The UAE’s Homeland Security and Border Control

Abstract

Homeland security and efficient border control measures are of extreme significance for the United Arab Emirates. The country experiences economic development while constantly improves the quality of life. At the same time, it is located in a constantly changing region of the world. The strategic location and substantial amounts of natural resources make the country attractive while challenges and threats emerge.

The thesis aims to investigate the current stage of border control and homeland security in the United Arab Emirates. The thesis evaluates the awareness of residents of the United Arab Emirates about the importance and protection of border control and homeland security. Also, the thesis examines the potential challenges and threats to homeland security and border control.

Introduction

Background of the Problem

The United Arab Emirates experiences a variety of transformations and improvements in many sectors. For instance, in 1971, the United Arab Emirates was 62nd in the Human Development Index. In 2010, this indicator increased and made the country the 30th in the Human Development Index (“United Arab Emirates: Forty Years of Progress”). In terms of economic development, the country outmatched even Singapore. Today, the United Arab Emirates has the third-largest GDP per capita (“United Arab Emirates: Forty Years of Progress”).

The infrastructure of the country has undergone significant alternations too. The country’s sudden modernization led to the implementation of one of the most well-developed infrastructures in the world with the massive usage of social media and mobile industry (“United Arab Emirates: Forty Years of Progress”). The country enters the global arena and becomes a significant participant in global affairs. As the prosperity and economy grow, more threats to homeland security may increase.

Since its creation, the United Arab Emirates experienced rapid growth of the economy (World Economic Forum). This growth was caused by the boom in oil prices predominantly (World Economic Forum). The recent oil boom occurred in the period between 2002-2008 (Saif). This boom resulted in the rapid development of the economies of six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including the UAE.

The oil boom was a result of other countries’ lack of resources and the ability of the UAE to satisfy that need. It was the second fostering oil boom since the 1970s (Saif). Besides, the country had forceful progress in the property market. The economy of the United Arab Emirates has increased by seven percent every year since 2000. The aim of the state is not to be dependent on energy resources. Although the oil resources make the country prosperous, the United Arab Emirates cannot rely on it because all-natural resources are exhaustive. The country faces two major challenges, including the diversification of the non-oil sector of the economy and governmental policies (Saif).

The government of the United Arab Emirates supported the diversification of the economy. The country aims to accomplish this goal via the improvement of three sectors: finance, tourism, and education (Saif). Consequently, a substantial amount of assets is further contributed to the development of other spheres of activity such as infrastructure, improvement of science, a public-private partnership, and education.

The rapid expansion and improvement of the United Arab Emirates become a significant figure both in the Middle East and the world. Still, the country faces a variety of internal and external challenges. The primary external challenges concern the potential geopolitical instability in the region (World Economic Forum). The military threat from Iran is about the belonging of some islands in the Strait of Hormuz. As Linden writes, “The UAE is not considered to be as vulnerable as Saudi Arabia to the threat from al Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups, as these groups do not have a base of operations or support in the emirates” (Linden). However, the security concerns are connected with the general instability in the region.

After the Second Gulf War, the countries of the Arab world realized the need to create a safe region that cannot undermine the security of Arab countries. As Al Nahyan writes, “No single Arab country can individually achieve a political and national security out of the other Arab Countries whether on the region or national level” (Al Nahyan). This peculiarity of the Arab countries predetermines the dependence of the country’s security on the situation in the region.

Statement of the Problem

The United Arab Emirates faces the need for the maximum improvement of border security due to rapid economic development. The United Arab Emirates promotes the development of non-oil sectors of the economy (such as finance, tourism, and education) at the current stage of its development (after the second oil boom in 2002-2008). The primary source of its prosperity is oil. It contributes drastically to the development of other spheres such as infrastructure or property markets.

