UAE's Justifications for its Nuclear Programme

  • Saleh Saeed Alalili

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis aimed to examine the reasons behind the decision made by the United Arab Emirates to pursue a nuclear energy program, paying particular attention to the procurement of energy supply at the lowest cost and the search for alternative sources of energy that would entail a reduction of greenhouse gas production. The federal government of the United Arab Emirates has publicly stated that the main reason for pursuing an atomic energy project is to generate efficient, environmentally friendly and commercially viable electrical power that would serve to support the country’s economic growth. This research built on the current literature of the link between energy policy and the advancement of states’ national interest, nuclear alliance formation and peaceful nuclear program development. This theoretical framework was utilised in order to come up with the reasons why countries such as the United Arab Emirates may choose to pursue an atomic project. This paper also delved into the UAE’s unstated reasons for pursuing a nuclear project, making reference to the diplomatic, cultural, environmental and geostrategic reasons involved in the development of an atomic energy programme. Using a qualitative approach methodology based on the analysis of semi-structured interviews with officials involved in the UAE’s atomic project and the examination of government documents, the research uncovered the various reasons behind the United Arab Emirates’ decision to pursue a nuclear energy programme. This research concluded that the development of the UAE’s nuclear programme is conducive to addressing the need to prop up the process of social and economic modernization in order to secure the conditions for the long-term prosperity of the nation. In addition, this paper proved that by pursuing such ambitious nuclear power program in GCC, the political leadership of the United Arab Emirates could reduce down the possibility of conflict in the GCC region.
Date of AwardJun 2014
Original languageAmerican English


  • United Arab Emirates; Nuclear Energy; Nuclear Programme; Greenhouse Gas Production.

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