DUBAI - NOVEMBER 17,2009 - UAE F-16 fighter plane performs at the Dubai Airshow 2009. ( Paulo Vecina/The National ) *** Local Caption ***  PV Airshow 28.jpg
The UAE received deliveries of 72 F-16 fighter planes from 2005 to 2009. Above, an F-16 performs at the Dubai Airshow last year.

UAE becomes fourth-biggest arms buyer



ABU DHABI // The UAE is near the top of a list of the world's biggest weapons importers and is set to continue increasing its hi-tech defensive capabilities, according to a new report on international arms transfers. Analysts say the purchase of the weapons systems sends a message that the country is capable of protecting its territorial integrity while confirming that its posture is defensive.

The report, by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), which for 44 years has tracked armaments and military spending, ranked the UAE in fourth place worldwide in total arms between 2005 to 2009, with spending of US$6.5 billion (Dh23.9bn). Only China, India and South Korea spent more. The UAE was ahead of Israel, in sixth place. The nearest Arab country was Egypt, in 15th place, with $2.5 billion in imports.

The United States is by far the biggest supplier of arms to the UAE, the third-largest US weapons client. The UAE is also France's biggest arms export destination. The majority of the UAE's spending is on aircraft from the US and France, followed by missiles and air defence systems. From 2005 to 2009, the UAE received deliveries of 34 Mirage 2000 combat aircraft from France and 72 F-16 fighters from the US.

The UAE is poised to strengthen its position as a top importer with the delivery of Patriot-3 surface to air missile systems as well as transport aircraft and other missile-defence systems from the US, France and Russia. However, the report shows a decline in UAE military imports for four consecutive years. "The important issue to stress is the fact that UAE has significantly increased its military arsenal in both technical quality and quantity," said Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at Sipri's arms transfers programme and an author of the report.

"The decline in the imports since 2006 cannot be seen as an indication that the UAE is toning down its efforts to build up advanced armed forces with a considerable reach." While the UAE had been absorbing the advanced weaponry it had already bought, such as by training military personnel and deployment, it was negotiating "new major arms procurement projects", said Mr Wezeman. The weapons systems purchased by the UAE were primarily defensive, but the country was capable of long-range precision strikes, which acted as a deterrent to regional rivals, he said.

A report by Sipri last April showed that the UAE was the world's third-biggest importer of arms, from 2004 to 2008, accounting for six per cent of all purchases. Paul Burke, a security and intelligence expert based in Abu Dhabi, said the country "sends a message - we have a capability in place that makes it difficult to invade and take control of any islands". Another reason for the build-up was to supplement the UAE's role in international operations.

"The UAE is one of the most active GCC countries in terms of participation in international operations," said Justin Crump, an security expert based in London. "For example, troops and planes are currently deployed in Afghanistan, and the Emirates' Special Forces have won plaudits for their role in tackling foreign fighters there. This is why transport planes are an essential purchase." US military support for the GCC was intended mainly as a way to contain Iran, Mr Wezeman said. "The question here is to what extent Iran, which has not bought so many advanced conventional weapons in the past 10 years, is at a disadvantage," he said.

Despite Iran's public condemnation of US arms sales to GCC countries, Mr Burke believed that the Iranian government had bigger concerns. They included its nuclear programme and hostile borders with Afghanistan and Iraq. "I don't think Iran will see GCC arms purchases as a threat. No matter what they say in public, the Iranian government privately knows that the GCC countries would not attack them," he said.

kshaheen@thenational.ae In an article headlined "Arms purchases 'send a message'" (March 21, on page A6) we stated that the UAE was ranked fourth place worldwide in arms imports in 2009. In fact, the UAE was ranked fourth place worldwide in total arms imports between 2005 and 2009.

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPAD (2022)

Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD, 2,360 x 1,640, 264ppi, wide colour, True Tone, Apple Pencil 1 support

Chip: Apple A14 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Storage: 64GB/256GB

Platform: iPadOS 16

Main camera: 12-megapixel wide, f/1.8, 5x digital, Smart HDR 3

Video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps

Front camera: 12MP ultra-wide, f/2.4, 2x, Smart HDR 3, Centre Stage; full HD @ 25/30/60fps

Audio: Stereo speakers

Biometrics: Touch ID

I/O: USB-C, smart connector (for folio/keyboard)

Battery: Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; up to 9 hours on cellular

Finish: Blue, pink, silver, yellow

In the box: iPad, USB-C-to-USB-C cable, 20W power adapter

Price: Wi-Fi — Dh1,849 (64GB) / Dh2,449 (256GB); cellular — Dh2,449 (64GB) / Dh3,049 (256GB)

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Company profile

Company name: Tuhoon
Year started: June 2021
Co-founders: Fares Ghandour, Dr Naif Almutawa, Aymane Sennoussi
Based: Riyadh
Sector: health care
Size: 15 employees, $250,000 in revenue
Investment stage: seed
Investors: Wamda Capital, Nuwa Capital, angel investors

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

SPECS

Toyota land Cruiser 2020 5.7L VXR

Engine: 5.7-litre V8

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 362hp

Torque: 530Nm

Price: Dh329,000 (base model 4.0L EXR Dh215,900)

What is cystic fibrosis?
  • Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs.
  • It causes the production of thick, sticky mucus that can clog the airways and lead to severe respiratory and digestive problems.
  • Patients with the condition are prone to lung infections and often suffer from chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Life expectancy for sufferers of cystic fibrosis is now around 50 years.
The specs: 2017 Dodge Viper SRT

Price, base / as tested Dh460,000

Engine 8.4L V10

Transmission Six-speed manual

Power 645hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 813Nm @ 5,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 16.8L / 100km

THE DRAFT

The final phase of player recruitment for the T10 League has taken place, with UAE and Indian players being drafted to each of the eight teams.

Bengal Tigers
UAE players: Chirag Suri, Mohammed Usman
Indian: Zaheer Khan

Karachians
UAE players: Ahmed Raza, Ghulam Shabber
Indian: Pravin Tambe

Kerala Kings
UAE players: Mohammed Naveed, Abdul Shakoor
Indian: RS Sodhi

Maratha Arabians
UAE players: Zahoor Khan, Amir Hayat
Indian: S Badrinath

Northern Warriors
UAE players: Imran Haider, Rahul Bhatia
Indian: Amitoze Singh

Pakhtoons
UAE players: Hafiz Kaleem, Sheer Walli
Indian: RP Singh

Punjabi Legends
UAE players: Shaiman Anwar, Sandy Singh
Indian: Praveen Kumar

Rajputs
UAE players: Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed
Indian: Munaf Patel

The Baghdad Clock

Shahad Al Rawi, Oneworld


The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today