in the Palestinian West Bank.
Throughout the Libya conflict, the UAE offered roughly US $13 million in aid. UAE-sponsored projects have contributed 5,000 tons of aid to refugees.
The UAE also has provided significant funding and assistance to Iraq, including:
- Medical treatment for Iraqi children in the UAE at no cost.
- Training for Iraqi police in the UAE.
- Funding for reconstruction of hospitals in Iraq and a military hospital in Baghdad.
- Education for Iraqi students in the UAE on scholarship.
- Providing large quantities of humanitarian supplies to Iraq.
In Pakistan, the UAE is strongly committed to stability and long-term development and has provided aid amounting to US $800 million to date. International participation is central to ensuring the stability of Pakistan, and in 2008, the UAE has undertaken the initiative to participate in the group of “Friends of Democratic Pakistan.”
Social and Cultural Ties with the United States
The UAE is an innovative social investor, seeking ways to expand opportunities for UAE citizens and help address regional and global challenges.
- Women have full rights in the UAE Constitution, are well-educated and protected in the workplace. Four cabinet ministers are women—including Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, who was on Forbes magazine’s 2007 list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. The UAE has four women fighter pilots. Nearly one-quarter of its advisory parliament consists of women. And in 2008, the first female judge was sworn in.
- Through its Masdar Initiative, the UAE is investing billions of dollars in clean energy technologies.
- Partnerships encourage shared experiences, while advancing local capacity.
- New York University, Boston University and Rochester Institute of Technology have announced or launched programs or campuses in the UAE.
- Faculty from Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health advises the UAE on public health and is establishing a doctoral program in the country.
- The Cleveland Clinic, over a 15-year period, will establish, develop and operate a world-class specialty hospital and clinic, called Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
- The Johns Hopkins Medical School manages health care systems in Abu Dhabi.
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has a partnership with the UAE government for breast cancer education.
- MIT is helping create the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the region’s first graduate level, research-driven scientific institution.
Americans in the UAE
- More than 30,000 Americans reside in the UAE.
- There are more than 75 daily nonstop flights to the UAE from nine different US cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC).
UAE Global Humanitarian Initiatives
The UAE’s sizeable foreign aid activities include:
- Dubai Cares, which has reached more than 5 million children in 24 countries with projects that improve access to primary education for children in developing nations.
- In 2011, the UAE Embassy in Washington DC provided a monetary donation to the schools of Joplin, Missouri and sent a team of volunteers to help rebuild homes after the tornado. In 2012, the UAE Embassy in Washington DC provided additional assistance to the Joplin community, through a grant that is supporting the construction of a new neonatal intensive care unit.
- Funding for Tsunami Relief ($100 million); Pakistani Earthquake Relief ($100 million); Hurricane Katrina Relief ($100 million).
- Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti the UAE government and UAE foundations rapidly mobilized to deliver over 700 tons in food and shelter supplies to the affected region.