These factors may be considered as signs of immense potential for future growth and improvement. However, the challenges and threats to border security undermine the United Arab Emirates’ confidence in the stability of tomorrow because of the continuous unpredictability in the Middle East region. Consequently, there is a need to assess the current condition of border control, possible threats, and ways of their prevention and further development. As mentioned by Al Nahyan, the ability of the country to restore and protects its political independence and social norms leads to political and economic stability. In its turn, this stability depends on the organization and division of the governmental power in the United Arab Emirates (Al Nahyan).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to assess the readiness and intention of the United Arab Emirates to protect its political and economic stability via the improvement of border control and homeland security. The study aims to analyze legal implications, potential threats, and solutions concerning homeland security issues. The paper under consideration has the following objectives:

  • Provide relevant general information about the United Arab Emirates;
  • To examine peculiarities of the border control and homeland security;
  • To analyze the most threatening challenges;
  • To evaluate the awareness of homeland security issues of residents of the country as well as employees of border control systems.

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for the paper refers to the existing theoretical background necessary for the proper evaluation of homeland security. Scholars argue that there are no homeland security theories at all (Bellavita). Christopher Bellavita argues that there is no universal theory of homeland security for countries and their government. The existence of the universal theory is impossible due to the variety of factors that influence the choice of border control approach of a particular country.

The United Arab Emirates, like many other countries in the Middle East, has developed its economy to the abundance of natural resources. Peculiarities of the region and neighboring states also predetermine the border control measures.

According to Aartun, the rentier state theory is used as a basis for the evaluation of the United Arab Emirates’ historical economic growth and improvement. Gray defines a rentier state theory (RST) as “a political economy theory that seeks to explain state-society relations in states that generate the large proportion of their income from rents, or externally-derived, unproductively-earned payments.” The United Arab Emirates can be considered as a rentier state due to the two factors.

The first factor refers to the relationships between the government and its citizens. The revenues from oil comprise almost eighty percent of the overall income of the country. However, the government has managed to develop a flexible system of taxation (no taxes are imposed on individual earnings). In addition, the state aims to develop non-oil sectors. For example, almost seventy percent of Emirati already work in the non-public sector (Zicchieri).

The second factor concerns the relationships between ruling families. Thus, no family owns oil. It is a state resource, and it belongs to every individual in the country (Aartun). The economy is a crucial aspect that defines the need to implement advanced border control. The rentier state theory aims at the evaluation of current potential and challenges to the economy and their relation to homeland security. A rentier state is a state that depends on the existing natural resources to receive wealth and revenues (Sadik).

Zicchieri also argues that using a rentier state theory is not relevant to the United Arab Emirates. The author writes that most rentier countries offer minimal support to the non-rent sectors of the domestic economy. The United Arab Emirates’ interest in public and private sectors demonstrates that Zicchieri’s thoughts should be taken into consideration.

Still, the investigation of Anne Aartun demonstrates that the government of the United Arab Emirates uses the oil-based economy for the maintenance of stability in the country (Aartun). The research also shows that the United Arab Emirates is estimated to be one of the most stable countries in the Middle East region (Aartun). However, the current rapid development of the country makes it necessary to implement the most efficient systems of border control. Situations in Yemen prove the existing insecurity in the region.

Since 2015, the United Arab Emirates became involved in the long-lasting and exhausting conflict in Yemen. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became the primary opponent of the rebels in Yemen, while the United Arab Emirates supported Saudi Arabia (Abdullah). The involvement in conflicts makes the country fragile and exhausted. As a result, adequate development may not be achieved in an unstable region.

This information demonstrates the need to dig deeper into the problem and investigate a range of issues that are described in the following part of the paper.

Research Questions

The aim of the research is to give an answer to the following:

  • What is the current state of the United Arab Emirates’ homeland security and border control?
  • What is the role of aviation in border security?
  • What are the fundamental concerns and challenges connected with homeland security?
  • What is the connection between the economic development of the country and homeland security?
  • What are the most useful ways for the elimination of threats?
  • What are the strong and weak sides of the United Arab Emirates laws concerning border control and homeland security?

Methodology

Qualitative research aims to describe a particular phenomenon and form an understanding of the definite notions (“Qualitative Approaches”). This type of research is employed because its methods are the most appropriate for the evaluation of homeland security and border control issues in the United Arab Emirates. A qualitative approach is used to evaluate the available literature related to the topic.

