News Analysis: Egypt-UAE huge investment deal reflects Cairo's strategic significance to Gulf states: experts

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 17, 2019
Adjust font size:

by Mahmoud Fouly, Emad al-Azrak

CAIRO, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The recent two-day visit of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and his meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan resulted in a joint investment deal worth 20 billion U.S. dollars in economic and social projects.

The massive deal, described as "a strategic investment platform," reflects Egypt's strategic significance to the UAE and to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in general due to Cairo's key role in maintaining stability and security of the Middle East region, according to Egyptian experts.


Egypt's president has repeatedly reiterated that the security of the Gulf region is an integral part of Egypt's national security, reassuring key Gulf allies that Egypt will always support them against any regional threats.

"Such a huge deal between Egypt and the UAE reflects the two countries' deep understanding of the strategic importance of each other," said Gamal Bayoumi, secretary-general of the Cairo-based Arab Investors Union and Egypt's former assistant foreign minister for economic affairs.

He added that the deal launches "a new stage" of strategic relations between the two sides in various areas including the political, economic, social and security fields.

"Political and security coordination between Egypt and GCC states is so obvious, as seen in President Sisi's reiteration that the security of the Gulf region is a red line and an extension of Egypt's national security," Bayoumi told Xinhua.

The chief of the Arab Investors Union described the Egyptian-Emirati deal as "an unprecedented step" in Arab ties and "a tremendous leap" in the field of Arab joint investment.

Conflicts, and recently protests, have been causing turmoil and chaos in several countries in the Middle East region, including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Lebanon, leading to growing regional security challenges.

Ahmed Taher, a researcher on international relations at Cairo-based Al-Hewar Center for Political and Media Studies, explained that the 20-billion-USD investment partnership deal between Egypt and the UAE indicates the level of their coordination and cooperation on regional and international issues.

"The recurrent meetings between the Egyptian president and the Emirati crown prince also reflect the agreement of the two countries as supporters of peace and stability in the Arab region against mounting regional threats and challenges," said the expert.

"Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE undoubtedly play key roles in facing regional threats and Cairo is the spearhead. So, the recent deal seeks to keep Egypt stable and powerful through supporting its economic and development plans," Taher told Xinhua.


Egypt has been suffering economic hardship over the past few years due to security challenges that followed the ouster of two heads of state in popular uprisings in 2011 and 2013.

GCC states led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE supported the Egyptian leadership with billions of dollars in grants, loans and deposits at Egypt's central bank to help the country's economy overcome pressing challenges in the past few years.

Egypt later resorted to the International Monetary Fund for a 12-billion-USD loan to start a three-year austerity-based economic reform program in November 2016, which included the implementation of local currency devaluation, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and a value-added tax.

The huge investment deal between Egypt and the UAE came while Egypt is concluding its economic reform program and aspiring for a development leap.

"This deal will surely add financial resources to refresh foreign investments in Egypt in favor of both countries, which provides Egypt with its promising investment opportunities and the UAE with its financial surplus," said Ibrahim Nawwar, an economic expert and former adviser to Egypt's minister of industry and foreign trade.

For the investors of Gulf states, Egypt enjoys real investment opportunities and the Egyptian market is a natural extension of their local markets due to geographical closeness and other cultural and social considerations.

"Given the enormity of the Egyptian economy, it provides Gulf investors with investment opportunities that could be bigger than those available in their countries," Nawwar told Xinhua, noting that the UAE contributes to Egypt's development through the recent deal.

The opportunities for direct investment in Egypt and their expected yields are growing, particularly in sectors attractive to foreign investors such as oil and gas, energy, construction, real estate and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Egypt is an inexhaustible storehouse for investment opportunities and economic diversification sought by Gulf countries at both the local and regional levels, according to the expert.

"Egypt represents a strategic depth for Gulf states at the security and economic levels and it is the main pillar of any future joint Arab defense system," the former industry minister's adviser told Xinhua. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from