Exporting Authoritarianism: new UAE briefing

FairSquare today released a briefing paper examining how the UAE has used its oil and gas revenues to finance an interventionist and ruinous foreign policy, most notably in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Exporting Authoritarianism is a companion piece to Well of Fear, released in September 2023. Whereas the first briefing, published in partnership with Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center and ALQST for Human Rights, described the scope and gravity of the UAE’s domestic repression, the second examines how it has used its financial resources – generated by the extraction and export of fossil fuels – to export its model of ‘authoritarian stability’, backing violent and repressive actors in the region and across the globe.

The briefing outlines the UAE’s involvement in numerous regional conflicts and power-struggles, such as the war in Yemen where it has been a key driver of the catastrophic conflict since 2015, and in Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Libya where its meddling has seen it orchestrate coups, fund counter-revolutions, funnel weapons and develop close links with Russia’s mercenary Wagner group. It describes how the UAE has worked assiduously to rehabilitate and normalise international relations with Syrian dictator Bassar al-Assad, assisted Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and courted and clandestinely supported the far-right in both the United States and France.