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Dubai and the United Arab Emirates : security threats.

Davidson, Christopher M. (2009) 'Dubai and the United Arab Emirates : security threats.', British journal of Middle Eastern studies., 36 (3). pp. 431-447.


The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) wealthiest emirate, Abu Dhabi, has built up the UAE Armed Forces in recent decades by procuring some of the finest military hardware available. This has provided the UAE with a strong defence shield and has undoubtedly reduced the threat of foreign invasion. However, the UAE’s hard security capabilities are either insufficient or inappropriate for countering remaining regional threats from Iran or, to a lesser extent, other Arab states. As such, the UAE has had little option but to remain under a Western military umbrella. Moreover, as an unfortunate but perhaps inescapable hidden cost of its emergence as the region’s premier free port, for many years the UAE’s second wealthiest emirate of Dubai has attracted the attention of both international criminal and terrorist organisations, many of which have exploited the emirate’s laissez-faire attitudes and impressive physical infrastructure to set up various smuggling, gun-running, human-trafficking, and money-laundering operations. Despite Dubai’s undoubted usefulness to such groups, the final section of this article will reveal that the UAE has been unable to remain completely in the eye of the storm and has suffered from a number of terrorist attacks on its own soil.

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Record Created:15 Jul 2010 11:05
Last Modified:08 Jul 2011 14:33

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