Foreign Policy Of The United Arab Emirates Research Paper

Table of Contents

Introduction 2

Background information 2

Problem statement 8

Research questions 9

Research objectives 9

Hypothesis 10

Thesis Statement 10

Literature Review 11

Methodology 38

Analysis of data 51

Conclusion 62

Bibliography 68

Appendices 70

1.   Introduction

1.1  Background information

            The UAE is a state located in the Arab Gulf region. The UAE has gained independence in 1971 and soon became one of the leading states in the region due to the oil-rich deposits which the UAE exploited to boost the economic development of the country and to increase the wellbeing of the local population. Today, the UAE is one of the richest countries in the region, which though attempts to shift from the oil-oriented economy toward the tourism-oriented one. Also the UAE develops knowledge-based industries and attempts to diversify the economy to gain a competitive advantage and to take its niche in the global market. The UAE focuses on the steady progress and maintenance of a strong position in the Gulf region as well as in the world.

            Today, the UAE has 82 embassies around the world and develops its international relations with many countries on the ground of good neighbourliness and partnership.  The development of international relations of the UAE became the priority for the government which attempted to expand international relations and develop closer ties with many countries worldwide. The UAE embassies facilitate the development of international relations and travel of UAE citizens to other countries. At the same time, UAE embassies also open wider opportunities for foreigners to learn more about the UAE and to visit the UAE. In such a way, the UAE becomes more open to the world and people from different countries can visit the UAE, if they like. Also such international relations of the UAE with other countries opens opportunities for the development of closer cultural and economic ties between the UAE and other countries. Embassies serves as bridges that facilitate the development of international relations of the UAE not only at the inter-state level but also at the inter-personal and business level because citizens and organisations may use embassies as sources of information about the UAE and for visiting the UAE.

            The UAE has developed international relations with many countries on the ground of bilateral and multilateral international agreements. The UAE has established diplomatic relations with many countries all over the world. To put it more precisely, the most fundamental aspect of the UAE’s foreign policy lies in its establishment of a regional and international network that binds the country with other states, either at a bilateral level or under the umbrella of a regional or international bloc. The UAE has successfully set up diplomatic relations with 189 countries around the globe (UAE, 2016).

            The establishment of close international relations with such a large number of countries reveals a strong trend toward the diversification of international relation and foreign policy of the UAE. The UAE government focuses on the enhancement of its international relations and the establishment of diplomatic relations is the first step toward the further cooperation and interaction between countries. To put it more precisely, the establishment of diplomatic relations involves practical effects for the UAE politics, economy, and society. The UAE can and does develop closer relations with other countries and gains political and economic benefits as well as develops closer cultural ties with other countries.

            The establishment of diplomatic relations means that the UAE provides assistance to its citizens in those countries, which the UAE has diplomatic relations with. Therefore, the UAE citizens may travel to those countries, develop their business and perform other activities. The same opportunities are open for citizens of other countries, which the UAE has established diplomatic relations with. They can attend the UAE, develop business relations, and perform other activities due to the established diplomatic relations between countries.

            The UAE is a member state of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, the United Nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the World Trade Organisation. The membership of the UAE in international organisations is very important, because they help the country to develop its international relations with other countries through multilateral international agreements. Also, the membership of the UAE in these international organisations contributes to the enhancement of the position of the UAE in the global politics and economy. The membership in these organisations is strategically important for the UAE because the country uses those organisations to develop closer ties with other countries of the world and facilitates its cooperation with those countries in different fields.

            The UAE attempts to take its niche in the regional and global market. In this regard, one of the mainstream trends in the economic development of the UAE is the shift from the oil industry toward the tourism industry as the main source of income and its GDP growth. However, both the oil and tourism industry rely heavily on international markets. In such a situation, the cooperation within the Gulf region facilitates the development of both industries and encourages the fast progress of the tourism industry in the UAE due to the economic cooperation with GCC member-states. The GCC also facilitates the attraction of foreign direct investments to the UAE from member-states as well as it opens opportunities for the UAE to invest in economies of member-states. The economic cooperation at the regional level is important for the enhancement of the competitive position of the UAE because the country and businesses based in the UAE get wider opportunities to expand their markets and improve their economic performance.

            Historically, the UAE complied with UN requirements, international norms and standards in regard to its international relations and foreign affairs. This is the important position of the UAE government which has persisted since the foundation of the state. The UAE respected international legal norms and expected the same from other nations. Such policy facilitates the integration of the UAE into the international community because the UAE shares the same principles and ideals as the majority of countries. In this regard, researchers (Lucas & Baroudi 47) argue that the UAE tends to overcome its cultural biases and stereotypes by accepting international norms and rules which are built up on the ground of western democratic norms and principles. Such norms and principles are not always acceptable in the culture of the UAE which have different norms and principles compared to western countries. Nevertheless, the UAE has managed to accept international legal norms and principles because they help the country to integrate into the global community and become an active member of the international community that is one of the main priorities for the UAE.

            In this regard, the process of globalisation plays a particularly important part because the UAE is closely integrated into the global economy because its economy was traditionally export-oriented. Oil was the main sources of revenues and major drivers of the economic growth of the UAE. The progress of the UAE and the close economic integration encouraged the development of closer ties of the UAE with other nations not only in the Gulf region but also overseas, including the US and Europe. The cooperation with the US and European countries is strategically important for the UAE because they are important economic and political partners for the country. The UAE can benefit from the economic cooperation with the US and Europe as well as from western technologies which the UAE may use for its further economic development. In addition, western countries can back up the UAE as the leading world powers. Such support will enhance the position of the UAE in the Gulf region and the world.

            At the same time, the UAE has historically strong ties with neighbouring states, such as Saudi Arabia, due to their similar historical background and religion as well as close cultural ties between countries. This is why the UAE traditionally viewed its international relations with neighbouring Arab states as being strategically important. The close cooperation of the UAE with neighbouring Arab states traditionally played an important part in the foreign policy of the UAE. This is why the UAE always paid a lot of attention to the development of close ties with Arab states.  In this regard, the economic cooperation plays a particularly important part for the further development of international relations between the UAE and Arab states, while the creation of the Gulf Cooperation Council opened new opportunities for their economic integration and cooperation.

            On the other hand, the UAE confronts certain challenges in the Gulf region. There are not only friendly Arab-states, such as Saudi Arabia or Oman, but also hostile countries, especially Iran, which represent a serious threat to national interests and security of the UAE. The threat from the part of Iran is the major external challenge for the UAE at the moment, although other threats, such as terrorism, emerge and affect the position of the UAE in the region. In such a situation, the UAE needs the support of neighbour states to come prepared to confront the aggression from the part of Iran, if one occurs. Moreover, the UAE may even need the support of other allies outside the Gulf region. In this regard, the US and the EU play a particularly important part. Iran is one of the major powers in the region and the UAE cannot confront Iran on its own. This is why international relations and support from the part of other states are strategically important in case of confrontation of the UAE with Iran.

            Historically, the UAE regards Iran as the major threat to its national interests and security. The tension between the UAE and Iran emerged from religious differences which have enhanced since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. The tension between countries persists. The major problem is the aggressive international policy of Iran and its aspirations to become the dominant power in the Gulf region. Such aspirations of Iran emerge from the historical background of the country, which used to be the dominant power in the region in the past. Iran has apparently preserved ambitions to take control over the Gulf region and play the leading part in the region. In such a situation, small states like the UAE are in a particularly vulnerable position because they cannot always resist to Iran in case of the deployment of the military by the latter. Iran attempts to take control over the region and increase its influence on neighbouring countries.

            Today, the UAE confronts a number of other challenges which threaten to the stability and national security of the country, among which international terrorism becomes the major threat to the UAE. This is why the UAE takes an active part in anti-terrorist coalitions and backs up the struggle against any manifestation of terrorism within the UAE as well as abroad. However, terrorism is just one of many threats and challenges the UAE may or does confront at the moment. The UAE has to focus on its national security and external threats from the part of Iran and terrorist organisations. Also the country has to maintain the high competitive position in the global market and maintain high standards of living for its citizens. This is why the UAE has to develop its international relations and conduct effective foreign policy to gain possibly larger support from the part of the international community and its allies to facilitate its struggle against existing and potential challenges.

            More recent trends in international relations and political development of the Gulf region raise new problems in face of the UAE and increase the tension in UAE’s relations with Iran. As Iran sponsors organisations which the UAE views as terrorist organisations, the UAE attempts to confront Iran to stop the expansion of terrorism. The support of terrorism by Iran is one of the major threats from the part of this country to the UAE and its national interests and security. International terrorism is one of the major threats to the world at the moment and the UAE is also vulnerable to the impact of the international terrorism threat.  Iran supports Shiites and funds their organisations but such organisations may slip to terrorist activities. This is why the UAE grows concerned with foreign policies of Iran and the country has to respond to Iran at the international level.

            In this regard, the UAE foreign policy plays a particularly important part because the admission or deportation of foreigners to the country has a considerable impact on international relations of the country. In such a situation, the diversification of the foreign policy may contribute to the wider inclusion of people with different background and their admission to the UAE. The practice of deportations is questionable because it does not have any reasonable ground but, instead, is driven by concerns of the government about the potential involvement of Shiites into terrorist activities. The diversification of foreign policy would make the UAE more tolerant because representatives of different religious groups could get larger opportunities to stay and work in the UAE and the government as well as citizens of the UAE would become more tolerant to representatives of other cultures and religious groups. Therefore, the government would be able to shift to more effective policies and to refuse from deportations in the future.

            In this regard, the UAE has several options to use. For example, the UAE may focus on the development of closer ties with its allies to gain their military support as well as to enhance the intelligence information sharing to ensure that the UAE receives adequate information about suspicious activities and activities of terrorist organisations abroad as well as on its territory. Such close collaboration can enhance the national security of the UAE because the government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies may get more information and increase its preparedness to potential and real threats. To increase the efficiency of information sharing, the UAE should possibly expand the cooperation with states worldwide to collect possibly more information on suspicious organisations and activities that may threaten to the national security of the UAE, because Arab states only may have a limited information on such activities and organisations, while other countries, such as the US, may provide the valuable information for the UAE.

            In such a situation, the UAE has to develop and diversify its foreign policy to gain more extensive support of its allies and to take advantage of such support in addressing the major challenges in terms of international relations of the UAE as well as domestic policy of the country. Also the diversification of the foreign policy and international relations may open larger economic opportunities. For example, the UAE may focus on the development of closer economic relations with China and other emerging economies which may become attractive for investors from the UAE as well as the UAE may be attractive for investors from emerging economies. Therefore, the expansion of the economic cooperation of the UAE will require more diversified foreign policy because the government will have to focus on the development of closer political and economic relations with countries other than its traditional allies, such as Saudi Arabia or the US.

1.2  Problem statement

            At the moment, the UAE confronts a number of challenges varying from the tightening competition in the global economy, exhausting oil deposits, need of the diversification of the UAE economy to the threat of international terrorism along with the persisting threat from the part of Iran. In such a situation, the UAE face the problem of the elaboration of effective foreign policy that would allow the country to maintain its competitive position in the globalised economy, on the one hand, and to gain extensive international support to address existing threats and challenges effectively. In such a situation, the reliance on traditional partners, such as Saudi Arabia, alone is not enough. Instead, the UAE has to develop more diversified foreign policy to reach other major players in the global economy and politics, including such countries as the US, the UK, the EU and others, which have already become the priority partners in the development of foreign policy by the UAE.

1.3  Research questions

  1. What are general challenges the UAE has to confront in terms of economy, politics, or social issues?
  2. What are external threats of the UAE as a state?
  3. What are the major rivals/opponents of the UAE in the Gulf region and the world?
  4. What are current policies of the UAE?
  5. What changes the UAE has to introduce to address existing challenges and threats?
  6. How diversification of foreign policy can help the UAE to address existing threats and challenges both at international and domestic level?

1.4  Research objectives

            The current study has several objectives that can help to find out the essence of the contemporary foreign policy of the UAE and to evaluate the effectiveness of the diversification of the UAE foreign policy. There are several key objectives the current study attempts to meet:

            A. The assessment of the current international relations of the UAE.

            B. The identification of the key international partners and allies of the UAE.

            C. The assessment and evaluation of international relations of the UAE with its neighbours in the Gulf Region.

            D. The identification of problems and challenges in international relations of the UAE, including the identification of opponents and major international threats to the UAE and its national security.

            E. The evaluation of possible effects of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE.

            C. The assessment of the impact of the UAE foreign policy on the country and its citizens.

1.5 Hypothesis

            The diversification of foreign relations can help the UAE to expand the scope of its international support and partnership by gaining new allies to confront existing threats and challenges together and to cope with them successfully. More specifically, the integration of the UAE into the global economy through the Gulf Cooperation Council and the World Trade Organisation as well as other free trade agreements can open larger economic opportunities for the UAE to gain a larger share in the global market. The political, military and technological cooperation with leading powers in the Gulf region and the world can help the UAE to confront such threats as international terrorism as well as the persisting threat from the part of Iran to the UAE’s territorial integrity and national security at large. Therefore, the diversification of the foreign policy form the part of the UAE would enhance its position in the world as the major economic and political power of the Gulf region that can count on extensive support from the part of the major world powers in case of any threat to its national security.

1.6  Thesis statement

            The diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE is strategically important step for the UAE because, under the impact of economic globalisation and emerging threats, such as international terrorism and Iran, the UAE needs the international support and positive international relations with diverse allies to be able to address existing challenges and threats successfully.

2.   Literature Review

            The number of UAE missions abroad has risen to 82 embassies, and four permanent missions, while the foreign embassies in the country has reached 110 embassies, 73 General -Consulates, in addition to 15 regional and international organizations that have physical presence in the country (UAE, 2016). In such a way, the UAE does not simply establish diplomatic relations with other countries but also introduces its diplomatic missions in those countries. The UAE opens its embassies abroad and encourages other countries to open their embassies in the UAE that facilitates their international relations at all levels and citizens have larger opportunities to perform various activities from business to culture in those countries where the UAE has its embassies or consulates.

