French President Emmanuel Macron meets Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in Dubai, Friday (12/3/2021). The United Arab Emirates has purchased 80 French-made Rafale fighter jets. Photo/via Al Arabiya
It was the largest international order ever made for the Rafale fighter jet. During his visit, Macron held talks with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.
The resource-rich UAE, one of the biggest customers of France’s defense industry, also signed an order for 12 Caracal military transport helicopters for a total bill of more than €17 billion.
“This is the result of the strategic partnership between the two countries, consolidating their capacity to act together for their autonomy and security,” the French presidency said in a statement, as quoted by the newspaper. AFP.
The Mubadala Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund also pledged eight billion euros in investments in French businesses, while the license of the Louvre art gallery of the UAE Capital branch was extended for 10 years until 2047.
According to a report by the French Parliament, the UAE is the fifth largest customer for the French defense industry with a value of 4.7 billion euros from 2011-2020.
France has faced criticism after some of these weapons were used in Yemen, where the Saudi-led Arab Coalition is battling Iran-backed Houthi rebels in a war that has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.