What is the UAE’s Historic Investment in Egypt Really About?

What is the UAE’s Historic Investment in Egypt Really About?

The UAE recently delivered a financial lifeline to Egypt. The $35 billion deal is touted as Egypt’s largest foreign investment to date. In exchange, the Gulf state secures development rights for prime Mediterranean real estate and other ventures.

But experts suggest the UAE’s interest in Egypt extends beyond mere investment. It’s about gaining influence. 

Abu Dhabi reportedly finds itself in competition with Gulf counterparts like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, considering significant investments in Egypt amidst differing foreign policy agendas. 

The UAE opposes political Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, contrary to Qatar's historical support. Concerns loom over the potential resurgence of the Brotherhood amid economic instability.

Sources told Bloomberg that Abu Dhabi is betting its investments in Egypt will give it sway over a variety of geopolitical issues from unrest in Libya to what happens next in Gaza. 

But doubts persist regarding its effectiveness.

“For Egypt, which maintains an independent diplomatic line, financial aid or investment does not automatically translate into political or diplomatic influence,” Mirette Mabrouk, a senior fellow at Middle East Institute told Bloomberg.

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