United Arab Emirates Flag for United Arab Emirates

Country Spotlight

The United Arab Emirates does not have nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs, but does possess ballistic and cruise missiles. The UAE operates the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula, and its civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S. is considered the “Gold Standard” for nonproliferation.

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Region   Middle East and North Africa

3 Reactor units operational at Barakah nuclear power plant

$10 million Donated to the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Kazakhstan

2 THAAD air and missile defense batteries deployed


  • Signed $20 billion deal with South Korea for procurement of 4 nuclear reactors, the first of which began commercial operation in April 2021
  • Signed “Gold Standard” 123 agreement with U.S. in 2009, permanently relinquishing pursuit of enrichment and reprocessing capabilities
  • Strong supporter of peaceful nuclear energy


  • Prime Minister announced in 2005 that UAE hoped to become the Middle East’s biotech hub
  • Built a Biotechnology & Research Park in Dubai in 2010 that houses companies like Pfizer and Amgen
  • Ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 2008


  • In January 2022, intercepted Houthi ballistic missiles strike; first successful operational use of THAAD system
  • Purchased Black Shaheen cruise missiles from France and the UK, and ATACMS ballistic missiles from the U.S.
  • Acquired Scud B ballistic missiles from North Korea in late 1980s; current status unclear


  • Operates large chemical industrial sector in Chemicals Industry City in Abu Dhabi
  • Ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2000
  • Does not possess a chemical weapons program

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires countries to destroy all chemical weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using chemical weapons.

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Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) focuses on the physical protection of peaceful use of nuclear materials

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Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

The BTWC mandates the elimination of existing biological weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using biological and toxin weapons.

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United Arab Emirates

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