            The establishment of embassies is a consistent enhancement of diplomatic relations of the UAE with other countries because embassies and consulates represent the UAE officials and are very important for UAE citizens. For example, if UAE citizens are in troubles abroad, they can always refer to the UAE embassy or consulates to obtain essential legal aid or any other form of assistance, which citizens may need in a foreign country. Also embassies and consulates can resolve issues that emerge in international relations between the UAE and foreign countries. If some policies of the UAE evoke a negative response in a foreign country, the UAE embassy can issue the explanation of the UAE policy to prevent the negative response in the country and to resolve the problem before it becomes threatening to international relations of the UAE with this country. Therefore, embassies and consulates comprise an important part of the foreign policy of the UAE because they help to maintain positive international relations with other countries and help UAE citizens abroad, if necessary.

            The UAE is a member state of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, the United Nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the World Trade Organisation. The membership of the UAE in international organisations is very important, because they help the country to develop its international relations with other countries through multilateral international agreements. Also, the membership of the UAE in these international organisations contributes to the enhancement of the position of the UAE in the global politics and economy. The membership in these organisations is strategically important for the UAE because the country uses those organisations to develop closer ties with other countries of the world and facilitates its cooperation with those countries in different fields.

            The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pursues economic goals above all but this organisation is also important for the UAE and other member states from the geopolitical perspective (Shahbaz 629). To put it more precisely, the UAE consolidates its position in the international oil market and develops the common policy with other member states. The OPEC represents interests of countries exporting oil. Therefore, as the oil exporter, the UAE stands on the same ground as other member states. The position of the OPEC has a considerable impact on the global economy and other countries cannot ignore its position. In such a situation, researchers (Gomory 214) argue that the UAE as well as other oil exporting countries, could not have such a significant impact on the world economy and politics, if they stood alone and were not united under the OPEC. This is why the OPEC enhances the position of the UAE and increases its influence on the global politics and economy. Such impact of the UAE on the global economy and politics gives the nation the power and significance in the region and the world. This is why the UAE can benefit from such position and membership in the OPEC.

            The Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) is similar in a way to the OPEC but this organisation unites Arab countries that export oil internationally. Today, the OAPEC is rather political than economic organisation. The UAE membership in the OAPEC is the manifestation of its devotion to the Arab world and its aspirations to preserve the unity of Arab states, at least on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region. The OAPEC formally pursues similar goals that the OPEC but unites Arab countries only. This is the alliance of Arab states of the Gulf region mainly which have united their efforts to protect their economic and geopolitical regions in the world. The OAPEC allows them to elaborate the consolidate position in regard to current economic and political issues that member states face. Moreover, they can elaborate decisions and policies that can help member states to reach their international goals and gain some economic or political benefits. The UAE holds a strong position in the OAPEC and cooperates closely with other member states.

            In this regard, researchers (Shahbaz 630) reveal the close cultural background of the OAPEC member states. The OAPEC unites Arab countries that are culturally close to each other and such proximity of these countries allows them to conduct negotiations and take decisions more effectively compared to more diverse international organisations, including the OPEC. Moreover, the OAPEC helps Arab states to have the common ground in the OPEC that makes the role of Arab states in the OPEC almost determinant compared to other member states which do not have such strong back-up as do the OAPEC member states because Arab countries, which members of the OAPEC, may rely on other Arab member states in the OPEC. As a rule, Arab states have the common position in regard to main issues and policies discussed and elaborated by the OPEC.

            The United Nations is actually the most significant organisation that unites the overwhelming majority of countries of the world. The UN pursues multiple goals and has the complex structure. The UAE membership in the UN is strategically important because this organisation has unparalleled functions and performs extremely important role in the global politics, economy and culture. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the main goal of the UN is peacekeeping in the world. This is why the UAE membership in the UN opens wider opportunities for the country to enhance its national security because, in case of a military aggression against the UAE, the government may refer to the international support of the global community through the UN platform. The UN intends to protect nations from the aggressors and unite efforts of the global community to restrict the international military aggression. In such a situation, if the UAE becomes a victim to any sort of military aggression from the part of another state, the government may refer for the assistance of the global community via the UN.

            At the same time, the UN membership protects the UAE not only from the military aggression of other countries, but also the UN membership opens wider opportunities for the UAE to receive the immediate international assistance in case of a natural or man-made disaster, which the UAE cannot cope with on its own. The UN has already proved to be effective in addressing environmental and humanitarian crises in the world. At any rate, the UN can provide the assistance to nations in need of the urgent aid from the part of the international community. This is why if a disaster occurs, the UAE may count on the support of the global community, which can provide the humanitarian aid to the UAE, including the supply of medicaments, technical aid, the supply of human resources, such as health care professionals, and other forms of international aid. 

            The foundations of the UAE foreign policy comprise good neighbourliness, understanding, and non-interference in internal affairs, as well as the amicable resolution of disputes (UAE, 3). These principles define the development of the foreign policy of the UAE. At the same time, the UAE government focuses on benefits, which the country may and does gain from such foreign policy. The maintenance of good neighbourliness is important for the development of positive international relations with neighbouring states. In such a way, the UAE government attempts to secure its borders from aggressive and hostile neighbours that may threaten to the national security and territorial integrity of the UAE. Non-interference in internal affairs is another important principle of the current foreign policy of the UAE. The UAE focuses on the non-interference to maintain positive relations with its neighbours and major players in the Gulf region. In such a way, the development of strong and positive relations of the UAE is grounded on the non-interference principle as one of the milestones of friendly relations with neighbours. 

            The principle of non-interference means that the UAE will not intervene into domestic policies of other countries and will not intervene whatever happens in other countries as long as what happens their remains within their national borders and does not affect the international community and the UAE, in particular. In such a way, the UAE government attempts to estrange from internal conflicts and internal affairs of other countries that will minimise risks of the involvement of the UAE into those conflicts, when they go beyond civil boundaries and transform into civil wars or other forms of social unrest.

            The amicable resolution of disputes is another fundamental principle of the UAE foreign policy which reveals that the UAE is traditionally oriented on the prevention of any military conflict. In terms of the foreign policy, this principle means that the UAE rather relies on diplomacy than on the brute military force. The amicable resolution of disputes makes peaceful talks the core tool used by the UAE in its international relations as well as this principle gives implications to peaceful domestic policies conducted by the UAE government since the government does not use force as long as the amicable resolution of disputes remains its priority. The development of peaceful resolution to disputes is the key to the prevention of violent, military conflicts of the UAE with its neighbours or other countries in international relations. By promotion of the amicable resolution of disputes, the UAE manifests its peacefulness and unwillingness to slip to the deployment of the military. The UAE stands on the non-violent ground in its international relations and its foreign policy focuses on the use of diplomacy above all rather than on the use of the military or other forces.

            Researchers (Khor 178) argue that the UAE was always concerned with the integration of the country in the international community. This trend derives from the economic and historical development of the UAE because isolationism is extremely dangerous and threatens to the survival of the UAE in the Gulf region as the independent state. To put it more precisely, the integration of the UAE into the global community became the necessity for the UAE from the foundation of the state because the country relied heavily on its international economic relations. The extensive international trade became the major driver of the economic growth of the UAE. Without international trade, the UAE would simply be unable to survive because the domestic economy is not self-sufficient and the country depends on international trade.

            From the beginning of the UAE’s statehood, the country focused on the export of oil which became the main source of income for the entire nation and provided the large share of the GDP. At the same time, the UAE needed western technologies and financial resources to launch the oil production and steadily increase the export of oil. In such a way, the export of oil became beneficial for the UAE and importers of the oil but it also encouraged the close integration of the UAE into the global community because such integration became the effective tool to the development of effective economic ties between the UAE and its partners abroad which helped the UAE to develop its oil industry, while the oil industry helped the UAE to accelerate its economic growth fast.

            The political environment also encouraged the UAE to develop the foreign policy oriented on the close international integration of the UAE into the global community. The Gulf region was historically the place of conflicts between different countries which involved not only local countries but also foreign powers, such as the UK or the US. The presence of influential powers and numerous threats to the national security of the UAE raised the problem of the development of effective foreign policy that could help the country to secure its position and protect its national interests. In the time of the Cold War, the UAE had to balance between the overwhelming impact of two superpowers, while now there are even a larger number of threats the country has to deal with, among which the threat from the part of Iran is the long-lasting threat that persists almost from the foundation of the UAE as an independent state. In such a context, the focus on the integration of the UAE into the global community was an effective strategy because it allowed the country to gain international support and find allies at the international level.

            Unlike its neighbours in the Gulf region, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, the UAE does not tend to the wide inclusion of religion into state policies and foreign affairs. On the contrary, even though the UAE does not separate the religion and state in domestic relations but the country attempts to avoid the overwhelming impact of religion on its foreign affairs. To put it more precisely, the UAE has never used religion, namely Islam, as the tool for the hidden agenda to push on other countries or to interfere into internal affairs of other countries. The UAE has never supported radical, extremist Islamist organisations or terrorist organisations and has never used Islam in its international relations as a tool of propaganda or cultural expansion. In this regard, it is possible to estimate that the UAE has separated religion and Islam in its foreign policy from the policy proper. In other words, even though religion and state go hand in hand in the UAE, the government has never used Islam for any hidden agenda or for any manipulations to influence other countries in any way. Any sort of religion cooperation or interaction at the international level from the part of the UAE lies in the sheer religious field and pursue no political or any other goals but religious ones.

            The UAE often supports nationalist groups and strives to enforce a Jeffersonian separation between institutionalized religion and politics, both domestically and abroad (Roberts 2). This is the distinct feature of the UAE that is particularly obvious in its foreign policy and international relations. The separation of religion and state is very important for the wider inclusion of the UAE into the global community, especially its democratic part because such separation is an essential norm for democratic states, while the close integration of religion and state may raise tension and serious problems in international relations of the UAE and other countries. At this point, it is possible to refer to the case of Iran which experiences substantial difficulties because of its theocratic regime established after the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

            The UAE views Iran as a serious threat to its national interests and security because of the militarist and aggressive rhetoric of Iranian authorities and leaders in regard to the UAE and its allies in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, and the world, such as the US. Such aggressive rhetoric of Iran naturally puts under a threat the UAE because the country shares the marital borderline with Iran and the aggressive policy and rhetoric of Iran raise the problem of the aggressive policy of Iran in relation to its neighbours and other countries of the Gulf region, including the UAE.

            The weapons acquisition program and works on the development of the nuclear weapon by Iran just increase risks and threats to the national security of the UAE. The UAE cannot feel safe, when the aggressive neighbour is enhancing its military potential and works on the nuclear weapon program. The aggressive rhetoric alone is dangerous but it is not as threatening as the real enhancement of the Iranian army, especially if Iran continues its nuclear weapon program. The enhancement of the military potential of Iran is the direct indication to the increasing threat from the part of Iran because the increased military potential will open opportunities for Iran to implement its aggressive rhetoric with the help of the military. In such a situation, the UAE may become a potential victim of such aggressive policy of Iran enhanced by the strong military power of the country.

            In this regard, the nuclear program of Iran is dangerous not only for the UAE but also for the international community. Today, the Iran’s nuclear program represents a threat to the international community because the successful completion of this program may lead to the appearance of one more country that possesses nuclear weapon. The neglect of human rights and democratic principles by Iran and the support of radical Islamist and terrorist organizations by Iran increases the risk of using the nuclear weapon by Iran as the weapon of mass destruction aiming at its opponents, including Israel and the US. In such a situation, the US cannot ignore the risk of the creation of the nuclear weapon by Iran and American intelligence should focus on the analysis of the Iran’s nuclear weapon to understand whether Iran is ready to create the nuclear weapon and at what stage the nuclear program of Iran is at the moment.

            Therefore, the US should enhance intelligence to collect and process information on the Iran’s nuclear program but the enhancement of intelligence should include the combination of the open source intelligence with the human intelligence, the measurement and signature intelligence, the geospatial intelligence, and the signals intelligence because the US intelligence can obtain the detailed information on the Iran’s nuclear program due to processing of the variety of data obtained from different sources, while the use of one intelligence strategy only can provide the US intelligence with erroneous and misleading information on the ground of which the US intelligence will be unable to make correct conclusions.

            In addition, the UAE has the territorial dispute over three islands in the Gulf region, including Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb (Gomory 178). The territorial dispute may be easily used by Iran as the pretext for the military aggression against the UAE because such disputes often become causes or pretexts for military aggression. The UAE may not be able to use its amicable resolution of conflicts principle in its foreign policy in regard to Iran because Iran may just prefer the deployment of the military to the diplomatic negotiation and resolution of the dispute over the three islands. The territorial dispute between the UAE and Iran is the potential threat which may become the real threat to the national security of the UAE. The problem aggravates in the context of the increasing threats and instability in the region. In such a situation, the development of the military potential of Iran increases risks and threats to the UAE and its national interests. In this regard, the prospect of the creation of the nuclear weapon by Iran may change the balance of power.

            Researchers (Cordesman 75) argue that one of the main reasons for the persisting confrontation between the UAE and Iran as well as between Iran and other Arab states is not just the ambitious foreign policy of Iran grounded on its imperialist past, but also there is substantial cultural difference between the UAE and Iran. To put it more precisely, religious differences between the UAE and Iran represent probably the major threat to the national security of the UAE and increase the risk of confrontation with Iran. At this point, researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1371) argue that even though the UAE and Iran are predominantly Muslim states with Islam as the dominant religion, they still stick to different movements in Islam.