Qualitative research is utilized for the collection of data concerning personal opinions of ordinary people and representatives from the government (“Qualitative Approaches”). The current research is essential for the realization of the connection between the population of the United Arab Emirates and homeland security and border control. The questionnaire of ten questions is sent to fifty individuals. It can be found in Appendix C. The survey contains questions concerning border control issues.

The inductive approach will be used for the evaluation of the results of the questionnaire. This type of approach is efficient for several reasons. First, it is useful for the analysis of various data and making summaries of them (Thomas). Also, the inductive approach assists in seeing connections between links and sources. As Thomas writes, “The general inductive approach provides an easily used and systematic set of procedures for analyzing qualitative data that can produce reliable and valid findings.”

A snowball sampling or chain sampling is a method used for the logical arrangement of known factors. A snowball sampling method is practiced to present discovered facts in a logical manner. A snowball sampling is useful for the accumulation of information (“Snowball or Chain Sampling”). The results of the qualitative research will provide implications for future studies in the area of homeland security of the United Arab Emirates. Results of the research are analyzed in Chapter VI.

Quantitative methods are used to explain the nature of the problem. Thus, quantitative research is used for the gathering of statistical data (population, area, GDP). Besides, quantitative research assists in the evaluation of the effectiveness of some methods for border security improvement, such as iris recognition. Interdisciplinary research has been used for data accumulation from various fields. In Appendix B, one can observe that questions from different fields (economy, homeland security) are used in the questionnaire. In the paper, interdisciplinary research is used as well. For example, data from the economy are used for the evaluation of the need to improve border control in the country.

Importance of the Study

The significance of the study is predetermined by claiming that the United Arab Emirates currently experiences the necessity to improve border security. It is also relevant to investigate the condition of the border control systems and security measures to suggest potential developments are improvements of homeland security.

According to the World Economic Forum, the United Arab Emirates belongs to the rapidly developing countries. The state has managed to improve the infrastructure and both the private and public sectors of the economy significantly (World Economic Forum). However, the country is located in constantly changing regions. The political situation may change suddenly. Therefore, the United Arab Emirates pays particular attention to the development of homeland security and border control.

Scope and Limitations

The study investigates the current condition of homeland security and border control of the United Arab Emirates. The research examines the threats and challenges that are most urgent nowadays. Limitations of the study refer to the lack of comparison of the homeland security and border control in the United Arab Emirates and neighboring countries. It could be useful for the evaluation of the situation in the region.

Definition of Key Terms

The dictionary term “border control” refers to a set of measures that predetermines the country’s approach to the provision of security of its borders (“Border Control Law & Legal Definition”). Border control may be referred to as the psychical expression of a state’s sovereignty. Border control monitors everything, including animate and inanimate objects that enter or leave the country. The primary function of border control regulations is to protect the country.

Homeland security is a condition of the country when it is free from danger or threats. The term “homeland security” is used to define measures the particular country uses to protect the country from external threats such as terrorism, smuggling, or drug trafficking.

According to the online version of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, terrorism is defined as “the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to act” (“Terrorism”). In the following paper, the term terrorism is used to describe potential threats to homeland security in the United Arab Emirates.

Smuggling is “the illegal transport of goods, especially across border lines. Smuggling is engaged in to avoid taxation or to obtain goods which are prohibited in a certain region” (“Smuggling Law & Legal Definition). Smuggling is one of the threats and challenges to border control and homeland security in the United Arab Emirates.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s definition of drug trafficking presupposes that it is “a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances which are subjects to drug prohibition laws” (“Drug Trafficking”). The efficient overcoming of this problem is also significant for the United Arab Emirates as far as any illegal activity undermines the safety and status of the country.

Homeland Security

Homeland security and border control are of primary significance for the United Arab Emirates at the current stage of the country’s development. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the country’s economy has increased almost by seven percent annually (World Economic Forum). The primary source of prosperity is the oil-based economy. At the current stage of development, the United Arab Emirates aims to develop a domestic economy and decrease its role as a rentier state. However, the geopolitical instability in the Middle East region is the key threat to successful improvement. Consequently, there is a need to evaluate border control and homeland security.

