The UAE Guides Saudi Arabia, for Now

Feb 2, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

Shared geopolitical considerations and assertive leaders have pushed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates onto a similar foreign policy path.

(JakeOlimb, mdgomes/iStock)


  • The United Arab Emirates will continue cooperating with Saudi Arabia in areas of shared interest while pursuing its own objectives overseas.
  • As he works to transform his country's economic and social systems, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will emulate Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
  • The expansionary aims of the two leaders could eventually bring their countries into conflict.

In the midst of the Middle East's power struggles, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are all striving to achieve regional dominance through proxy battles and games of political and diplomatic tug-of-war. Saudi Arabia is the most influential and active Arab power in the fray, but another Gulf state -- the United Arab Emirates -- is starting to muscle in on its preserve. Characterizing the small but increasingly ambitious country as a rookie upstart intruding on its much larger neighbor's domain fails to capture the essence of the Saudi-Emirati relationship. Abu Dhabi, in fact, is proving that it has much to teach Riyadh....

Keep Reading

Register to read three free articles

Proceed to sign up

Register Now

Already have an account?

Sign In