            Iran stands on Shia ground, whereas the UAE stands on Sunni ground mainly. The different interpretation of Islam and different norms and traditions between Sunnis and Shiites expand the divide between the UAE and Iran. Iran is the theocratic state that makes religion the priority for the state, while the UAE tends to separate the state and religion. In such a situation, Iran attempts to support Shiites in other states using all possible means, including the support of organisations, which other states recognise as terrorist organisations. In this regard, the support of Shiites by Iran in Iraq is particularly significant because these countries are neighbours and have long lasting history of conflicts, including the war.

            However, other countries, including the UAE are also vulnerable to the infiltration of Shiites community with Iranian intelligence agents and creation of organisations backed up by Iran. Such organisations may and do slip to terrorist activities and undermine the stability in their home countries. In such a situation, the UAE is also vulnerable to the threat of the radicalisation of the Shia community. Concerns of the UAE about the possible radicalisation of its Shia community and its vulnerability to the impact of terrorist organisations and Iran became obvious, when the UAE government decided to expel Lebanese Shia residents from the country without any explanations just because they were “unwanted” in the UAE anymore (The New Arab, 1). This step made by the UAE government revealed the fear of the Shia community by the UAE authorities but the government response to the potential threat was quite controversial. Remarkably, this deportation was not the only one sanctioned by the UAE government since the government already deported even more Lebanese from the UAE in 2009 (The New Arab, 6). Such deportations affect the Shia community and reveal the attempt of the UAE government to limit the impact of the Shia community on the UAE. The last deportation is particularly noteworthy because of the increased tension between Sunnis and Shiites in the Gulf region and emerging terrorist threats.

            Instead, the government could focus on the investigation of suspicious activities and stop activities of terrorist organisations in the UAE, if there are any activities identified. Such policy would help the UAE to maintain positive relations with other states, such as Lebanon, and maintain its positive image in the world. In addition, this policy would enhance the domestic security and prevent the radicalisation of the Shia community because its members would not feel being outcasts, who may be deported from the country anytime without any objective reason.

            Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is one of the major threats to the UAE that urges the country to look for the international support and instruments, both diplomatic and military, to suppress ISIS which destabilises the region and creates threats to the economic development of the UAE. Researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1372) argue that ISIS is a new type of terrorist threat that have emerged independently of Iran. ISIS is the radicalisation of Sunnis in the Arab world and their terrorist organisations aim at the creation of the new Islamist state which stands on the Sunni ground in contrast to Shia Iran, which is another Islamist state which already exists and plays an important part in the Gulf region. ISIS is a new type of Islamist state because it emerges from radicalisation of Muslims in such countries as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and others. ISIS and related terrorist organisations are radicalised Islamist movements with Sunni background. Their threat can hardly be underestimated for the UAE because these organisations and their representatives cannot be identified on the ground of their religious background as is the case of Lebanese Shiites in the UAE.

            On the contrary, representatives of such organisations are among the Sunni majority of the UAE and other Arab countries. Proponents of ISIS join the related terrorist organisations from all over the world and the UAE faces substantial difficulties with the identification of terrorists from the Sunni majority. In such a situation, the diversified foreign policy becomes virtually essential for the UAE to get possibly larger information about the network of terrorist organisations related to ISIS, their members and other relevant information. Such information may help the UAE to confront terrorist threats more effectively and prevent the rise of terrorism on its own territory. Therefore, international relations and the diversification of international contacts may help the UAE to confront the ISIS threat more effectively than it does at the moment.

            At the same time, the UAE government views the Muslim Brotherhood as one of the main threats to the national security and the existing political system and social order. While the Muslim Brotherhood enjoyed a lot of freedom and influence in the early 1960s and 1970s, its popularity was dealt a sharp blow in the 1990s after the government became highly suspicious of its alternative motives (Silke 108). To put it more precisely, the UAE government became suspicious of the potential attempt of the Muslim Brotherhood to change the existing political system and overthrow the government in the UAE to replace it by its own.

            However, researchers (Silke 112) argue that the threat from the part of the Muslim Brotherhood has started to emerge in the 1960s – 1970s, when the global movement of the Brotherhood decided to invade the UAE and other Gulf states, through recruiting students who studied abroad. Those students operated secretly through front organisations like mafia-style gangs, money-laundering and espionage rings (Stern 189). The emerging threat from the part of the Muslim Brotherhood urged the UAE government to undertake steps to restrict operations of this organisation in the UAE. As a result, the UAE government and law enforcement agencies have started the prosecution of Muslim Brotherhood members in the UAE.

            The organisation became illegal in the UAE that means that the UAE government legally banned the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2014 alone, there were thirty members of the Muslim Brotherhood arrested and convicted in the UAE. Thirty people accused of links to the Muslim Brotherhood, and charged with setting up a branch of the organisation in the UAE, were sentenced by the State Security Circuit at the Federal Supreme Court to jail terms ranging from three months to five years. The verdicts were issued in the presence of 24 accused. Six others were sentenced in absentia (Kepel 200). Such steps show the boldness of the UAE government to stop any activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country because the government views the Muslim Brotherhood as the organisation that threatens to the national security of the country, although the Muslim Brotherhood is the international organisation and operates in many countries of the world.

            The prosecution of the Muslim Brotherhood was a response of the UAE government to the large scale impact of the movement on UAE citizens and its attempts to build up the Islamist type of state and unite Muslims at the international level. However, the achievement of such goals inevitably involves the destruction of the existing political system and social order in Arab states, including the UAE, where the Muslim Brotherhood used to operate virtually from the foundation of the state. The UAE government became aware of the potential danger of the Muslim Brotherhood as its impact on politics, education and religion has started to grow stronger in the UAE. Moreover, the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian social unrest and revolution has probably become an important argument in favour of the strict prosecution of members of the movement in the UAE because the government was unwilling to confront similar problems as the Egyptian authorities have faced from the part of the Muslim Brotherhood. At any rate, the UAE government preferred to ban the Muslim Brotherhood rather than wait for any social turmoil being triggered by the Muslim Brotherhood.

            Other terrorist organisations, such as Al-Qaeda, also represent a serious threat for the UAE and its allies and force the UAE to look for assistance of its international partners. At the same time, the UAE also takes an active part in the anti-terrorist struggle and coalitions that aim at the suppression of terrorist organisations in the region as well as in the world. Researchers (Cordesman 98) argue that Arab states are home states for such terrorist organisations as Al-Qaeda. For example, Al-Qaeda originates from Saudi Arabia (Parakandi & Behery 1372). Researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1373) explain the rise of terrorist organisations in the Middle East derives from the religious radicalisation of society and persisting social injustice which enhances the radicalisation of the population.

            In this regard, the UAE is not an exception because there is the clear distinction between citizens and non-citizens which hold absolutely different position in society and such divide creates favourable conditions for the radicalisation of the UAE society. Moreover, the UAE tends to certain westernisation, while the current focus of the UAE on the development of the tourism industry accelerates the westernisation of the country even more. The foreign policy of the UAE was also vulnerable to the impact of westernisation and was traditionally in the avant-garde of the westernisation of the country. This is why the traditionalist part of society may also slip to radicalisation to stop the further westernisation of the UAE and related changes in the lifestyle of people, their values and other issues. At this point, it is possible to refer to the case of the Islamic Revolution in Iran which took place in response to the accelerated westernisation of Iran by the ruling regime of Shah. His attempt to westernise the nation raised a strong opposition within Iranian society and led the nation to the rebellion and expel of Shah.

            Hypothetically, the UAE may experience the similar problem, if the UAE society slips to the further radicalisation, the government continues its policy oriented on westernisation, while its foreign policy focuses on the development of closer ties with western countries or the US only. Such foreign policy as well as domestic policy of the UAE government may evoke the negative response in society and cause the social unrest that may lead to similar outcomes as was the case of the Shah regime in Iran.

            If social protests grow excessively strong, while terrorist organisations launch large scales activities in the UAE, the country may face serious problems that may threaten to the survival of the UAE as an independent and unified state. This is why the diversification of the foreign policy may be beneficial for the UAE because it will not only help the country to find new allies and enhance its struggle against terrorist organisations, but also such a change will decrease the trend to westernisation and make the UAE foreign policy multi-vectored that means that it will  not focus on the development of close ties with the US and other western countries only but also with other countries, including emerging economies like China, India, and others. Such diversification will also affect the economic development of the UAE, development of cultural relations and overall development of the country by making them more diverse. On the other hand, the diversification of the foreign policy is just a part of the prevention strategy the UAE should develop since researchers (Khor 182) argue that terrorism is still one of the major threats that requires efforts in different fields from foreign policies to internal affairs, legislation, law enforcement, culture and others.  

            In response to the growing terrorist threat, the UAE joined the anti-terrorist coalition headed by Saudi Arabia and consisting of 34 Muslim countries that agreed to share intelligence information and deploy military, if necessary (Gomory 147). The agreement comprises an important part of the foreign policy of the UAE and proves the readiness of the country not only to share information related to terrorist organisations and activities but also to deploy troops, if necessary. In other words, the UAE manifests its readiness to take a proactive stand in the struggle against terrorism.

            At the same time, the UAE attempts to confront existing threats not only in terms of political or military alliances and enhancement of international relations in the field of politics or military but also in the field of economy. In this respect, the UAE is the member-state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a political and economic union of Arab states of the Arab Gulf (Danaher 144). The Gulf Cooperation Council is an important economic alliance which contributes to the development of the economic cooperation between member-states. The economic cooperation involves the elimination of trade barriers between countries and stimulates their economic growth as the trade between them progresses. Also member-states focus on the elimination of any barriers in the development of stronger economic ties. The creation of the GCC is important in terms of the maintenance of the competitive position of the UAE economy in the regional and global market.

            At the same time, the UAE focuses not only on the regional but also on the global market and integration into the global economy. The UAE is the member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since 1996. The membership in the WTO is important for the UAE integration into the global economy because it eliminates trade barriers between the UAE and other member-states. In such a way, the UAE has got an opportunity to trade internationally without substantial barriers which exist in the trade with countries that are not WTO members. The UAE economy is oriented on export because the export of oil comprises an important part of the national GDP.

            Moreover, as oil resources become scarce, the UAE refocuses on the development of tourism industry which is also oriented on international tourists mainly. This means that the UAE economy remains and will remain dependent on the situation in international markets and its openness to international markets is extremely important. If the UAE tourism market is available to international tourists, then the UAE economy will keep growing and, on the contrary, barriers for the free movement or closeness of the UAE tourism market will slow down the economy growth of the UAE. The openness of the UAE economy and its close integration into the global economy contributes to the diversification of the UAE economy because foreign investors develop different industries. What is even more important, the close integration into the global economy contributes to the flow of capital, human resources and technologies to the UAE which boost its economic development and diversify its economy.

            At the same time, researchers (Khor 185) argue that the economic integration of the UAE into the GCC or the WTO would be impossible without the extensive political support and the foreign policy oriented on the integration of the UAE into those organisations. The foreign policy is essential for the development of economic ties of the UAE with other countries and its membership in the GCC and the WTO. The UAE needs to gain the political membership in these organisations first, to adapt its national legislation to international standards and undertake other political and legal changes essential for the membership of the UAE in those organisations and, thus, open the way for the economic integration of the country, eliminate barriers between countries and provide the UAE economy with an opportunity for the development of free trade and business development with other nations. Therefore, the foreign policy creates the political ground and framework for the development of economic relations at the international level. The foreign policy serves as the bridge to the UAE economy and economies of other countries.

            Moreover, at the moment, researchers (Khor 187) argue that the UAE has to diversify its foreign policy even more to accelerate the further integration of the UAE economy at the regional and global levels. The UAE have an opportunity to eliminate existing trade barriers and integrate deeper into the global economy by signing bilateral free trade agreements with different countries of the world as well as by participation in regional free trade agreements. The diversification of the foreign policy may open new business contacts for the UAE businesses and attract foreign direct investments to the UAE. In other words, the diversification of foreign policy can bring positive effects to the economic development of the country.

            The major overseas ally of the UAE is the US and their partnership is strategically important for both countries and enhances the position of the UAE in the region. The UAE-US alliance enhances the security of the UAE in the region, especially in face of the threat from the part of Iran. The development of international relations with the US is very important for the UAE because their partnership contributes to the development of different fields and is strategically important for the UAE. To put it more precisely, the UAE develops the strategic partnership with the US in the field of politics, military and economy. The further enhancement of the partnership between the UAE and the US is very important because it opens wider opportunities for the UAE to gain a strong ally at the international level in political terms. The development of political partnership helps the UAE to use the USA as a powerful ally in the confrontation with Iran and pressure from the part of Iran. In this regard, researchers (Gomory 192) point out common interests of the US and the UAE in regard to Iran because they view Iran as the major threat to national interests of the UAE as well as to interests of the US in the region. The enhancement of the position of Iran threatens to close allies of the US, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Also Iran interferes into internal affairs of other countries in the region, including Syria and Iraq. Moreover, Iran supports organisations, which the US and the UAE recognise as terrorist organisations. This is why the US and the UAE unite their efforts in the struggle against Iran. The US is a powerful ally that enhances the position of the UAE in the region. This alliance gives the UAE the geopolitical power in the region and serves as a powerful restriction for the direct aggression from the part of Iran.

            However, the UAE-US partnership involves not only the common struggle against Iran but also common efforts of the UAE and the US in their struggle against terrorism. Traditionally, the US was one of the world’s leaders in the struggle against terrorism. Moreover, at the moment, the US is the only superpower in the world and its support is pivotal for the UAE security including the prevention of the threat of terrorism in the country. This is why international efforts of the UAE in the development of closer ties with the US are particularly important for the national security of the UAE at the moment.

