United Arab Emirates Flag for United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates does not possess nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons programs, but does maintain a substantial missile program. The UAE operates advanced biotechnology and chemical industrial sectors and a nuclear power plant. The UAE set a “Gold Standard” nonproliferation precedent by renouncing any future capability of uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing.

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Region   Middle East and North Africa

4 Reactor units operated at Barakah nuclear power plant (2 operational)

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

144 THAAD missiles purchased from the U.S.


  • 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


  • Purchased Scud-B ballistic missiles from North Korea in the late 1980s
  • Purchased Black Shaheen cruise missiles from France and the UK in 1998
  • Purchased THAAD missile systems from the U.S. in $3.5 billion deal; deployed U.S. Patriot missiles to Yemen to support Saudi Arabia


  • 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 (BTWC)

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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