GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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The UAE as the premier GCC player in the Indian Ocean
Paper Proposal Text :
Despite only having a minority of its coastline on the Indian Ocean, a small citizen population and limited naval capability, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean significantly. Through a series of business investments, strategic ties and military facilities, the UAE can arguably be seen as more present in the Indian Ocean than its GCC peers Oman, which has a longer coastline and imperial history in the region, and Saudi Arabia, which has a much larger population and naval capability. The UAE’s presence in the Indian Ocean is likely to be more a result of the area playing to the UAE’s strengths than part of a deliberate hedging strategy. In the Indian Ocean, the Emirates strengths as a logistical and trade hub, its historic links with Iran and the Indian subcontinent, its energy ties to the Eastern Indian Ocean, its recent counter-terrorism and anti-piracy strategic posture and its greater wealth relative to smaller states in the Indian Ocean, all make it well poised to be a key player in the region. The Indian Ocean is also critical to the UAE’s first large-scale military deployment, in Yemen, where it is deployed in the South of the country, which is on the Indian Ocean. As the UAE seeks to move towards a more diversified post-oil economy, and West Asia continues to be dragged through its current crises, it is likely that the UAE will increasingly look to the states of the Indian Ocean for economic, political and security ties and opportunities.