            Anyway, the US is one of the largest markets in the world and the traditional trade partner of the UAE, especially as the importer of the UAE oil. This is why the ongoing economic cooperation is strategically important for the UAE economy. The UAE can maintain its economic growth due to the close collaboration with the US. Moreover, the economic partnership with the US can draw American investments to the UAE that will boost the economy growth of the country. Also, the enhancement of economic ties will open American markets for investors from the UAE. At the moment, the US is one of the major trade partners of the UAE and it is unlikely to change its position in the future (Khor 192). The development of economic relations of the UAE and the US are beneficial for the economic growth of the UAE.

            The technological cooperation with the US is also important for the UAE and companies based in the country because the UAE still depends on high technologies from developed countries like the US. This is why American companies can contribute to the development of knowledge-based industries in the UAE. The UAE-based companies can and do use advanced technologies available to them from American companies. In such a way, the UAE is interested in such cooperation and development of technological ties between American and Emirati companies because they contribute to the technological advancement of the UAE economy and enhancement of its competitive position in the global market. What is more important, the wider introduction of technologies and the development of knowledge-based industries in the UAE create conditions for long-run stable development of the UAE economy and its stable growth, even in case of the exhaustion of its oil deposits. This is why researchers (Gomory 188) agree that the UAE-US relations are strategically important for the foreign policy of the UAE and the overall economic and political development of the country.

            At the same time, the UAE focuses on the expansion of its international relations in the Middle East, but, at this point, it still fails to take a proactive stand in the resolution of an important and long lasting conflict between Arab states and Israel. Researchers (Foley 31) argue that the UAE supports the Arab-Israeli peace process, but its position is not proactive. To put it more precisely, the UAE supports the peace process but does not play the leading part in it. Nevertheless, such position of the UAE gives clear signals to the international community that the UAE stands for the peaceful process and resolution of existing conflicts. The UAE does not support the aggressive, military resolution of conflicts and is ready to deploy the military only in case of emergency, such as the assault of an enemy state, for example, Iran, or terrorist organisations.

            The peaceful process in the Arab-Israeli conflict is very important in the Middle East and for the UAE in particular, especially now. When there are other threats emerging in the Middle East, i.e. Iran and terrorist organisations, the UAE cannot afford another front line in the west, in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The new confrontation and the open military conflict between Arab states and Israel would inevitably involve the UAE as the country that has close ties with Arab states and international agreements with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that imply the mutual military support and operations in case of military conflicts engaging either nation. This is why the launch of a military conflict would require to increase military efforts of the UAE to participate in that conflict that will be another front line along with the struggle against international terrorism and the permanent threat from the part of Iran.

            Researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1374) warn that the UAE may just be unable to afford the struggle on three fronts: Arab-Israeli, terrorist, and Iranian. If the confrontation occurs simultaneously with Israel, Iran and terrorists, the UAE and the Arab coalition may face considerable difficulties in resisting these external threats and coping with their opponents. This is why the need of the further diversification of international relations and foreign policies of the UAE becomes evident. The UAE confronts numerous political and social threats to national security which may require extensive international support to suppress and to cope with. In such a situation, the reliance on neighbouring Arab states alone is not enough, especially taking into consideration current trends to destabilisation of the situation in many countries of the Arab world, including Iraq and Yemen.

            At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the UAE fails to take the active part in the final resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this regard, the UAE needs to diversify its foreign policy and try to take the lead in the resolution of this conflict. At any rate, the UAE may take the lead to accelerate the resolution of the conflict that will enhance the role of the UAE in the region as a peacemaker. For example, if the UAE manages to lead Arab nations and Israel to long lasting and stable peace and peaceful agreement, then the UAE would gain the international approval, while Arab nations would recognise the UAE as the regional effective peacemaker and negotiator that can resolve the most challenging international disputes and conflicts.

            However, to reach this end, the UAE has to change its foreign policy, to diversify it and to launch closer international relations and diplomatic relations with Israel. The UAE plays an important part in the GCC and its position is important for other Arab states. This is why the UAE may help to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict that haunts Arab states as much as it haunts Israel. Hence, the resolution of the conflict with the involvement of the UAE is possible, if the UAE government diversifies its foreign policy, while the resolution of this conflict is strategically important not only for the UAE but also for its allies in the region. If the Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved, then the UAE and its allies will not need to worry about the potential risk of the military conflict or any other form of confrontation with Israel. Instead, they may focus entirely on the major threats that may potentially undermine the national security of the UAE and its allies and the stability in the region, such as Iran and international terrorism.

            At the same time, the partnership with the EU is also strategically important for the UAE as the EU is one of the major world powers, especially in the field of economy. Researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1374) argue that, unlike the US, the EU does not play as much significant military role in the Gulf region as does the US, but its economic and technological impact is very significant as is the overall geopolitical role of the EU. In this respect, researchers (Shahbaz 630) place emphasis on the economic role of the EU in the world as well as the technological advancement of the EU. The EU economy is one of the largest economies in the world. This is why the EU market is potentially attractive for the UAE and the UAE should consider the development of closer international relations and economic cooperation with European countries. However, at the moment, the economic cooperation between countries remains relatively under-developed (Shahbaz 630). At any rate, the foreign policy of the UAE is still stumbling to develop close international relations with many European countries. In such a situation, the gap in the foreign policy of the UAE is obvious, taking into consideration the role of the EU in the world economy and the huge market, which they UAE may open for its companies.

            In economic terms, the acceleration of international relations and focus on the economic cooperation between the UAE and the EU is strategically important for the UAE. The EU is not just a huge market for UAE companies but also the EU may be one of the major sources of foreign direct investments that may flow into the UAE economy and boost local business development. The EU has substantial financial resources that may be invested into the UAE economy. At the same time, European companies own high, advanced technologies that may be used by the UAE-based companies to develop their business in knowledge-based industries as well as in the tourism industry which has become one of the priorities for the strategic development of the UAE economy. Researchers (Shahbaz 631) reveal certain under-development of the foreign policy of the UAE in its relations with the EU that also deprives the UAE of an opportunity to attract well-qualified labour force from Europe. Therefore, the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE may contribute to the enhancement of the cooperation between the UAE and the EU.

            In this regard, the UAE has developed active and close relationships with the UK but Brexit raises the problem of the further enhancement of international relations between the UAE and the EU. As the UK was one of the leaders in the development of closer ties with the UAE from the part of the EU, Brexit deprives the UAE of a reliable and influential partner in the EU. Hence, Brexit raises the problem of the further enhancement of its international relations with the EU.

            On the other hand, the UAE will preserve close ties and effective international relations with the UK. Moreover, some researchers (Shahbaz 632) argue that Brexit may have a positive impact on the development of the UAE-UK relationships. To put it more precisely, Brexit is likely to urge the UK to develop closer economic relations and free trade with other countries to compensate possible losses in European markets. In such a situation, the UAE may be an attractive market for the UK. British companies may be interested in the development of their business in the UAE, especially taking into consideration the history of their close collaboration in the past, especially in the oil industry and extensive experience of the UK-based companies not only in the oil industry but also in the tourism and knowledge-based industries. This is why the UAE and the UK are mutually interested in the development of their bilateral international relations and probably free trade. At any rate, both countries have a considerable economic potential and the further integration and enhancement of their cooperation are likely to have positive economic effects on the UAE as well as on the UK.

            Nevertheless, Brexit will still affect the UAE relationships with other EU countries because the UAE will virtually have to start those relationships from the beginning since the UK was the major partner of the UAE in Europe (Shahbaz 632). After Brexit, the UAE will have to start its international relations with the EU and find new strategic partners in the EU. However, to reach this goal, the UAE will need to diversify its foreign policy. The EU consists of 28 member-states which are reduced to 27 after Brexit, but the UAE have under-developed international relations with European countries, EU members but the UK. This is why the UAE will have to develop international relations with the EU members, including EU leaders, such as France, Germany and others. The development of new international relations requires the new foreign policy from the UAE and the government will need to diversify its foreign policy to establish effective international relations with EU countries and the union at large.

            At the same time, the successful foreign policy in relation to the EU will open great opportunities for the UAE economy and enhance the position of the country in the world. The EU is a powerful ally that may help the UAE to accelerate its economic growth and to gain a stronger political position. The EU is a very influential power in the world and such countries as Iran cannot just ignore the position of the EU or slip to the confrontation with the EU without the risk of substantial economic losses and other risks. The UAE as the ally of the EU may benefit from such partnership and gain access to new markets, technologies and gain other benefits.

            In addition, the UAE has other partners in the EU, such as France. The UAE relationships with France are particularly important because France is one of the leaders of the EU. In this regard, the partnership and the close collaboration between the UAE and France is strategically important for the former, especially after Brexit, which leads to the loss of another major partner of the UAE in the EU. The UK was the major partner of the UAE in the EU and so it will remain after Brexit but the UK will not have such influence on the EU anymore. Therefore France has the potential and capability to replace the UK as the major EU partner of the UAE.

            The cooperation of the UAE with France and new opportunities for the development of international relations with francophone countries reveal the full potential of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE. To put it more precisely, the UAE has had under-developed relations with France for a long time. International relations of the UAE with francophone countries in Africa were even worse (Khor 175). In such a situation, the development of closer ties with France and new efforts in the development of international relations with francophone countries worldwide open wide opportunities for the enhancement of the position of the UAE in Africa, where the country can gain considerable economic and political benefits. Africa suffers from backwardness which the UAE has overcome and now the UAE may use international relations with francophone countries in Africa to boost its economic growth and to find new markets for UAE businesses.

            The diversification of the foreign policy also allows the UAE to increase its political impact on Africa that may help the UAE to find new partners and allies in the region (Shahbaz 628). The close partnership of the UAE with African countries should not be underestimated because Africa becomes the territory vulnerable to the impact of terrorist organisations, including organisations that threaten to the national security of the UAE, such as ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood. Africa becomes a solid ground for such organisations because they find human resources and supporters in poverty-stricken countries, where people live in desperate conditions. Such countries and such people are easy to radicalise and involve in such organisations. This is why Africa and more specifically francophone Africa may become an important supplier of human resources for terrorist organisations and organisations that threaten to the national security of the UAE (Kepel 201).

            The international cooperation and close ties of the UAE with francophone African countries can help the UAE to enhance its struggle against organisations that threaten to its national security (Khor 179). For example, the UAE can count on the support of African countries in its struggle against ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood and other organisations. African countries can ban or, at least, struggle against such organisation that will help the UAE to cope with them and to secure the UAE population from terrorist attacks and activities of international organisations, such as Muslim Brotherhood. If the UAE struggles such organisations on its own, such struggle is virtually useless because they can expand their operations in Africa, for example. If African countries do not struggle against Muslim Brotherhood, then the organisation can keep growing and threatening to national interests of the UAE. The same is true for ISIS as well as any other terrorist organisation that threaten to national interests of the UAE.

            One of the effects of the increased international cooperation and close relations between the UAE and France is the participation of the UAE in the Organisation Internationale de Francophonie, where the country has got the status of observer in October 2010 (Shahbaz 631). The Organisation Internationale de Francophonie is the international organisation that primarily pursues cultural and humanitarian goals. However, the status of observer in this organisaiton is important for the UAE because it opens opportunities for the development of closer ties with francophone world which is not limited to France or Europe alone.

            Instead, the francophone world is much broader and unites many countries of the world, especially in Africa. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the UAE has under-developed international relations with African countries, especially Francophone ones (Gomory 215). This is why the wider involvement of the UAE in such organisations as the Organisation Internationale de Francophonie may help the UAE to penetrate Africa and develop closer international relations with francophone African countries. In this regard, the assistance of France is also very helpful for the UAE because francophone countries, especially in Africa, still view France as their leading nation which has a considerable impact on African countries, their politics and economic development.

            Some researchers (Foley 41) argue that the development of international relations and foreign policy of the UAE are under a strong impact of globalisation which affects not only economic but also political and cultural development of the UAE as well as other countries of the world. In actuality, globalisation has the determinant impact on the UAE as well as many other countries of the world. The development of free trade and the increasing economic interaction between nations contributes to the economic growth in global terms and opens larger business opportunities for companies based in different countries of the world. In such a situation, countries that take an active part in the economic integration and that participate in free trade agreements have better opportunities to increase their global market share and enhance their competitive position in the global economy compared to countries that attempt to enclose their economies or focus on the domestic market only (Parakandi & Behery 1375).

            The process of globalisation contributes to the closer and deeper integration of the UAE into the world economy. At the same time, the UAE’s economic development depends on the oil production because oil production comprises an important part in the domestic economy of the UAE and a large share of the export of the UAE. Moreover, today, as the UAE develops the tourism industry, this industry also depends on international markets because the UAE focuses on the attraction of international tourists. Knowledge-based industries also depend on and benefit from the integration of the UAE into the global economy because of the wider access of the UAE-based companies to advanced technologies.

            In addition, the process of globalisation facilitates the development of the tourism industry which has become the priority for the economic development of the UAE and which accelerates the international economic and technological cooperation of the UAE with other countries of the world. The integration of the UAE economy into the global economy creates conditions for the effective and fast economic growth of the UAE. Globalisation opens opportunities for the UAE to access new markets and attract foreign direct investments.  At the same time, the foreign direct investments bring not only money to the UAE economy but also human resources and advanced technologies that contribute to the accelerate progress of the domestic economy. In such a way, researchers (Khor 165) argue that globalisation enhances the competitive position of the domestic economy of such countries as the UAE, if they manage to integrate into the global economy fast and take the full advantage of their competitive power and those industries, where they have a competitive advantage over other nations. For example, the UAE has the unique developments in the field of tourism. Globalisation allows the UAE to attract international tourists more successfully than other countries, which lack such unique developments as artificial islands in the Gulf. Such competitive advantages open opportunities for the UAE to attract customers from all over the world and to take its niche in the global tourism industry. Such advantages become particularly strong if there are no barriers between the UAE and other countries where target customers of the UAE-based companies live in. in this regard, globalisation eliminates any barriers on the capital, human resource, and goods movement and the UAE benefits from its advancements and competitive advantages and gains a strong position in the global economy. 

