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Before the discovery of oil, the UAE was mainly an agricultural region. The economy of the country largely relied on farm produce. However, following the breakthrough of oil deposits, the country shifted its focus from agriculture to the oil business. Today, the economy of the country, which is largely driven by oil, is one of the fastest-growing in the world (Almezaini, 2012). The huge sums of money derived from oil have earned the country respect from the other nations in the region. The UAE is currently perceived as the region’s superpower due to its fast economic development. Currently, its global exportation of oil has increased its influence on regional and worldwide politics.
Using the money obtained from the sale of oil and natural gas, the country has managed to strengthen its internal security. In turn, security has led to the flourishing of the country’s tourism industry. The UAE receives millions of tourists annually (Dargin, 2014). The country’s Emirates airline is ranked among the best carriers in the world. The carrier has helped to attract more visitors. However, in as much as the country’s oil deposits are largely attributed to its strong economy and the increased regional and global influence, the current researchers have not fully explored the connection between the two. In light of the observation, this research is expected to enrich the current findings on the same subject since it seeks to examine the link between the oil deposits and the country’s foreign policy and security.
This paper seeks to fill the gap in research regarding the connection between the existence of oil deposits in the UAE and the country’s foreign policy and security. To achieve the objective, this paper proposes the use of a qualitative research method to solicit data from the participants. The proposed study will be based on the following hypotheses:
- H1: The presence of oil deposits in the UAE shapes the country’s foreign policy and security
- H2: The presence of oil deposits in the UAE does not shape the country’s foreign policy and security in any way
The proposed research argues that oil and other natural energy resources are essential to the UAE’s strengthening position on the international stage, as well as in advancing the nation’s security
Significance of the Study
The results of this study will help economists to understand the connection between a country’s economy and its foreign policy. Currently, there is much debate among scholars about the topic. On one hand, some economists such as Almezaini (2012) argue that a country’s foreign policy is largely shaped by its economy. Other scholars such as Dorsey (2014) dispute such views, thus leading to confusion. The results from this study will help to eliminate the confusion. The study is also helpful to students and other researchers in the field. For the students, the study will increase their knowledge regarding the relationship between a country’s economy and its foreign policies. To researchers, the research will act as the framework on which they can base their future studies on the topic.
This study adopts a mixed methodology approach in which both the qualitative and the quantitative methods will be employed to collect and analyze the relevant data from the participants. The qualitative approach will use interviews to solicit the relevant data from the respondents while the quantitative method will involve the use of online surveys. The interviews will take place through Skype during the official working hours. Participants will have 45 minutes in which they will answer the questions asked by the researcher. The proposed study will recruit about 80 participants from a cross-section of economic and foreign policy experts from the UAE. Participants will be recruited with the help of the UAE’s department of foreign affairs. To qualify for inclusion in the study, a respondent will have to meet the following criteria:
- Must be a senior employee at the department of foreign policies
- Must have a degree in economics or foreign policy studies
- Must demonstrate great knowledge about the relationship between the economy and a country’s foreign policies
In the data analysis step, the first step will be to test the validity and reliability of the data. To achieve the objective, the researcher will compare the data given by each participant through the two data collection tools. Only consistent data will be considered for this study.
Almezaini, K. S. (2012). The UAE and foreign policy: Foreign aid, identities, and interests. London, England: Routledge.
This book summarizes the UAE’s foreign policies about its regional influence, owing to its economic supremacy. The study claims that the UAE’s economy has grown tremendously over the years. The rapid growth of the country’s economy is attributed to oil export, which earns the country lots of money (Almezaini, 2012). The country uses part of the money to help the poor nations in the region, thus leading to its increased global influence. According to the findings, the UAE is speedily gaining political supremacy in the region, a situation that is attributed to its foreign policy that promotes aid to poor countries.
Al‐Suwaidi, A. (2011). The United Arab Emirates at 40: A balance sheet. Middle East Policy, 18(4), 44-58.
As opposed to the other articles that only account for the UAE’s current foreign policies as analyzed in this paper, Al‐Suwaidi’s (2011) article gives a comprehensive history of the UAE. Since it acquired independence, the country has encountered various opportunities and challenges. In its initial days of independence, Iran dominated the Arabic region since the other countries were too weak. Its immediate neighbors Oman and Yemen had been weakened by the civil war. According to the article, the UAE emerged as a superior rival for Iran after the discovery of oil. In the period before the oil discovery, Iran was the sole country in the Arabic nations that had oil deposits. Today, as the findings reveal, the UAE’s economy has grown tremendously to the extent of rivaling that of Iran. Consequently, the UAE is slowly taking control of the region from Iran.
Blanchard, C., & Kerr, P. (2010). The United Arab Emirates nuclear program and proposed U.S. nuclear cooperation. Web.
Blanchard and Kerr’s (2010) article explores the influence that the UAE has on the regional countries and its foreign policies at large. Just as other articles in this paper argue that the country is at the heart of peace in the region, this article also supports the argument. Besides, the article explores the humanitarian activities of the UAE towards the poor countries in the region. The country is seeking help from other nations such as the United States to boost its peace program. The country uses part of the oil proceeds to support other countries in the region to promote peace. Afghanistan is one of the beneficiaries of the humanitarian activities in terms of military and infrastructural support. The country has used its influence to engage the US in major treaties to ensure that peace is maintained in the region.
Dargin, J. (2014). Oil production and consumption: Strategies for the UAE. Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research.
