The UAE has received about 30 billion dirhams ($ 8.2 billion) from Arab Spring countries over the past two years, but it has invested much higher in them.
It was revealed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, premier of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, yesterday while he was opening the Government Summit.
Large amounts of capital fled Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and other Arab countries in search of safe havens after political and economic turmoil erupted in those countries in early 2011.
Because of its political stability and Dubai’s status as an international business center, the UAE attracted a large share of the capital. Sheikh Mohammed’s figure was believed to be the first public estimate of the amount by a top official.
He insisted, however, that it would be wrong to think the UAE was benefiting from the Arab Spring, as stability in countries hit by the unrest would benefit the whole region including the UAE. “If we had peace and stability, we would have more than 30 billion coming from those countries,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
He did not specify in what forms the money had entered the UAE; part is believed to have come in the form of short-term bank deposits, and part as direct investment in businesses and real estate.