            On the contrary, if the UAE fails to integrate, the risk of the backwardness of the UAE economy emerges. Moreover, the UAE may simply lose its competitive advantage because other countries may take its niche in the global market. Hence, globalisation does not only open wide opportunities for the economic growth of the UAE but also raises certain threats. Researchers (Khor 197) identify the increased competition as one of the major risks associated with the development of globalisation. Companies operating internationally become stronger than domestic companies. Therefore, the UAE should also come prepared to the stiff competition with multinational enterprises.

            Globalisation and emerging threat from the part of Iran and terrorist organisations, many of which are backed up by Iran as well as the social unrest in neighbouring states or states located close to the UAE, such as Yemen, Iraq and others, urge the UAE to diversify its international relations and foreign policies to gain more allies at the international level to be able to confront existing and new threats that the country faces or may face in the future. The diversification of the foreign policy provide the UAE with an opportunity to find new allies as well as resolve existing conflicts or tension as is the case of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but the government should take the proactive stand to reach success in this field.

            The diverse foreign policy will help the UAE to establish new economic and political relations and prevent not only external but also internal threats (Foley 42). For example, the development of international relations with emerging economies and other developing countries will decrease the impact of westernisation of the UAE. At any rate, society will not view the foreign policy of the UAE and its domestic policy as the attempt of westernisation. Instead, the diversity of international relations of the UAE will prove that the UAE is just open to the cooperation with all countries of the world and stands on the universal values as well as preserves its traditional values.

            In such a way, the UAE government will decrease the risk of the radicalisation of the UAE society because of current allegations of the excessive westernisation of the UAE which results from the increasing cooperation and international relations of the UAE and the US and other western countries. Such diversification of the foreign policy will not only decrease the risk of the radicalisation of the UAE society but also decrease the risk of the rise of terrorist organisations in the country which emerge in the context of the radicalisation of society and widening gaps between the policy conducted by the officials and local traditions, culture and religion. Otherwise, the UAE may face the risk of the similar revolution as Iran faced in 1979, when forced westernisation triggered the Islamic Revolution in the country. 

            At the moment, the UAE sticks to its traditional foreign policy based on the respect of international legal norms and standards and the focus on peaceful resolution of possible conflicts between states and other issues that emerge in international relations of the UAE and other countries. This policy allowed the UAE to maintain the balanced position in regard to international affairs and to gain respect from the part of other countries.

            However, researchers (Foley 44) argue that the UAE has to change its foreign policy because the political and economic environment has changed and today is not the right time for one-sided foreign policy focused on traditional partners only. Instead, today the foreign policy should match the process of globalisation and become more and more diversified to make the UAE capable to address new challenges successfully and cope with long lasting challenges and threats as well.

            In such a situation, the UAE can benefit from stable relationships with its traditional partners such as Saudi Arabia. However, the changing economic and geopolitical environment and emergence of new threats urges the UAE to change its foreign policy. In this regard, the diversification of foreign policy is strategically important for the UAE and its position in the region and the world. The situation in the world and position of traditional allies of the UAE are changing and the UAE government should come prepared to those changes. The diversified foreign policy may help the country to change the situation for better and respond adequately to changes in the international environment of the UAE.

            Moreover, the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE is important for the national security because the use of diplomacy may help the UAE to avoid the unnecessary confrontation with other countries and prevent economic problems that may emerge if the UAE fails to diversify its foreign policy. For example, the focus of the UAE on its traditional partners may prevent other potential investors from investing their money into the UAE economy. In such a way, the one-sided approach to the development of foreign policy may threaten to the further development of the UAE and its economy and relationships with other countries. The diversity in the foreign policy will give the UAE government more tools to maintain the balance of the power in region and stability within the country.

            The diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE has already started to bring positive effects for citizens of the UAE. Researchers (Danaher 145) argue that the UAE passport is the strongest in the region because it grants UAE citizens with the visa-free access or easy access to many other countries, including neighbouring states.

            At the same time, it is worth mentioning that the UAE and the EU have signed bilateral agreement that simplified the procedure of obtaining visa and travelling to the territory of each other. To put it more precisely, the UAE has signed the visa waiver agreement exempting the UAE citizens from Schengen visa and making the UAE the first Arab country to receive such a visa waiver for its nationals (Khor 208). The creation of favourable conditions for the movement of human resources and travel of citizens of the UAE and the EU opens wide opportunities for the closer cooperation and interaction between the UAE and countries of the EU. The EU is a powerful ally which can bring the UAE not only economic but also political benefits and the enhancement of ties between the countries contributes to the improvement of the position of the UAE in the global politics as well as economy.

            In this regard, researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1378) distinguish several environmental issues that affect the UAE and that the UAE government has to take into consideration while developing its foreign policy. First, the UAE government has to come prepared to deal with the growing criticism from the part of the world community of the oil production and oil-related industries and countries exporting oil worldwide, such as the UAE. The criticism of the oil industry urges well-developed countries to shift toward sustainable development and environment friendly technologies, including the use of renewable sources of energy (Parakandi & Behery 1378).

            In addition, the UAE government should also come prepared to the problem of the global climate change which affects the UAE as well as the rest of the world. The global climate change is a serious challenge and the UAE cannot cope with effects of this environmental change without the assistance of the international community. In fact, this problem requires efforts of the global community and the UAE foreign policy should address this issue. In this regard, the diversification of the foreign policy is essential for the UAE because the UAE cannot focus on its OPEC membership and interests only but instead the government should consider the environmental footprint of its oil-related business and undertake steps to decrease the negative environmental impact of its oil industry.

3.   Methodology

            The current study focuses on the analysis of the foreign policy of the UAE and possible effects of the diversification of its foreign policy in light of existing challenges and threats that affect the country. In this regard, the choice of the methodology of the study depends on its purpose. As the primary concern of the study is the qualitative evaluation of the impact of the foreign policy of the UAE on challenges and threats the country has to deal with, the use of the qualitative methods of study is the best choice. To put it more precisely, the current study will focus on the use of the qualitative methods to investigate current threats and challenges which the UAE confronts and its foreign policy. The evaluation of the UAE foreign policy will be conducted from two perspectives. First, the analysis of the foreign policy of the UAE will be conducted on the ground of the current foreign policy and the key principles used by the UAE in its international relations, including the principle of non-interference, peaceful resolution of conflicts and maintenance of good relations with neighbouring states. Second, the UAE foreign policy will be conducted in the context of its diversification.

            At this point, the study will focus on the application of both foreign policy strategies to existing challenges and threats. Therefore, the methodology of the current study should provide adequate tools to identify and to evaluate challenges and threats the UAE has to deal with. In this regard, the use of the qualitative methods is apparently the best option because qualitative methods allow conducting the adequate assessment of existing threats and identification of the most dangerous one which the UAE should address in the first turn. To put it more precisely, the UAE may and actually does face numerous threats. In such a situation, the methodology should provide opportunities for the evaluation of those threats and assessment of their possible impact on the stability of the UAE, its national security and economic development. 

            Methods used in terms of the current study involve surveys and secondary sources analysis which provide the information on the key threats the UAE face at the moment and provide data for the further analysis and evaluation of those threats. Also these methods provide the information on current foreign policies of the UAE as well as give insight into possible effects of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE, although the latter relies on assumptions mainly but it is possible to draw possible consequences of diversification through the identification of currently under-developed international relations of the UAE in terms of economic and political ties.

            At the same time, the use of the secondary data raises some problems and limitations of the current study. The use of secondary data should be selective to ensure that the secondary data used in the course of the study are reputable and reliable. In such a situation, it is important to avoid the use of the data from unreliable resources which are resources of the unknown origin or resources that have the low reliability in scientific terms. This is why the current study will focus on the use of peer-reviewed journal articles and books, official websites and other sources representing the position of the UAE and other officials related to the problem investigated in terms of the current study, news agencies and other reputable sources, such as Al-Jazeera, the Guardian, Santander, BBC, and others.

            Another limitation of the study is the persisting risk of subjectivity of the data analysis because the data collected in the course of the study have to be processed and interpreted objectively. To achieve the higher degree of the objectivity, the detailed analysis of the secondary data may help because such analysis will represent different views on the problem investigated in the course of the study. In such a way, the researcher will be able to identify some common problems which other researchers have already identified or indicate as possible problems that may occur to the UAE. The evaluation of the foreign policy of the UAE and its effectiveness may be conducted on the ground of the historical development of the UAE and analysis of the correlation between foreign policies conducted by the UAE and its effects. Also it is possible to forecast effects of the diversification of the foreign policy on the ground of the secondary data analysis. 

            The use of the qualitative methods only may be another limitation of the study because the statistical analysis and the use of other quantitative data may be helpful for the more detailed analysis and study of the foreign policy of the UAE and possible effects of its diversification. The quantitative analysis may help to compare the military power of Iran and the UAE, for example. However, the collection of such data is challenging in terms of obtaining accurate data. In other words, data collected in this field may be inaccurate. Therefore, the use of quantitative methods may put under a question the reliability of the entire study. This is why it is still better to choose qualitative methods of the study instead of the quantitative ones.

            The current research is the qualitative research that focuses on surveys and the analysis of the secondary data concerning the main problem of the study which is the foreign policy of the UAE and its possible diversification in face of existing threats and challenges the UAE confronts. In actuality, the UAE confronts a number of challenges varying from the tightening competition in the global economy, exhausting oil deposits, need of the diversification of the UAE economy to the threat of international terrorism along with the persisting threat from the part of Iran. In such a situation, the UAE face the problem of the elaboration of effective foreign policy that would allow the country to maintain its competitive position in the globalised economy, on the one hand, and to gain extensive international support to address existing threats and challenges effectively. In such a situation, the reliance on traditional partners, such as Saudi Arabia, alone is not enough.

            Instead, the UAE has to develop more diversified foreign policy to reach other major players in the global economy and politics, including such countries as the US, the UK, the EU and others, which have already become the priority partners in the development of foreign policy by the UAE. This is why the study will focus on the investigation of this problem and its detailed analysis will help to prove the hypothesis that the diversification of foreign relations can help the UAE to expand the scope of its international support and partnership by gaining new allies to confront existing threats and challenges together and to cope with them successfully. More specifically, the integration of the UAE into the global economy through the Gulf Cooperation Council and the World Trade Organisation as well as other free trade agreements can open larger economic opportunities for the UAE to gain a larger share in the global market.

            The political, military and technological cooperation with leading powers in the Gulf region and the world can help the UAE to confront such threats as international terrorism as well as the persisting threat from the part of Iran to the UAE’s territorial integrity and national security at large. Therefore, the diversification of the foreign policy form the part of the UAE would enhance its position in the world as the major economic and political power of the Gulf region that can count on extensive support from the part of the major world powers in case of any threat to its national security.  The identification of the main problem of the study will facilitate the elaboration of the main research question and the formulation of the thesis statement of the study. The hypothesis will lead to the formulation of the thesis statement that will mirror the essence of the hypothesis and uncover the main goals and assumptions of the current study.

            As the main problem and hypothesis of the study are clear, the study will include the literature review. The literature review focuses on the analysis of literature dedicated to the main problem of the current study and related issues. In this regard, the literature review should not be limited to the foreign policy analysis only or to the study of literature concerning foreign policies conducted by the UAE and its neighbours. Instead, the literature review should include the broad scope of studies that help to identify the main problems the UAE faces at the moment and its foreign policies. In such a way, the literature review will help to identify possible correlations between the current development of the UAE, challenges and threats the country faces at the moment and the foreign policy conducted by the UAE government and its international relations.

            The scope of the current study focuses on the UAE and its international relations. To put it more precisely, the current study will involve the analysis of the current situation in the Middle East and international relations in the region but not only the analysis of the UAE foreign policy. The narrow scope of the study may raise the problem of the inadequate interpretation of the foreign policy of the UAE. To put it more precisely, the foreign policy of the UAE may seem to be good, when it is viewed from the UAE perspective only. However, if it is viewed in the context of international relations in the Middle East, then the assessment of the UAE foreign policy may be different.

            At the same time, there are processes that expand the scope of the study even more, such as the process of globalisation. Such processes may be narrowed down to the level of bilateral relations of the UAE through the analysis of its main trade partners, for example, and to the analysis at the regional level. In such a way, it is possible to conduct the detailed evaluation of the economic development of the UAE and its foreign policies in the context of the process of globalisation but with the focus on the UAE economy and challenges as well as benefits globalisation brings to the UAE. In such a way, the current study will stay focused on the UAE and its foreign policy in the context of actual challenges and threats which the UAE faces specifically, while the too broad scope of the study may mislead the researcher to the analysis of general problems, such as problems associated with the globalisation process in the world.

            Furthermore, the next step in the study is the elaboration of the methodology of the study based on the purpose of the study, the main research question, hypothesis and literature review. The methodology should comply with the purpose of the study and hypothesis as well as the overall scope of the research. The methodology should focus on specific problems and questions raised in the course of the study and lead the researcher to the definite answer to the main research question. In terms of the current study, the methods used in the study should lead to the specific answer concerning the effectiveness of the current foreign policy and possible effectiveness of the diversification of the foreign policy that may potentially mitigate existing risks and prevent existing challenges and threats to the national interests and security of the UAE and contribute to the stable development of the country in a long-run perspective. The methodology of the current study will involve the use of qualitative methods only, including surveys and secondary data analysis. Such a choice of methods of the study derives from the purpose of the study, problem researched and reliability and accuracy of the data available for the researcher.

            The next element of the current study is the data collection and data analysis. These elements of the study are crucial and closely intertwined because the data analysis will involve only the data collected in the course of the study. Prior experience or knowledge of the researcher concerning the problem should not be used to avoid the biased interpretation of the data collected in the course of the study.

