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France-UAE bilateral relations:  a strategic partnership for a more secure, peaceful and tolerant world


  • Shared ideals of coexistence and tolerance are at the heart of five decades of close and enduring UAE-French ties. As an essential link between Europe and the Arab World, cooperation between the UAE and France will remain critical to addressing the regional and global challenges of our time.  

Political relations

  • Within the framework of the UAE-France strategic partnership and its strategic dialogue, bilateral relations between the two countries have witnessed a major step forward in recent years.
  • The UAE and France work closely together on a broad spectrum of issues in order to promote regional security, increase prosperity and jointly address global challenges.

Economic relations

  • Bilateral trade between the UAE and France has witnessed significant growth:
  • 50 French businesses are held by Emirati capital.
  • Over 600 French businesses are present in the UAE (+10% per year).
  • Approximately $4billion dollars of goods exported from France to the UAE annually.
  • The UAE’s sovereign wealth funds have strategically aligned with French financial investment institutes in support and development of technology, healthcare and education sectors in France:
  • In 2021, Gulf Islamic Investments, the UAE based firm made a $301million dollar investment in Altais Towers.
  • In 2020, Mubadala announced having signed a MoU with BpiFrance, committing to invest 1 billion euro to the LAC1 Fund, a 10 billion euros fund managed by BpiFrance.

Defence and security

  • Defence and security cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates is extensive and diversified. Since 2009, France has a military base in the UAE.
  • UAE and France work in close coordination to de-escalate regional tensions in the Middle East and enhance stability.
  • Counterterrorism is a shared priority for both nations:
  • France and the UAE are aligned on the importance of peace and security in the region.
  • They promote shared values of civilization, tolerance and culture over hate, extremism and division.
  • Both countries also work with partners in Africa to sustain peace and security, support economic and social development and advocate for the rights of women.

Cultural cooperation

  • The UAE and France continue to promote shared values through strategic cultural exchange:
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in 2018, the first international museum in the Arab world and Frances largest overseas culture project (over 2 million visitors to date).
  • UAE France Cultural Dialogue was established in 2018 to strengthen long-standing relationship.
  • UAE supported the restoration of the Imperial Theatre of the Château of Fontainebleau theatre now named after The late H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

  • Emirati-Franco Cultural Cooperation has been a catalyst in establishing and guiding cultural initiatives and projects in the UAE, France and around the world:
  • UAE and France established the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict (ALIPH) and make a joint contribute of $45million in cooperation with UNESCO.
  • UAE became an associate member of the International Organization of la Francophonie.
  • 60,000 School children learn French in UAE schools.

  • The UAE host to a number of leading French education institutions including:
  • Paris Sorbonne University – Human and Social Sciences.
  • INSEAD Business School.
  • School 42 – Computer Science.
  • 6 French schools with over 10,000 pupils.
  • ESMOD – Fashion Design.


  • Both the UAE and France have prioritized the protection of the environment, partnering on a number of fields including climate action, renewable energy, waste management and solar powered initiatives:
  • UAE was the first country in the Middle East to sign the Paris Agreement in 2015.
  • UAE is a member of the Space Climate Observatory an initiative of the French National Center for Space Studies - aiming to measure the impact of Climate Change.
  • French company EDF Renewables is a key stakeholder in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park development.
  • Strategic Maintenance & Engineering Support Agreement between Framatome and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s JV subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company.
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