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The UK has strong diplomatic, military, and economic ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2022, it plans to negotiate a trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, whose six members include the country. The UK Government has also raised concerns for human rights in the UAE, including freedom of religion and belief.

What does this paper cover?

This 13-page briefing provides an introduction to the UAE’s: 

  • Leadership, politics, and political rights, including the election of the new President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in 2022
  • Human rights, such as the rights of women and migrant workers
  • Trade with the UK and current negotiations on a trade agreement 
  • Economy, including key statistics on population, economic growth and leading industries 
  • Foreign relations with the US, neighbouring Gulf states and Iran

The paper signposts further reading on each of these topics on pages 12 to 13. This includes links to UK Parliament proceedings on the UAE and relevant Library briefing papers. 

Please visit the Library’s Middle East pages for further analysis on the region’s politics.

Documents to download

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