            When data are collected and analysed, the researcher will arrive to the specific findings made in the course of the study. These findings should include the identification of specific threats and challenges the UAE faces at the moment. The preliminary analysis allows revealing such burning issues as the impact of globalisation on the economic development of the UAE, the problem of international terrorism, the persisting confrontation with Iran, environmental issues and some others. Findings should be very specific and identify concrete problems that affect the UAE as a state. At the same time, these problems and threats should be put in the context of the foreign policy of the UAE. In other words, the existing challenges and threats should be viewed in the context of the foreign policy of the UAE that means how they affect the foreign policy of the country and how the foreign policy of the UAE can address those problems and challenges or how it does address them at the moment. In such a way, findings will show not only current challenges and threats the UAE confronts but also possible gaps that the UAE foreign policy has in terms of addressing those challenges and threats.

            The secondary data analysis will allow conducting the assessment of the current international relations of the UAE. The secondary data will show the development of international relations of the UAE in the world, including the number of state, which the UAE has diplomatic relations with, their relationships, conflicts and other issues the UAE faces at the moment. Hence, the secondary data analysis will show the development of international relations of the UAE at the moment.

            In addition, the secondary data show that the development of international relations of the UAE confronts several challenges which affect the position of the UAE and urges the government to change the foreign policy. One of the major challenges the UAE confronts today is the growing threat from the part of Iran which is the major rival of the UAE in the region and the country that permanently threatens to the national security of the UAE. Iran reportedly threaten to the UAE and its territorial integrity, especially because of their dispute over the three islands in the Gulf. Also Iran enhances its military power and there is the persisting threat of the development and advancement of Iranian nuclear program that is the direct threat to the UAE and its national interests in light of the historical rivalry and confrontation between the UAE and Iran.

            Also, the UAE confronts another political challenge which is the enhancement of the position of new powers in the Gulf region, such as Iran and Russia, along with seeming weakening of the position of the US in the context of the civil war in Syria and the rise of the ISIS which the US-headed coalition has failed to defeat so far. As

            The major economic challenge for the UAE is the persisting dependence of the nation on the oil industry and situation in international markets. This challenge is two-fold.  On the one hand, the UAE suffers from the steep decline of oil prices that has occurred within 2015 and persists now. On the other hand, oil is scarce resource that means that the UAE is running out of oil steadily and the day will come, when the UAE will have simply nothing to sell at the international market. Therefore, there is the threat of the further deterioration of the situation in the oil market that will lead to the decline of the UAE’s economy dependent on the oil industry.

            Therefore, the UAE has to diversify its economy and, in this regard, the role of the foreign policy and international relations can hardly be underestimated. To put it more precisely, the diversification of the UAE economy involves the development of new industries, but the UAE does not have resources and technologies that allow the nation to develop new industries without collaboration with foreign companies and professionals. Hence, the UAE has to develop the economic, technological and other forms of cooperation with other countries and the collaboration with new countries, such as China, India and other emerging economies is particularly prospective. Such collaboration opens new markets and enhances the competitive position of the UAE in those markets, while new technologies received from western countries, such as the US or the UK, which are traditional partners of the UAE, can help the nation to diversify its economy and increase export to new, emerging markets.

            The social challenge the UAE confronts at the moment is the persisting threat of the radicalisation of the population or, at least, its Shiite part because the UAE is the predominantly Sunni nation, where Shiites comprise the minority. However, it is the Shiite minority that can potentially gain the extensive support from the part of Iran, which also stands on the Shiite ground. Therefore, the Shiite minority represents a potential threat to the stability of the existing social order and political system. If Shiite community starts struggling for the improvement of its position, then such struggle may lead to the social unrest, which may be extensively backed up by Iran. Moreover, the persisting threat from the part of terrorist organisations operating in the region increase the risk of the social unrest in the UAE even more, especially taking into consideration the outbreak of civil wars in Syria and Yemen located in the Gulf region.

            Furthermore, the proposed methodology will also contribute to the identification of the key international partners and allies of the UAE. Secondary sources will provide information on the main allies of the UAE in international relations and specific policies and partnerships, which the UAE has developed in relations with its allies, such as the US or Saudi Arabia.

            The identification of international partners is essential for the UAE to confront existing external threats, which include the threat from the part of Iran, terrorist organisations, and downturn in the oil industry of the UAE and the world. In this regard, the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE may be potentially helpful to address those threats because traditional partners of the UAE, such as the US also confront the growing pressure from the part of Iran and terrorist organisations and ISIS. Gaining support from other countries, such as Russia, China and others may help the UAE to mitigate external risks from the part of Iran, while the expansion of the anti-terrorist coalition may help the UAE to cope with the persisting threat of international terrorism.

            Iran remains to be the major rival of the UAE in the region as well as the world. The UAE has managed to develop strong ties and close international relations with Arab countries of the Gulf which provided the UAE with a strong back-up in the rivalry with Iran. However, the UAE cannot confront Iran on its own. Therefore, the nation needs the international support in case of the military conflict with Iran. This external threat haunts the UAE and urges the government to invest substantial financial resources into the enhancement of the military power of the UAE and enhancement of the national security at all levels. The international cooperation is pivotal for the UAE in this field because the UAE can receive advanced technologies from developed countries to use in its national defence plans as well as the UAE may use the support of the international community in the rivalry with Iran.

            Current international relations and foreign policy of the UAE are not as effective as they used to be in the past because they cannot address the existing threats. In spite of stable international relations and consistency in the traditional foreign policy, the UAE turns out to be unable to eliminate existing threats. On the contrary they persist and grow stronger that means that the UAE needs to change its foreign policy. Otherwise, the foreign policy of the UAE will simply become ineffective. Today, the UAE sticks to its traditional international partners. At this point, it is possible to distinguish Arab countries of the Gulf region as the main partners of the UAE at the regional level. They are traditional partners of the UAE. They maintained friendly relationships with the UAE virtually from the foundation of the country. The UAE traditionally supported other Arab states, provided them with assistance, if needed, and received support from their part in response.

            At the same time, the UAE enhances its international relations with the major world powers, especially the US, which plays an important part in the Gulf region and the world. The UAE relies heavily on the economic, political, technological and military cooperation with the US because the US is the only superpower in the world at the moment and has advanced economy, technologies, military and its political role in the world is determinant. The support from the part of the US is important for the UAE national security because Iran, for example, is unlikely to launch the military assault against the UAE, if there is the high probability of the direct military intervention from the part of the US. Also positive international relations with the US are beneficial for the development of the UAE business and its expansion internationally. Also citizens of the UAE may benefit from such cooperation because they face fewer obstacles in case they travel or develop business in the US.

            In this regard, traditional international relations and close ties with the UK are also important for the UAE because the UK is one of the leaders in Europe and its position does matter in the EU, although the UK has determined to leave the EU. Nevertheless, the UAE can benefit from this partnership because the UK is influential in the global politics and economy. Also the UK can help to diversify the economic development of the UAE and opens wide opportunities for education of UAE citizens. The international cooperation of the UAE and the UK in the field of education is traditional and many UAE students obtain their higher education in UK universities.

            The UAE has to introduce changes in its foreign policy to come prepared and confront successfully persisting threats, including threats from Iran, international terrorists, and the threat of the economic downturn. The reliance on traditional partners cannot eliminate existing threats anymore. Instead, the UAE needs to find new solutions to problems that threaten to its national security and interests. The need for changes derives from the growing threat of terrorist activities in the UAE, increasing pressure from the part of Iran and progressing globalisation which urges the UAE to boost and diversify its economic development to stay competitive in the global market. The UAE can count on the support from the part of international partners, but their position in the region does not grow stronger, as is the case of the US, for example, while threats persists or even grow stronger, as is the case of international terrorism. Hence the UAE needs changes in its foreign policy to gain more international support to address existing problems and external threats.

            The diversification of the foreign policy is potentially an effective solution to current problems and potential threats to the UAE and its national security and interests.  The diversification of the foreign policy may be the effective response to existing threats because the new policy will bring wider international support to the UAE. Also the diversification of the foreign policy will bring new opportunities for the UAE, especially in the field of economy due to the closer economic cooperation with emerging economies. Also the diversification of the foreign policy can help to address the problem of international terrorism through cooperation with African countries and other countries to suppress international organisations and their supply with human resources and training camps.

            Also, the secondary data analysis and case studies will help to conduct the assessment and evaluation of international relations of the UAE with its neighbours in the Gulf Region. The study of secondary sources will show how the UAE develops its relations with neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, and others. News reports, international agreements and issues covered in media may help to reveal the nature of relations of the UAE with its neighbours.

            At the same time, the secondary data analysis will be helpful in the identification of problems and challenges in international relations of the UAE, including the identification of opponents and major international threats to the UAE and its national security. Reports on problems of the UAE with other countries and conflicts the UAE is involved in or may be hypothetically involved in will uncover the main conflicts the UAE foreign policy has to deal with.

            The proposed methodology is effective in terms of the evaluation of possible effects of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE because the study of consequences of the diversification of foreign policies used by other countries as well as effects of current efforts to diversify the foreign policy by the UAE will help to identify the main effects of such diversification of the foreign policy.

            In addition, the secondary data analysis will help to conduct the assessment of the impact of the UAE foreign policy on the country and its citizens. The analysis of the position of the UAE in the world and benefits of current foreign policy for UAE citizens will be uncovered from secondary sources and reports that show international agreements and their benefits for UAE citizens, as well as the information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE.

            The hypothesis of the study holds the premise that the diversification of foreign relations can help the UAE to expand the scope of its international support and partnership by gaining new allies to confront existing threats and challenges together and to cope with them successfully. More specifically, the integration of the UAE into the global economy through the Gulf Cooperation Council and the World Trade Organisation as well as other free trade agreements can open larger economic opportunities for the UAE to gain a larger share in the global market. The political, military and technological cooperation with leading powers in the Gulf region and the world can help the UAE to confront such threats as international terrorism as well as the persisting threat from the part of Iran to the UAE’s territorial integrity and national security at large. Therefore, the diversification of the foreign policy form the part of the UAE would enhance its position in the world as the major economic and political power of the Gulf region that can count on extensive support from the part of the major world powers in case of any threat to its national security.

            To test this hypothesis is important for the study and its reliability and validity. The testing of the hypothesis will include the identification of supportive facts from the secondary sources that prove benefits of the diversification of the foreign policy. Also., the hypothesis will be tested through the analysis of current threats and the ability of the UAE to confront them on its own or by relying on existing allies and international relations conducted in terms of the foreign policy of the UAE.

            The discussion part of the study should involve the further analysis and interpretation of results of the study and findings made in the course of the study. To put it more precisely, the discussion section should refer to the foreign policy gaps identified in the course of the study and address them from the perspective of the diversified foreign policy being applied by the UAE. The application and further analysis of the diversified foreign policy and its impact on the major challenges and threats the UAE confronts will reveal the overall effectiveness of the diversified foreign policy of the UAE compared to its current foreign policy and its effectiveness. Each challenge and threat identified in the findings part will have to be analysed in the context of the diversified foreign policy of the UAE. Such analysis will give answers to the main research question and supposedly prove the righteousness of the hypothesis and thesis statement of the current study.

            The discussion section will be followed by the conclusion and recommendations section where the main conclusions of the current study will be made along with possible recommendations on the foreign policy to the UAE. The development of the succinct and clear conclusions will help to provide specific and effective recommendations concerning the foreign policy of the UAE. In this regard, conclusions will focus on the major challenges and threats the UAE has to deal with at the moment, its current policies and possible effects of the diversified foreign policy. The main recommendations made in the result of the current study is likely to be the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE because this change in the foreign policy is likely to address existing challenges and threats more effectively than the current foreign policy of the UAE.

            Also the concluding section of the current study will include implications for further studies based on findings made in the course of the study. This part is also very important because findings made in the course of the current study may be useful not only for the UAE but also for other countries of the Gulf region and countries which are in the similar position as the UAE. Anyway, the novice aspect of the current study will be helpful for future studies. The diversification of the foreign policy is one of the main innovative approaches which may be applied to the foreign policy of the UAE as well as other states in the Gulf region, where traditional alliances and coalitions are very strong and even rigid. This is why the current study will give insights toward the further development of the UAE, its foreign policy as well as international relations in the Middle East.

4.   Analysis of data

            The data collection is an important part of the current study that will focus on the main research questions posed in the course of the study. The data collection will focus on the collection of the secondary data that are relevant to the topic of the study and thesis of the study. Therefore, the data collection of the current study focuses on the secondary data related to the current foreign policy of the UAE and challenges and threats that the country confronts. The data collection should help to determine with the current foreign policy of the UAE is effective or not and how the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE may increase its effectiveness in terms of the resolution of existing problems and prevention of existing threats.

            General challenges the UAE has to confront in terms of economy, politics, or social issues are diverse. Today, the UAE confronts a number of challenges varying from the tightening competition in the global economy, exhausting oil deposits, need of the diversification of the UAE economy to the threat of international terrorism along with the persisting threat from the part of Iran. In such a situation, the UAE face the problem of the elaboration of effective foreign policy that would allow the country to maintain its competitive position in the globalised economy, on the one hand, and to gain extensive international support to address existing threats and challenges effectively. In such a situation, the reliance on traditional partners, such as Saudi Arabia, alone is not enough. Instead, the UAE has to develop more diversified foreign policy to reach other major players in the global economy and politics, including such countries as the US, the UK, the EU and others, which have already become the priority partners in the development of foreign policy by the UAE. Briefly, the major challenges that the UAE confront may be narrowed down to several fields.

