Timothy Geithner, the US treasury secretary, is in Abu Dhabi today meeting with top government officials ahead of the Group of 20 developing and industrialised nations meetings later this week in South Korea.
Mr Geithner, a key architect of the US's bailouts of financial institutions and other responses to the global financial crisis, is set to discuss "broad developments in the global economy and regional issues of mutual concern", according to a Treasury statement.
The UAE and other Gulf oil producers are watching closely for signs of how global economic trends - including the US's emphasis on more stimulus to reinvigorate its economy - might affect the region. The US recently started a new round of so-called quantitative easing, a process in which its central bank is effectively pumping $600 billion of new currency into the domestic economy. Economists say that should work to the benefit of Gulf countries as investors and businesses put the new money into higher-growth markets in Asia, South America and the Middle East.
Mr Geithner is meeting today with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, the UAE's foreign minister, Sultan al Suwaidi, the central bank governor, and Obaid al Tayer, the minister of state for financial affairs, are also to take part.
The meetings are happening during a three-hour stopover on a whirlwind tour of Asia ahead of the Group of 20 meetings in Seoul. Mr Geithner came to Abu Dhabi from India, where the US president Barack Obama announced a wide range of new investments and trade deals on Saturday.