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UAE-US ties to get boost

posted on 13/01/2008: 758 views

US President George W. Bush arrives in the UAE today as part of his Middle East tour. The visit is the first by a sitting US president and aimed at cementing ties with a booming nation wooed by US officials, businessmen and the defence industry. It also symbolises the strength of the bilateral relations as well as the importance and mutual benefit of their strategic, economic and investment ties.

President Bush, who will come from Bahrain, will have a hectic schedule in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will hold talks with the US president and host a luncheon in his honour.

Bush will address a select gathering at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR). He will meet members of the US-UAE Business Council, and tour Saadiyat Island as well as the Masdar Initiative.

During a fleeting visit to Dubai tomorrow, Bush will take a glance at the meteoric rise which has made the city state an instantly recognisable name in his own country, with such grandiose projects as a world-shaped cluster of man-made islands and the world's tallest skyscraper.

The Abu Dhabi's Centre of Information Affairs has issued a special study on the President Bush on the occasion of his important two-day visit to the UAE. The study, issued in both Arabic and English, presents the biography of the US President, with focus on the human aspects of his personality.

With one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, the UAE is a dependable and substantial economic partner with the US. The US Commerce Department named the UAE as the United States' single largest export market in the Middle East, with nearly US$12 billion in exports in 2006. Some 750 US firms have an on-the-ground and expanding presence in the UAE.

UAE institutions have been consistent and responsible investors in US capital markets for more than 30 years. The UAE has generated most oil revenues from sales to Asia, while reinvesting a significant percentage in US markets. In 2006, UAE investment firms directly invested US$3.5 billion in US companies.

Transactions in 2007 include a US$7.5 billion stake in Citigroup by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA); Borse Dubai agreed to take a 19.9 per cent stake in the Nasdaq and to buy Nada's 28 per cent stake in the London Stock Exchange; Mubadala Development Company took a 7.5 per cent stake in the Carlyle Group and an 8 per cent stake in Advanced Micro Devices; and Istithmar, a Dubai fund, bought Barneys New York.

Emirates Airlines is the biggest customer for the Boeing 777, with 98 aircraft in service or on order. In addition, Etihad Airlines has purchased 5 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The two countries also share a common resolve to preserve security and stability in the region. The UAE is an innovative social investor, seeking ways to expand opportunities for its citizens and help address regional and global challenges: More than 28,000 Americans reside in the UAE. There are four daily non-stop flights between the US and the UAE. The UAE has provided significant funding and assistance to Iraq, including medical treatment for Iraqi children in the UAE at no cost. – Khaleej Times with inputs from agencies


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