            First, the UAE confronts challenges in the field of economy because the UAE depends on international markets. In this regard, the process of globalisation has a particularly significant impact on the UAE. On the one hand, globalisation opens new markets for the UAE products and businesses, but, on the other hand, the dependence of the UAE on international markets can affect the stability of its domestic economy in case of instability in international markets. Anyway, globalisation and focus of the UAE on international markets apparently urges the deeper integration of the UAE into the global economy and the foreign policy of the UAE should facilitate the process of this economic integration. Also, the UAE faces external threats from the part of Iran and terrorist organisations. In addition, the UAE confronts environmental issues, which though are common not only for the UAE but also other countries of the world. Environmental issues may be not obvious as threats to the national security but they do affect the quality of life of the UAE population, while the foreign policy is also important for the resolution of these issues and minimisation of their negative impact on the UAE.               

            In this regard, the analysis of the economic data is particularly important because the economic development affects the UAE political development and its position in the Gulf region. Moreover, the contemporary economic development of the UAE is vulnerable to the impact of globalisation and the economy is the major driver of globalisation and related changes in the world and specific countries like the UAE. At this point, the use of the secondary data concerning the international trade of the UAE is particularly noteworthy because such data will give insight into the trade relations of the UAE and significance of economic relations with specific countries for the UAE (See App.). To put it more precisely, the high share of certain countries in the international trade of the UAE will show their significance for the country and its national interests.

            The analysis of the UAE international trade will help to evaluate whether the current foreign policy is adequate or not and whether the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE is needed. The brief analysis of the current international trade data gives implications to certain gaps in the foreign policy of the UAE. For example, China and India are among the major importers from the UAE that means that these countries are strategically important for the UAE economy and therefore its national interests, but the UAE focuses its foreign policy on Arab states, the US and the EU mainly. In such a context, the diversification of its foreign policy seems to be essential and effective in terms of the prevention of possible risks and threats the UAE face at the moment. Therefore, the comparison of the current foreign policy of the UAE and the potential and possible effects of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE reveal which strategy is more effective in terms of addressing and prevention of existing challenges and threats to the UAE national security and stable development of the country.

            In this respect, the analysis of available secondary data and the preliminary literature review reveal that the UAE is exposed to such challenges as globalisation, international terrorism, and the persisting threat from the part of Iran, environmental issues and others. All the threats and challenges will be processed and analysed in details. The evaluation of each challenge and threat will be conducted in terms of their possible impact on the national security, stability and the future development of the UAE. For example, the threat from the part of Iran is very challenging and dangerous. Many experts (Parakandi & Behery 1378) evaluate this threat as very dangerous.

            Moreover, military experts (Parakandi & Behery 1379) argue that the UAE is unable to confront Iran on its own. Therefore, this threat is extremely dangerous and, therefore, the foreign policy of the UAE should be analysed in terms of its effectiveness to address this threat successfully. Secondary data provide detailed information on the confrontation and capacity of the UAE and Iran in case of their military conflict. Also secondary data reveal the possible back-up of the UAE from the part of its allies, while Iran is likely to take part in the conflict on its own. The further detailed analysis will show the extent to which the current foreign policy of the UAE is effective, but the reliance on Arab states and the US as major allies of the UAE is effective due to their substantial military power. At the same time, the application of the concept of the diversification of the foreign policy may help to find other ways to enhance the position of the UAE in the conflict with Iran and prevent the very possibility of the military confrontation between Iran and the UAE. For example, it is possible to evaluate the possibility of such military conflict, if the UAE diversifies its foreign policy and gains support of China or Russia in its attempts to constrain the aggressiveness and imperialist ambitions of Iran.

            The UAE should use all available tools to monitor military and nuclear activities of Iran. The open source intelligence (OSINT) should focus on open sources available, such as websites or other mass media, such as newspapers or television.  In this regard, it is possible to use western mass media, such as BBC, New York Times, and others, which convey diverse information related to the Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, it is necessary to use Iranian mass media to obtain more detailed information on the Iran’s nuclear program. For instance, it is possible to use Isis NuclearIran website. In addition, it is possible to use Iranian television to obtain some information from Iran directly. Also it is possible to use mass media based in the Middle East, such as Al Jazeera, for instance. The use of Iranian mass media, Middle Eastern mass media and western mass media can provide the US intelligence with different views and perspectives on the Iran’s nuclear program.  The analysis of mass media, websites dedicated to the Iran’s nuclear program may help to trace the evolution of the nuclear program and changes in Iranian policies.

            The human intelligence (HUMINT) should focus on the analysis of human resources available to Iran and its nuclear program. For instance, the immigration or employment of foreign professionals working in the field of nuclear power or nuclear technologies may imply the work of Iran on its nuclear program. The introduction of narrowly specialized education related to the nuclear power and weapon in Iranian higher education may be another indicator of the work of Iran on its nuclear program. Changes in human resources policies conducted by Iran in relation to its nuclear program can indicate to the progress or slowdown in the development of the program. For instance, the attraction of new professionals working in the field of nuclear power or military industry can indicate to the development of the nuclear program of Iran.

            At this point, the intelligence should focus not only on the enhancement of the staff working in the nuclear power industry but also in the military industry because the development of the nuclear weapon without the development of the missile capable to carry the nuclear weapon is pointless. In this regard, the HUMINT can enhance OSINT, since the latter can provide information on recent weapon testing conducted by Iran. For instance, recently, Iran has conducted tests of the new missile capable to reach Israel and even threaten to the US. Hence, Iran is likely to have the missile that can be used as the nuclear weapon, if the Iran’s nuclear program slips to the creation of the nuclear weapon. 

            Furthermore, the excessive use of informant and spies can help to obtain detailed information on the Iran’s nuclear program and its progress. In this regard, professionals working in the field of nuclear technologies and Iranian intelligence and security agencies should be key targets for HUMINT. The use of informants and spies can help the US intelligence to obtain up-to-date and accurate information in the current development of the Iran’s nuclear weapon. Informant and spies have access to the actual information on the Iran’s nuclear program and, more important, they can give insights toward its further development. The information on the future development of the Iran’s nuclear program can complement the information collected with the help of OSINT, MASINT, GEOINT, and SIGINT because informants and spies will provide information that official or open sources as well as technical equipment cannot provide the intelligence with.

            The measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) should be based on the nuclear intelligence along with the intelligence aiming at the revelation of the nuclear potential of Iran in economic and technological terms. The MASINT should focus on the measurement of technologies available to Iran and its prospects of creating nuclear weapon. The MASINT should identify accurately what resources Iran will need, how much resources may be needed, how much resources are available to Iran at the moment, and other relevant information. For instance, the creation of the nuclear weapon requires the use of the enriched uranium, U235. Therefore, the MASINT should evaluate whether Iran has deposits of uranium. Furthermore, the MASINT should also assess how many nuclear weapon items Iran can create, taking into consideration the amount of uranium available to or imported by Iran.

            The geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) can help to identify the location of facilities related to the Iran’s nuclear program and find out the transportation and infrastructure system maintaining those facilities. For instance, using the GEOINT, it is possible to track the traffic related to facilities involved in the Iran’s nuclear program. The location of facilities, where the nuclear program of Iran occurs is very important because there is the official location, where Iran is working on the nuclear power plant development but facilities destined for the development of the nuclear weapon may be hidden from the public eye and the international community may be unaware of their existence.

            The signals intelligence (SIGINT) should focus on the communication intelligence within Iranian army, political leaders and managers of the Iran’s nuclear program. For instance, the SIGINT should involve the interception of radios, or online communication, or communication by phone between individuals involved in the Iran’s nuclear program. In this regard, the intelligence should focus on top managers of the Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, the analysis of the communication within the Iranian army, political leaders, and organizations involved in the nuclear program can help to reveal important facts about the nuclear program, which are hidden from the public eye and are not available from open sources. The SIGINT can complement HUMINT and OSINT providing the information that is not available to OSINT and partially available to HUMINT. For instance, the SIGINT can complement information provided by spies and informants, who may have limited access to certain areas or individuals, while the interception of radios, for instance, can complement the information collected by spies or provide new information on the Iran’s nuclear program.

            Similar methodology may be identified to other major challenges identified in the course of the study, including such challenges as the threat of international terrorism, the growing impact of globalisation on the economic development of the UAE, environmental issues, and others. The main point of this methodology involves the analysis of the current foreign policy of the UAE and its effectiveness and the analysis of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE. The analysis of the current foreign policy and diversified foreign policy will be conducted on the ground of the secondary data collected from open sources, including the official website of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, peer-reviewed journal articles, news reports and others.

            At the same time, the preliminary analysis of secondary data revels that international terrorism and Iran are the major external threats the UAE as a state. These threats are serious and affect the national security of the UAE. However, if the threat from the part of Iran is traditional and long-lasting, then the threat from the part of international terrorism is relatively new and it is the treat of the 21st century mainly. Nevertheless, the data collected in the course of the study so far give implications that these threats can undermine the stability of the UAE and should be addressed in the first turn. At any rate, the data collection will help to identify the extent to which the threat from the part of Iran and international terrorist organisations is realistic and whether the UAE is capable to confront those threats successfully at the moment.

            In such a way, the data collection will help to identify the major rivals/opponents of the UAE in the Gulf region and the world. In this regard, it is possible to distinguish political rivals or hostile countries and organisations from economic rivals of the UAE. Such distinction is important because economic rivals of the UAE may be friendly states that have international agreements with the UAE or belong to the same alliances and coalitions as the UAE does, as is the case of Saudi Arabia, for example. In such a case, the economic rivalry is challenging but still it may be effective and even useful for the UAE in a way.

            On the other hand, there are political, cultural and ideological opponents of the UAE such as Iran, or Israel, or terrorist organisations operating in the Middle East. These opponents of the UAE are much more dangerous because they may deploy the military and launch a large scale war or clandestine terrorist attacks on the UAE. Such opponents apparently threaten to the national security of the UAE and the government of the UAE has to come prepared to deal with them effectively.

            At this point, current foreign policies of the UAE become particularly important and the data collection should help to identify the overall effectiveness of the UAE foreign policy so far. The data collection reveals pitfalls as well as strengths of the foreign policy of the UAE. In this regard, the preliminary literature review and secondary data analysis reveals that the UAE foreign policy is effective in terms of building up the Arab coalition against ISIS and related terrorist organisations as well as against the major opponents of the UAE, including Iran and Israel. On the other hand, the UAE foreign policy lacks diversity because it focuses on Arab countries and leading western countries mainly, especially the US.

            In such a context, the data collection may and does give implications to possible changes the UAE has to introduce to address existing challenges and threats. The UAE should consider the introduction of changes in its foreign policies to make it more effective in terms of the prevention of the threat of international terrorism and radicalisation of society within the UAE because of the excessive westernisation of the country, for example. Also the foreign policy should facilitate the solution of environmental problems that implies the expansion of international relations of the UAE and a more active stand in international relations. Furthermore, economic challenges associated with the process of globalisation also urge the UAE to change its foreign policies to focus on new international partners and to facilitate international business expansion for the UAE companies and investors, especially in terms of their penetration to emerging markets.

            Hence, the data collection will provide the response on the main question concerning the diversification of the foreign policy and how it can help the UAE to address existing threats and challenges both at international and domestic level. The preliminary analysis of the secondary data collected in the course of the study shows that the UAE can enhance its national security and improve its economic development in case of the diversification of its foreign policy. The diversification of the foreign policy will be beneficial in economic terms because the UAE government may establish closer economic relations with countries that are prospective for the UAE businesses and investors, such as China, India, and other emerging economies. The expansion of the foreign policy to those countries will open markets for the UAE businesses and investors that will ultimately stimulate the economic growth of the UAE and enhance the competitive position of the UAE in the global economy.

            Furthermore, the diversification of the foreign policy is also essential and beneficial for the resolution of environmental problems, including such issues as the global climate change. Environmental problems have already become global problems and the UAE cannot resolve those problems on its own. At the same time, the global community cannot resolve those problems, if such countries as the UAE ignore them. This is why the mutual efforts of all countries are needed to resolve environmental problems but the UAE has to expand and diversify its foreign policies to join the process of the resolution of environmental global problems because the UAE has contributed to their resolution at the local level mainly so far.

            As for the problem of external threats from the part of Iran or international terrorist organisation, the need of the diversification of the foreign policy may be not so obvious and beneficial but still such diversification may have positive effects too. The success of the UAE in gaining new allies in the struggle against the aforementioned opponents will enhance its position in the region and secure its national interests. The more allies the UAE has the less aggressive Iran is likely to be because Iran can possibly defeat the UAE alone but, if there is a strong coalition behind the UAE, Iran may not even dare to launch an assault on the UAE.

            In addition, the UAE foreign policy should balance two controversial, if not to say antagonistic trends: the trend to gain maximum revenues from the export of oil, on the one hand, and the trend to minimise the negative environmental impact of the oil industry, on the other. In this regard, the UAE is in a difficult position, but the UAE government cannot ignore environmental problems anymore because they affect the quality of life and wellbeing of citizens and the entire world. This is why the UAE faces the challenge of changing its foreign policy and elaboration of the new strategy that would increase the contribution of the UAE into the prevention of the global climate change and environment preservation Researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1379) identify the sustainable development as one of the most prospective strategies for the further development of countries worldwide and the UAE government should consider the possibility of shifting toward the sustainable development.

            However, such shift will also need the change in the foreign policy because the UAE may need to change its policy in terms of the oil export that will affect its international relations with OPEC members and its allies. Also the UAE will have to introduce new technologies which the country may purchase from well-developed countries and companies based in those countries. All these changes will need efforts from the UAE government in terms of its diversified foreign policy that should become flexible enough. The UAE should use the full potential of its diplomacy to balance its international relations and contribute to the world community and its safety along with the national safety as well.

            The diversification of international relations of the UAE brings the country and its citizens numerous advantages, including better travel and business opportunities, growing international cooperation in the field of culture and business, deeper integration of the UAE into the global community. The major advantage of the diversification of the foreign policy is the diversification of economic opportunities for the UAE. This means that UAE businesses get better opportunities for the expansion of their operations internationally, while the UAE economy may benefit from foreign direct investments. Also such diversification brings political benefits because the UAE gains new allies that may help the nation to enhance its position in the Gulf region and to address the major challenges to its national security, including international terrorism and Iran.