Review of Literature

The issues of homeland security and border control in the United Arab Emirates have been investigated in various works. The central idea of all studies is that the process of border security improvement cannot be finished. The primary responsibility of the country is to evaluate potential challenges and threats and prevent them. Nevertheless, new threats will always appear. The article “Iris Recognition and the Challenge of Homeland and Border Control Security in UAE” (Al-Raisi and Al-Khouri) examines the new way of improving border security in the United Arab Emirates.

The proper identity management and verification are crucial for efficient border control. Iris recognition is a new method of biometrics that aims at improving security systems. The primary advantage of iris recognition refers to the fact that it gives immediate results. Although DNA and fingerprints are efficient for the same purposes as well, it takes time until results will be viewed. The authors of the article investigate the significance and role of this change for homeland security and border control in the United Arab Emirates (Al-Raisi and Al-Khouri). The need for a new biometric system is also predetermined by the increasing number of travelers (Malik).

Apart from identity identification systems, the United Arab Emirates realizes the importance of other methods of border protection. For this purpose, flying remote control drones were manufactured to monitor the territory of airports (“Eye in the Sky: Abu Dhabi’s Ports now protected by drones”). These pieces of writing are important for the research as far as they demonstrate the current condition and possible improvements of the border control and homeland security in the United Arab Emirates. However, the practical enhancement of the border control measures is nothing without the proper legal implications.

The legal system of the country plays an essential role in border security (“Export Control and Combating Terror Financing”). The United Arab Emirates realizes this fact and implements a system of strict export and import laws. The aim of such laws is to prevent terrorist attacks. The article “Export Control and Combating Terror Financing” has been published on the official site of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the United States of America.

The article presents information about the United Arab Emirates’ policies concerning export control and combating terrorism. According to the article, the United Arab Emirates supports all sanctions imposed by the European Union. Also, the most significant export control laws are described in the paper. The article provides readers with information about collaboration between the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates as well (“Export Control and Combating Terror Financing”).

Recently, the United Arab Emirates has reaffirmed its intention to promote peace in the world by stating that the county has plans concerning the establishment of free from nuclear weapons zones in the Middle East (Malek). As Malek writes, “UAE non-proliferation credentials are well recognized internationally. This makes it an important layer in regional and international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts” (Malek). Such intention is of extreme significance for the United Arab Emirates’ homeland safety as far as it can be achieved only when the whole region is stabilized. This fact makes this aspect of the country’s activity important for the current research.

The United Arab Emirates aims at a continuous enhancement of its border control measures. According to the article “UAE Sets $10 Billion for Homeland Security,” the government of the United Arab Emirates decides to double investments into homeland security. Such a decision is motivated by the economic development of the country and the growth of population (“UAE Sets $10 Billion for Homeland Security”). It should be noted that cyberspace is a new dimension that requires precise control of homeland security (Neaimi, Ranginya, and Lutaaya).

The United Arab Emirates has become an object of numerous cyber conflicts because of the developed economy (Neaimi, Ranginya, and Lutaaya). Consequently, there is a need to develop an efficient system of cybersecurity. As Neaimi, Ranginya, and Lutaaya describe it, “The fundamental drivers to the cybersecurity market age geared towards increasing the digital risk from cyber users by creating greater vulnerabilities because of more pervasive utilization of engineering and cloud computing.”

The provided literature review gives us the opportunity to have an insight into several important aspects connected with border control and homeland security in the United Arab Emirates. Numerous articles demonstrate the intention of the United Arab Emirates to have superior border control. It should be noted that the county develops homeland security in several directions. First, the government encourages the implementation of recent technologies for efficient security at borders. Also, the state is concerned with the legal aspects of border control and law enforcement. Finally, the United Arab Emirates spares no financial resources for the improvement of border control measures.

Aspects Related to Border Control and Homeland Security

Area Reporting and Geographical Location

The United Arab Emirates includes seven smaller parts. They are Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Dubai, Umm al-Qaiwain, and Ras al-Khaimah.

UAE 7 Emirates.
UAE 7 Emirates.