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Dargin’s (2014) article explores the UAE’s oil deposits and the strategies the country can implement to reap the most out of the resource. The oil deposits, which contribute to about 7% of the world’s total volume, make it possible for the country to export oil globally. It is expected that the current oil output will go on for the next 70 years. With the impact that the oil business has had on the country’s economy, it is expected to grow even more in the seven decades. According to the findings, given that a country’s economy largely influences its position in the global arena, the UAE’s regional and global influence will continue to grow.
Dorsey, J. (2014). Gulf proxy war: UAE seeks to further damage Qatar’s already tarnished image. Daily News Egypt, 2(10), 2014.
Different from the other articles explored in this paper, this article explores the supremacy battle between the UAE and Qatar. In the recent past, the two countries have hit the news headlines for their rivalry. The countries have engaged in propaganda wars against the backdrop of reports that Qatar will be hosting the 2022’s world cup. However, although the two countries seem to be equal rivals, the article suggests that the UAE may win the battle due to its economic supremacy. The UAE’s foreign policy is against Muslim goodwill evident in Qatar. The UAE accuses Qatar of its reluctance to extirpate the Muslim extremists. It uses its economic influence to suppress Qatar.
Energy Conference. (2007). Gulf Oil and gas: Ensuring economic security. Web.
This article analyzes the impact of oil and gas on the economic development of the UAE. The article considers oil an important factor in economic development. It argues that oil has led to the economic security of the country (Energy Conference, 2007). The article also explores the impact of the flourishing economy on the country’s influence regionally and globally. At the regional level, the country has achieved much influence because it supported the poorer countries. Globally, the country is slowly gaining influence due to the trade engagement between it and the world superpowers.
Hazem, S. (2015). Examining trends of UAE’s Exports: Current and future perspective. International Journal of Trade, Economics, and Finance, 6(1): 41-44.
Hazem’s (2015) article analyzes the UAE’s foreign policy concerning its oil exploration and exportation. According to the article, the country’s foreign policies are largely influenced by oil exportation. It promotes peaceful coexistence among the regional and global countries. The insistence on harmony and avoidance of diplomatic rows is informed by the view that such conflicts would result in the loss of the market for its oil. The article concludes that oil plays a major role in shaping the UAE’s relationships with other countries.
Kamrava, M. (2012).The Arab spring and the Saudi-led counterrevolution. Orbis, 56(1), 96-104.
Kamrava’s (2012) article analyzes the supremacy battle between countries in the Arab region. The article argues that Saudi Arabia has been aspired to be the region’s kingpin for a long time. The Arab Spring came to actualize the dream by weakening most states in the region. The countries, which aspire to control the region, are taking advantage of the revolutions to gain influence. The UAE is greatly advantaged because of its strong economy. It has been formulating foreign policies that aim at increasing its influence in the region. Therefore, as the article reveals, the Arab spring and the economic state of the countries in the region are the key drivers of foreign policies.
Mehmood-Ul-Hassan, K. (2010). United Arab Emirates foreign policy: A research paper. Defense Journal, 14(4), 13-21.
The article explores the UAE’S foreign policies in an attempt to shed light on its influence in the region and around the globe. The article insists that the UAE is a major contributor to the peacekeeping mission in the Arab region (Mehmood-Ul-Hassan, 2010). According to the article, the country uses its economic influence to persuade other regions to maintain peace. The UAE can impose sanctions on countries that do not promote tranquility. Additionally, the country has strong military forces, which help to restore serenity among warring countries.
Mehmood-Ul-Hassan, K. (2012). UAE foreign policy achievements. Defense Journal, 16(4), 26-38.
This article examines the achievements made by the UAE concerning its foreign policies. The article supports the argument that the country is one of the most influential in the region (Mehmood-Ul-Hassan, 2012). One of the achievements the nation has made in maintaining a peaceful coexistence among the countries in the region. This goal is achieved by encouraging a diplomatic approach to inter-country disputes. Another achievement made by the UAE involves assisting other poor countries. By offering aid to such countries, the UAE has earned much influence in the region. According to the article, its flourishing economy is one of the major forces that have enabled it to achieve such influence.
Rieger, R. (2012). In search of stability: Saudi Arabia and the Arab spring. Web.
Rieger’s (2012) article takes quite a different approach from the others. It analyzes the UAE’s foreign policies, not from an economic supremacy approach but the country’s real intention. The article disputes the allegations that the UAE is driven by the desire to control the region. It argues that the country’s regional policies are largely driven by the need to promote peace and stability. The article also recognizes the UAE’s efforts to stop the Iranian influence in the region. According to the article, the UAE perceives Iran as a major threat to its policies.
Sgouridis, S., Griffiths, S., Kennedy, S., Khalid, A., & Zurita, N. (2013). A sustainable energy transition strategy for the United Arab Emirates: Evaluation of options using an Integrated Energy Model. Energy Strategy Reviews, 2(1), 8-18.
This article explores the effect of rapid growth in the economy of the UAE. Just as the other articles explored in this paper, this article attributes the fast growth in the economy to the country’s oil deposits (Sgouridis, Griffiths, Kennedy, Khalid, & Zurita, 2013). The country realizes huge amounts of money from the sale of oil and natural gas. The sale strengthens its economy. The strong economy has earned the country control over the region. According to the article’s findings, a country’s foreign policy is largely shaped by its economy.