            At the same time, some researchers (Shahbaz, et al., 2014) argue that the UAE needs to diversify and expand its international relations and foreign policy not only because of economic or political reasons but also because of environmental ones. Today, the UAE has to deal not only with economic issues driven by the process of globalisation, changing prices of oil in the global market and the situation in other countries of the Gulf region. Moreover, its challenges are not limited to the threat of terrorism and aggressiveness of Iran. Instead, the UAE should also come prepared to deal with environmental issues which irrevocably affect the UAE as well as many other countries of the world because today environmental issues become global and the UAE as the exporter of oil cannot ignore them anymore.

            Nevertheless, all these issues need further analysis and the secondary data collected needs more detailed analysis and evaluation to obtain more accurate and extensive results of the current study. However, the overall trend is obvious and the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE may bring positive effects. At the same time, to prove the hypothesis and thesis statement of the current study the accurate and detailed data collection is needed. Secondary data are quire reliable and suffice, if they are retrieved from reputable and reliable resources.  This is why the data collection used in the course of the current study will focus on peer-reviewed journals, reputable news agencies, official government data, and related data.

5.   Conclusion

            Thus, the current study focuses on the problem of the foreign policy conducted by the UAE and how it addresses the major challenges the UAE confronts at the moment. To put it more precisely, the current study identifies such challenges and threats as the overwhelming impact of economic globalisation on the UAE; the external threat to the UAE from the part of Iran and international terrorist organisations that grow in power and become more and more aggressive at the moment; persisting problem of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and environment issues, including the global climate change and its devastating impact on the UAE and the world. These issues are apparently important and the UAE has to address them as its major priority to ensure the stable development of the country and its national security.

            At the same time, the study will conduct the detailed analysis of the current foreign policy of the UAE and how effectively it may and does address the major threats and challenges. The study will reveal the overall effects and effectiveness of the foreign policy of the UAE and identify possible pitfalls in this policy. In such a way, the study will reveal implications for possible changes in the foreign policy of the UAE. In this regard, the study will focus on the analysis of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE and its effects on current threats and challenges the country has to deal with so far. The diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE is the complex process that requires substantial resources and efforts from the part of the government.

            The traditional foreign policy of the UAE was effective and its fundamental principles should remain but the UAE should consider the expansion of its international relations and taking a more active position in its international relations to be able to keep progressing in terms of economy and to maintain its political and military power in the region. At any rate, researchers (Parakandi & Behery 1377) argue that the diversification of the foreign policy can help to enhance the position of such countries as the UAE in face of existing threats and challenges, especially from the part of international terrorism, Iran and process of globalisation.

            In such a situation, GEOINT can help to track the movement of cargos and transport that may be related to the nuclear weapon program and more important GEOINT helps to track, where Iran constructs new facilities or reconstruct existing ones to use them for the creation of the nuclear weapon. The information obtained with the help of GEOINT can be supported by information obtained from spies and informants as well as from SIGINT which can intercept radios related to the nuclear program of Iran. In addition, the GEOINT will allow tracing, whether Iran conducts nuclear weapon tests or not since a nuclear explosion may be registered with the help of seismic equipment, for instance.

            In such a way, the membership of the UAE in the anti-terrorist coalition provides the country with substantial support from the part of other 33 member-states of the coalition. This is why, in case of emergency, for example, extensive terrorist assault on the UAE, the government may rely on the assistance of the coalition members to suppress terrorists and defend the country from the assault. Such international support is apparently helpful because the UAE may be unable to confront the large scale terrorist attack on its own. The international support may also discourage terrorist organisations to launch their attack on the UAE and other member-states of the coalition because of the high risk of the suppression of any kind of terrorist activities. The coalition is also an opportunity for the UAE to contribute to the struggle against terrorism before terrorist organisations attempt to get roots in the UAE.

            At the same time, such step in its foreign policies also indicates to the readiness of the UAE to prevent the further spread of terrorism and penetration of international terrorism on the territory of the country. The alliance is an effective tool to struggle against international terrorism which helps the UAE to obtain important information on terrorist organisations and their activities. The participation of the UAE in the alliance provides the country with the international support in the struggle against terrorism. On the other hand, the UAE also takes responsibility for the prevention of terrorism and struggle against international terrorism using not only diplomatic tools but also military ones.

            Moreover, the balanced foreign policy oriented on the respect to international legal norms and standards and focus on the peaceful resolution of conflicts made the UAE an attractive partner for leading democratic countries, including the US, the UK and others. Unlike some other states in the Gulf region which disrespect international legal norms or just suppress basic civil rights of their citizens as well as foreigners, the UAE was the country that was quite an attractive partner that was and still is ready to stand on the same legal ground as democratic states do. The diversification of the foreign policy should still meet international legal norms and standards and the UAE has to stay focused on the respect of international laws and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries.

            However, the current study will help to find out benefits and effects of such diversification not only on the foreign policy of the UAE proper but also on such issues as the national security, stability, and effective economic and social development of the UAE. The key assumption of the current study is the expected positive effect of the diversification of the foreign policy on the UAE due to closer and deeper integration of the UAE into the world economy and acquisition of new allies and friendly states that will support the UAE in the time of crisis or difficulties which may emerge under the impact of either challenge or threat that the country confronts at the moment.

            Hence, the diversification of the foreign policy is one of the prospective directions in the development of the foreign policy of the UAE. Therefore, the thesis of the current study holds the premise that the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE is strategically important step for the UAE because, under the impact of economic globalisation and emerging threats, such as international terrorism and Iran, the UAE needs the international support and positive international relations with diverse allies to be able to address existing challenges and threats successfully.

            The UAE attempts to take its niche in the regional and global market. In this regard, one of the mainstream trends in the economic development of the UAE is the shift from the oil industry toward the tourism industry as the main source of income and its GDP growth. However, both the oil and tourism industry rely heavily on international markets. In such a situation, the cooperation within the Gulf region facilitates the development of both industries and encourages the fast progress of the tourism industry in the UAE due to the economic cooperation with GCC member-states. The GCC also facilitates the attraction of foreign direct investments to the UAE from member-states as well as it opens opportunities for the UAE to invest in economies of member-states. The economic cooperation at the regional level is important for the enhancement of the competitive position of the UAE because the country and businesses based in the UAE get wider opportunities to expand their markets and improve their economic performance.

            In addition, globalisation opens wider economic opportunities for the UAE but the country needs to diversify its foreign policy to realise those opportunities. One of the most prospective areas for the further development of the UAE foreign policy is the development of the wider economic cooperation with emerging economies, such as China, India and others. Emerging economies have a huge economic potential and the UAE may facilitate the development of its businesses in emerging economies but the country has to develop the foreign policy and international relations with those countries.

            Otherwise, the economic cooperation will lack the political support and effective international relations between the UAE and emerging economies as well as other countries. The development of economic relations with emerging economies can help the UAE to diversify its economic relations and find new markets for the UAE-based companies. The fast growth of emerging market and their current level of development give the UAE-based companies good opportunities because the level of competition in emerging markets is lower compared to well-developed markets, where the competition is stiffer and markets are more saturated than emerging markets.

            At the same time, the UAE may face the risk of the economic downturn since the oil industry still plays an important part in its economy. This is why the UAE government has to improve the image of the UAE as oil exporting nation and to change the negative attitude toward the oil industry for better. Also the UAE government attempts to deal with the steady replacement of the oil industry by other industries, such as the tourism industry or knowledge-based industries that can maintain the stable economic growth of the country in the future. However, such a change also requires the diversification of the foreign policy because the UAE has to develop closer technological ties with countries that can help the UAE to develop its knowledge-based industries and its tourism industry as well.

             The findings of the current study reveal the fact that the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE may and does have a positive impact on the position of the UAE in the world and on its citizens. The diversification of the foreign policy enhances the position of the UAE in the Gulf region, improves its national security and creates good opportunities for the successful economic, political and cultural development of the country. In this regard, positive effects of the diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE can be traced in different fields.

            First, the UAE has managed to enhance its position in the EU through the partnership with France which becomes particularly important after Brexit which urges the major strategic partner of the UAE in Europe, which is the UK, out of the EU. Moreover, the improvement of international relations with France and development of closer ties with this country opens the way for the UAE to francophone Africa, where the UAE still has under-developed relations. The expansion of international relations to Africa opens new opportunities for the UAE economy and enhances its political position in the world. At any rate, the expansion of the foreign policy of the UAE to Africa can help the country to struggle against the major threats to national interests such as ISIS or Muslim Brotherhood.

            Today, the threat from the part of terrorist organisations is one of the major threats to the UAE. This is why the further diversification of its international relations and foreign policy is essential. The UAE takes an active part in the anti-terrorist coalition and struggles against ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organisations. The UAE has particular strong ties with Arab states that have already helped the UAE to maintain its position in the region. However, the persisting threat from the part of Iran urged the UAE to look for new allies and partners at the international level. In this regard, the alliance of the UAE with the US is particularly important.

            In addition, the partnership of the UAE with the US is important in the field of economy and involves not only economic but also technological cooperation. The US and the US-based companies hold the leading position in the world economy and different markets. Moreover, the US-based companies also hold leading positions in terms of innovations and high technologies. The UAE economy is growing but, at the moment, the UAE economy undergoes considerable changes, including the accelerated development of the tourism industry and knowledge-based industries. In such a situation, the experience and technologies of American companies may be useful for the UAE-based companies. They can count on American technologies and involvement of American companies into the development and implementation of new projects that can stimulate the development of local businesses and the overall growth of the UAE economy.

            However, the partnership of the UAE with the UK and France as well as the EU is also very important. The UK has always been the traditional partner of the UAE and its major ally in the EU. At the moment, the UK remains the strategic partner of the UAE in international relations. The UK is one of the major powers in the world with a considerable political and economic impact on other countries. This is why the UAE partnership with the UK opens wide opportunities for the enhancement of the UAE economy and political significance in the Gulf region and the world because the UAE may count on the support from the part of the UK in case of resolution of international disputes and other issues in international relations of the UAE with other countries. In this regard, Brexit is likely to have a negative impact on the UAE representation in the EU. After Brexit, the UAE experiences the problem of finding the new strategic partner that can enhance the UAE-EU relationships.

            The development of close international relations with France is strategically important for the UAE because France influences foreign policies of the EU and its position in regard to the UAE may influence the position of the EU in regard to the UAE. At the same time, France still holds important political and economic position in the world. The close cooperation with France opens good economic opportunities for the UAE. In addition, France has technologies that may help the UAE to accelerate its economic development and develop new industries as well as enhance existing ones. The political partnership between the UAE and France is even more important than economic one because France is a powerful ally which position does matter in the world politics. In this regard, France may also be a powerful ally in the rivalry of the UAE with Iran. France may enhance the pressure on Iran in case of the further militarisation or development of Iranian nuclear program. The UAE may count on the support of France in the further confrontation with Iran, if the UAE manages to develop positive relations with France and enhance political, economic and cultural ties with this country.

            At the same time, the UAE cannot focus on political issues in the contemporary globalised world. National interests of the UAE include the economic growth of the country and its competitiveness in the global market. This is why the further diversification of the foreign policy of the UAE is helpful and useful. In this regard, the closer cooperation with China and other emerging economies opens new economic opportunities for the UAE and enhances its national security. The strong economy is the foundation of a strong nation with the high level of the protection of national interests. This is why the further diversification of international relations and foreign policy of the UAE is the right and effective strategy for the country, its national security and its future.

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Appendices:

Foreign Trade Indicators 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 203,000 226,000 239,000 250,000 230,000
Exports of Goods (million USD) 302,000 349,000 379,000 375,000 265,000
Imports of Services (million USD) 55,702 62,301 61,157 63,744 65,650
Exports of Services (million USD) 12,063 15,276 20,422 22,982 26,358
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 18.8 5.2 6.5 6.1 n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 20.7 17.0 4.5 8.2 n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 72.3 75.3 76.8 77.9 n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 90.3 100.6 101.3 98.0 n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 162.6 176.0 178.2 175.9 n/a

Source: UAE Foreign Trade in Figures. Santander, 2016. Web. Accessed August 26, 2016.

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2014
Saudi Arabia 4.1%
India 3.4%
Oman 1.6%
Switzerland 1.5%
Kuwait 1.4%
Hong Kong 1.3%
Belgium 1.3%
Qatar 1.2%
Egypt 1.0%
United Kingdom 0.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2014
China 15.1%
United States 8.0%
India 7.4%
Germany 4.7%
Japan 4.7%
South Korea 3.3%
United Kingdom 3.1%
Vietnam 2.7%
Switzerland 2.6%
Italy 2.5%

Source: UAE Foreign Trade in Figures. Santander, 2016. Web. Accessed August 26, 2016.

380.3 bn USD of products exported in 2014
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous… 18.9%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous… 7.2%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony,… 5.5%
Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted… 3.8%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought… 3.2%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of… 3.1%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally… 2.6%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.2%
Automatic data processing machines and units… 1.8%
Unwrought aluminium 1.0%

Source: UAE Foreign Trade in Figures. Santander, 2016. Web. Accessed August 26, 2016.

298.6 bn USD of products imported in 2014
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought… 10.0%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony,… 7.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally… 5.3%
Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted… 4.3%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of… 3.3%
Automatic data processing machines and units… 3.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous… 2.6%
Powered aircraft e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes;… 2.0%
Turbo-jets, turbo-propellers and other gas… 1.6%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles… 1.1%

Source: UAE Foreign Trade in Figures. Santander, 2016. Web. Accessed August 26, 2016.

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