Humanitarian Policy and Political Inducement behind UAE Aid to the Needy Countries

  • Abdulla Altunaiji

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


UAE is one of the most generous countries in terms of its GDP in the world and it has natural resources (oil and gas) that generate wealth for UAE which allow for providing financial aid. In fact, it has a long history of giving financial aid and humanitarian assistance to Arab countries and other countries in the world. The objective of this thesis is to examine the UAE's policy in the sphere of humanitarian aid by looking into depth at three contemporary cases studies: Jordan, the Gaza Strip in the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt. In particular, this study will analyze the causes and motivations for giving the financial aid and the extent to which it is tied to the UAE's wider foreign policy approaches to these recipient countries. The total of the UAE's foreign aid value in the period of (1974-1980) was $749.300 million USD. The latest report issued by MICAD has revealed that $4.39 billion USD has been distributed as financial aid in 2015 alone. This thesis argues through examining three case studies that the UAE government has a greater influence on countries which it provides with financial aid. However, I will also argue that the UAE places humanitarian aid as it is top priority, i.e. over any political gains from Arab and Muslim recipient countries. In this way, foreign aid giving in the UAE is still largely based on charitable and altruistic aims and is not driven by an attempt to increase the UAE's political influence, though this is a natural byproduct. Indeed, the analysis of the study reveals that the general motivations behind UAE foreign aid to Egypt, Gaza Strip, Jordan gaining strong ties to these countries and enforce Arabism, solidarity between Arab countries and share culture and Islamic ties. In addition, foreign aid is provided to support Arab countries economically and hence politically to maintain the stability of Arab countries in need. The stability of Arab countries will be reflected to the whole Arab region including UAE.
Date of AwardDec 2016
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorAshley Rossiter (Supervisor)


  • Humanitarian Policy; United Arab Emirates; UAE Foreign Aid; MICAD; Arab Countries.

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