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A new UK-UAE relationship is emerging based on closer ties and strategic interests. Beyond the question of bases, however, lies the potential for increased mutual defence and security through the development of the defence-industrial relationship between the UAE and the UK.
The UK appears close to the moment where some kind of strategic orientation of its defence and security posture towards the Gulf region becomes de facto government policy. Logically, this also means that the UAE government in Abu Dhabi is committed to reinvigorating its relationship with the British now, in 2013, possibly at the expense of other potential strategic alliances.
This paper is a short and selective treatment of a complicated, shifting and amorphous topic. The authors’ intention is merely to contribute towards – and perhaps inflame – the whispered debate on the significance of defence-industrial engagement and participation to the notion of a refreshed UAE-UK strategic relationship.
About the Authors
Dr John Louth is a senior research fellow at RUSI and the director of the Defence, Industries and Society Programme.
Pierre Bontems is a senior manager within Accenture aerospace and defence practice, focusing on growth strategy definition and operational performance optimisation.
Bouchra Carlier is a senior manager within the Accenture Research organisation, leading aerospace and defence research analysis.
Axel Pilottin is a manager within Accenture aerospace and defence practice, focusing on supply-chain transformation and IT strategy definition.