The general area of the United Arab Emirates is more than 80,000 square kilometers. The United Arab Emirates extends for one kilometer along the Gulf of Oman and for more than a thousand kilometers along the lower Gulf. The total coastline of Abu Dhabi is more than 450 km, while Dubai’s coastline encompasses 70 km (“United Arab Emirates: MERI Report”). The three largest emirates are Abu Dhabi (67340 square kilometers), Dubai (3885 square kilometers), and Sharjah (2590 square kilometers). Abu Dhabi is the most western emirate (“United Arab Emirates: MERI Report”).

UAE Map with Roads.
UAE Map with Roads.

Dubai is located in the east. Sharjah is situated on two sides of the Ras Musandam peninsula. The whole peninsula is divided by a range of mountains known as the Hajar Mountains. The highest peak of the Hajar Mountains in the United Arab Emirates is two thousand five hundred meters (“United Arab Emirates: MERI Report”).

Knowledge of the area is significant for the evaluation of the country’s potential in terms of border control. The following map depicts the location of the United Arab Emirates and its neighbors. This situation is valuable for border control. The strategic position of the United Arab Emirates is advantageous from both military and political perspectives. That is why it may become the target of terrorist attacks.

State Borders UAE.
State Borders UAE.

Demographics and Population

The population of the United Arab Emirates comprised 9.4 million residents in 2014 (“United Arab Emirates Population 2015”). The population of the state is extremely diverse. The full list of the population of the United Arab Emirates can be found in Appendix A. Thus, approximately ten percent of the overall population form Emiratis while the rest of the population are representatives from other countries and nations.

Population of UAE by nationality graphic depiction.
Population of UAE by nationality graphic depiction.

This information is proved by the fact that the United Arab Emirates has the highest migration rate in the world. It comprises more than twenty percent. Such a high rate is predetermined by the legal ability to apply for the country’s citizenship after living in the state for twenty years. The other distinctive feature about the population refers to the male to female ratio. The gender imbalance is 2.2, and it is the highest imbalance in the world after Qatar (“United Arab Emirates Population 2015”).

Data about demographics and population are important for the evaluation of possible attacks of terrorists. According to Krane, “UAE authorities see their biggest security threat in the groups of Indians, Iranians, and Pakistanis who outnumber Emirati citizens” (Krane). The following image proves the statement of Krane (“Top 5 Nationalities Living in UAE”).

TOP 5 Nationalities Living in UAE.
TOP 5 Nationalities Living in UAE.

Economy and GDP

The economy of the United Arab Emirates is influenced by the system of the free-market economy. The United Arab Emirates is also the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter, and this is principal to economic development. Thus, the oil sector is the largest, and the country depends on it predominantly. The United Arab Emirates became a wealthy state very quickly. It proclaimed independence from Great Britain in 1971, and since that time, achieved remarkable results (“United Arab Emirates: MERI Report”).

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the economy of the country increased by seven percent annually until 2007. The economy fell substantially during the crisis in 2008. Dubai suffered the most severe losses. However, the country managed to recuperate from the crisis quickly. As a result, significant growth rates were returned to the economy in 2011-2013 (“Economy”).

The government of the United Arab Emirates promotes the liberation of the economy. Business competition is favored, although this aspect of the economy is still in the process of development. There is also no clear distinction between the private and public sectors.

For instance, the government owns particular companies. Thus, ruling families become active participants in economic activity in the country. Anti-trust laws are not spread and developed in the United Arab Emirates. Although the World Trade Organization recommends the state to eliminate monopolies, such policies have to be developed. The United Arab Emirates broadens its international relations and foreign trade with other countries. For instance, since 2011, the country became partners with Latin America and Africa (Krane).

UAE Jewel of the World.
UAE Jewel of the World.

There is no doubt that the importance of the United Arab Emirates on the global area is predetermined by the fact that it is one of the major oil producers. Despite the oil industry, the United Arab Emirates has the potential for the development of agriculture (“Economy”).

The growth of GDP in the United Arab Emirates is one of the best in the world. GDP comprised 1.54 trillion in 2014 (“Economy”). The growth was dependent on the oil industry initially. However, in the last ten years, the country developed other fields that enhanced almost seventy percent of GDP (“Economy”)

GDP Distribution by Sector.
GDP Distribution by Sector.

