UAE’s Soft Power Strategy: Step Towards Development

by Zaara 17, May 2021

Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, organised the meeting with the UAE Soft Power Council. Both the attendees of the conference have made the statement on the UAE Soft Power Strategy.

The article covers all aspects of UAE Soft Power Strategy-

  • Definition
  • Need for strategy
  • Its objectives
  • Role of different sectors
  • Positive impacts of the strategy

What is the UAE Soft Power Strategy?

The strategy is driven by the aim of achieving the developmental, economic and cultural goal by laying the foundation for the strong reputation of the nation. It is a social obligation rather a moral duty for all citizens and groups in UAE to be responsible for constructing the UAE’s reputation.

The UAE Soft Power Strategy would immensely help in building the UAE’s global reputation and exalt the country’s diverse heritage and culture. It would act as a framework for all UAE’s sectors, and it would highlight contributions done by the government in the world.

Need for the UAE Soft Power Strategy

UAE is a significant regional as well as a global platform for lauding and exalting the Arab culture. Being an urban metropolis, it enjoys an upper edge of a vital hub in the region.

It has to be appreciated the way the country has developed and served as an inspiration for other countries who have the ambition to build its economy. Thus, the UAE government had to endeavour to secure its title for the long run.

Objectives of the Strategy

The strategy stands strong on three main objectives

  • To head pivot sectors into one direction which includes the economy, humanities, tourism, media and science.
  • It would promote the UAE’s position to that of a gateway of the region by establishing it as the regional capital for culture, art, and tourism.
  • To embrace UAE to be recognised as a friendly and tolerant country which is acceptable and welcoming to people from different cultures across the world. It would help in encouraging potential investors to set up a company in the UAE and also boost tourism and foreign direct investment rate.

Role of different sectors

Emiratis (Citizens)

Emiratis play a meaningful role in the Soft Power Strategy by voicing out their opinions via the open communication portals developed by the department.

The portal would serve as a communication channel for both the citizens and the government. Additionally, it can be used as a medium to deliver the crucial message regarding the soft power strategy to multiple parts of the world.

Private and Public Sectors


The Council decided that it would implement a general soft power strategy propelled by the aim of improving the UAE’s status both regionally and globally.

For ensuring participation and contribution from all sectors, the government had mutually agreed on consolidating public and private sector entities within the country under the umbrella of soft power initiatives and projects.

Both the sectors are responsible and accountable for submitting periodical reports to the UAE Cabinet covering the record on progress and implementation of the initiative.

Significant Pillars and Members

The strategy has six main pillars which bind differentiated framework towards the UAE’s public diplomacy:

  • humanitarian diplomacy
  • scientific and academic diplomacy
  • national representatives’ diplomacy
  • people diplomacy
  • cultural and media diplomacy
  • economic diplomacy

Who all are the members?

  • Chairman of the UAE Soft Power Council- Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi,
  • The Council’s members are- Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi and Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak.

Positive Impacts of Soft Power Strategy

A powerful passport

The Arton Capital’s updated Passport Index had made a statement on how UAE’s soft power had highly inflated the rank of UAE’s passport. It has secured the most powerful passport in the world.

The UAE’s ranking jumped from the fourth place to the top because of a subsequent rise in how citizens gained visa-free access to quite a lot of more countries including Ireland, Canada and China.

Art and tourism

UAE boosted the cultural tourism by the commencement of the new tourism destination of Louvre Abu Dhabi. The project was a joint venture plan of 10-year with France.

The museum has been decorated by approximately 600 inevitable artworks from around the world. Three hundred out of the total art pieces were granted on loan from 13 leading French institutions. The paintings were the work of remarkable painters such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Cy Twombly.

The cover art was focused on the portrayal of vital stages in human development. Moreover, it brought links between cultures and civilisations to prominence. Initiatives for boosting the tourism sector had immensely encouraged investors to set up business in the UAE’s industry.

In a Nutshell

The strategy helps the UAE’s government to achieve and fulfil the goals of political leadership, a strong economy, significant cultural initiatives, and commendable infrastructure in the world. It has persuaded potential investors to incorporate a company in UAE’s developing sectors.

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1. Why is soft power so significant in the UAE?

Soft power is significant because it is considered one of the better trends of modernity as power is projected internationally rather than militarily.

2. What is UAE’s global soft power index rank in the report of 2022?

It secured the 15th rank.

3. When was the soft power strategy adopted in the UAE?

It was adopted in 2017.

4. Why was the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) established?

It was established to make foreign aid more significant and effective for the UAE.

5. When was MICAD established?

It was established in 2013.