Our political relations are old and privileged. They are part of a strategic partnership announced in 1997 by Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic. The strong convergence of views on regional issues as well as personal links forged between the leaders of both countries characterized these relations.
During the speech he gave on the 15th of January 2008 on the occasion of his state visit, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy observed that the United Arab Emirates is "a country which has become, in thirty years, the first partner [in the Middle East] on the economic, military and now cultural level."
"The announcement of the presence of French 400 soldiers in Abu Dhabi shows France’s political will to be together with its strategic partner (...) We have been approached by the authorities of the Emirate within of the defence agreement that binds us since 1995. This initiative shows that France is present in this region for peace and stability. Let me also say that what is happening in this country represents a great challenge: a Muslim country is turning to modernity, to openness and tolerance. A country which has understood that it could be faithful to its identity and embrace modernity.”
A key partner in economic terms: The United Arab Emirates are our largest market in the Middle East.
1 / 4 of French exports to the Middle East.
1 / 3 of French exports to the Gulf.
5700 French exporters, 60% of which are SMEs.
France is the 7th supplier of the UAE, the 3rd European.
The Emirates is the 4th largest french trade surplus.
French exports are made up to 52% of producer goods (19.2% intermediate, 18% of consumer goods, food products 4%, 2.9% automotive products.
250 subsidiaries of French companies present in the UAE.
15,000 French settled in the Emirates.
Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
The last Joint Cooperation Committee was held on March 11, 2007. The UAE have confirmed their commitment to closer ties with France and to raise the level of their cooperation in cultural, academic, linguistic, scientific and technical fields, based on a closer and balanced partnership.
Educational and Cultural Presence
The development of the teaching of French remains a priority. The number of students learning the French language is on the increase: about 50000 spread over 176 establishments teaching French as a second or third language.
The French teaching network in the United Arab Emirates is composed of four schools: Lycées Louis Massignon and Theodore Monod in Abu Dhabi, Lycée Georges Pompidou in Sharjah (with an annex for primary education in Dubai) and the French International high school in Dubai. 3600 students are enrolled in the four schools.
Two French alliances are located, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Important projects involve academic cooperation through the promotion of higher education in France, the dissemination of French expertise and know-how (engineering, agronomy, information technology and communication, archives, archaeology. ..) and the training of specialised doctors.
Several higher education institutions have been established in the UAE in 2006 with support from the UAE authorities, particularly the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. The University of Paris IV-Sorbonne has opened a branch in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of 2006, which has been inaugurated on November 18 during the visit to the United Arab Emirates of the Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research, M. Gilles de Robien. Furthermore, Business schools INSEAD and HEC have been established, through partnerships, in Abu Dhabi, as well as fashion school ESMOD in Dubai.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
At the initiative of the Emiratis, negotiations have been initiated with France for the opening in Abu Dhabi of a National Museum of Fine Arts for which the Louvre will provide its name and expertise, for a period of twenty years, as well as the loan of collections for a period of ten years along with other major French museums. An agreement between the two parties was signed on March 6, 2007.
A regional audiovisual attaché is based in Dubai since September 2006.
Actions of cooperation are carried out in the archaeological field in Al Ain, Fujeirah and Umm el Qaiwain.
Based on the expertise of the Archaeological Advisory Commission for research abroad, the Foreign Affairs department (DGCID) subsidizes nearly 160 archaeological missions (of paleontology at the medieval period) intervening in 65 countries, including:
Site excavation Mleiha: The pre-Islamic period in the recent peninsula of Oman. Site excavation Abu Dhabi - Hili: An oasis of the Bronze Age.
Legal and judicial cooperation
Our legal and judicial cooperation with the UAE has been raised at the federal level in January 2002, thanks to the signing of a new agreement between the Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature (ENM) and the Federal Institute of Abu Dhabi, in addition to the one signed in 1997 with the Judicial Institute of Dubai. On the other hand, cooperation in administrative matters focusing on the training of diplomats and administrators has been initiated at the beginning of September 2002 between ENA-IIAP and the Institute of Administrative Development of Abu Dhabi.
The revival of our medical cooperation is based on the recognition of our progressive degrees of medicine and medical sub-specialisation and should materialize in various institutional operations of cooperation in priority areas: cancer, immunology and medical genetics, medical pre-hospital emergency.