Is the UAE Truly An Ally of the United States?

A Western Ally

Two years ago, then-President Donald Trump brokered a peace deal with the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The deal was an historic triumph because it represented a pathway toward normalized relations between the two countries.

It marked a significant achievement because Israel had agreed to suspend declaring sovereignty over the West Bank and instead both countries agreed to work together toward areas of mutual benefit, such as “investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, healthcare, culture, the environment, [and] the establishment of reciprocal embassies.”

The UAE and United States have allegedly been reliable allies for over 40 years. During the pandemic, both countries worked closely to support scientific research. In 2021, a year after Trump’s brokered deal, the UAE approved establishing an embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.


The UAE has strongly condemned terrorism in all forms, including radical Islamic terrorism. It claims to counter “the root cause of extremism and disrupting the messages that lead to radicalization,” as stated on its website.

Retired General Anthony Zinni has applauded the country for its work with the United States, saying that they enjoy a strong relationship. Former General James Mattis reiterated that sentiment, indicating that the two countries “share common ground,” referring to their military ties.

The UAE has been an important ally for the United States in the fight against terrorism, especially in preventing the radicalization of youth who have been particularly susceptible to the influence of radical Islamic groups. They established youth councils in June 2018 in an effort to combat the radical ideologies that were using internet platforms to recruit vulnerable kids to their cause.

Different Values

Nevertheless, while the UAE and the United States enjoy a healthy relationship when it comes to counterterrorism measures, the two countries have very different values, especially in the so-called “woke” era of the West.

The United States is growing increasingly secular. That means that more Americans reportedly believe in a separation of church and state, stronger than ever before. This represents a trend that dates back to 2005 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments were unconstitutionally hanging in two Kentucky courtrooms.

This attitude is very different from the United Arab Emirates, whose citizens are predominantly Sunni Muslims and adhere to Sharia (Islamic) Law. While the UAE is tolerant of other religions, it is against the law for those of other religions to proselytize to Muslims, such as Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists. In some cases, those who are caught distributing Bibles to Muslims were detained and deported out of the country.