These factors enhance the well-being of residents of the United Arab Emirates. “The average UAE citizen is widely considered to be the richest in the world, next only to a Kuwaiti” (Mallakh).

Infrastructure

The United Arab Emirates has one of the most developed infrastructure systems in the world. Infrastructure is crucial to the efficient development of the country and business activities (“Infrastructure”). The primary reason for this refers to the country’s location. Thus, the territory of the United Arab Emirates is relatively large. Important business meetings and activities are centered in large cities.

These cities are located far from each other. Such a situation comprises a challenge. A modern business values time management. Consequently, there is a need to develop infrastructure. Taking these facts into consideration, the government of the country decided to finance the building of the advanced infrastructure system. The primary emphasis is laid on the building of good roads, ports, airports, television, radio, and postal systems.

The system of international airports is of great significance for the economy of the country (“Infrastructure”). One of the major airports is Abu Dhabi International Airport with Etihad Airways expansion. This extension allows serving fifteen million travelers annually (“Economy”). Dubai World Central International Airport and Dubai International Airport (“Economy”) are other important airports. Initially, there was a supposition that there were too many airports in the United Arab Emirates. A large number of airports was caused by the nature of relations between sheiks in the state.

Thus, every sheik considers it to be a sign of prestige to have a personal airport. Nowadays, the abundance of airports is only useful for the United Arab Emirates. The country is a center of leisure, health care, and business for many people. The need for airports increases greatly during the summer months (Malakh).

The system of roads is also well-developed in the United Arab Emirates. The government realized the need to build an advanced system of internal roads to support the local economy and business. The construction programs commenced in 1970. In that year, for instance, the largest road construction that connected Qatar and Ras Al-Khaimah was built. Roads are necessary for the efficient moving of goods in the country. It is the second most useful means of transportation after airways (Malakh).

Seaports in the United Arab Emirates are also the most developed in the Gulf region (“Ports”). Major ports are Port Zayed in Abu Dhabi (“Ports”) and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. After the gaining of independence, Dubai was the only city capable of accepting increasing imports (“Our History”). The port was already built in Dubai, and it became the basis for future expansions. As in previous cases, the government of the country financed the building of airports because of the need to prepare the basis for the potential development and increase of the economy. The system of infrastructure is connected to the condition of the economy of the United Arab Emirates. Consequently, there is a need to know the most developed and less developed sectors and their relation to security issues.

The United Arab Emirates has substantial benefits from its aviation and transport systems. In most cases, the benefits of economic development are taken into consideration. It is predetermined by the fact that economic development is the most vivid example of the positive outcomes (Oxford Economics). Thus, the aviation industry of the United Arab Emirates enhances the GDP per capita. Also, well-developed aviation provides more residents with job opportunities.

Finally, taxes are also influenced as the country receives more revenues. Still, Oxford Economics emphasizes the fact that the “economic footprint” is not the only positive aspect of the country’s aviation and transportation systems. Positive influences can be divided into three sub-groups. The first one has already been discussed. The second point refers to the issue with customers’ satisfaction. Thus, all people who use services of the United Arab Emirates (passengers at planes or ships) enjoy the high-quality services and facilitate the further development and intention to meet all consumers’ needs (Oxford Economics). In addition, the advanced system of connections between cities and even countries leads to increasing investments and expansion of the business.

Homeland Security

The location of the United Arab Emirates and the availability of resources predetermine the need for the continuous improvement of homeland security and border control. The United Arab Emirates consists of seven emirates that have various facilities. The most significant emirates are Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The geographical location of the country explains the need for numerous airports and, consequently, border control measures. The government of the country considers that there are potential threats to homeland security from non-Emirati residents. Migrants comprise almost ninety percent of the total population of the country.

The economic development of the country commenced in the 1970s after the receiving of independence from Great Britain. Since the twenty-first century, the United Arab Emirates’ economic growth was remarkable. The 2008 crisis influenced the economy negatively though the recovery was quick. Infrastructure is another significant sector. Airport and seaport facilities are advanced to meet the increasing demand. Data about economics and infrastructure assist in realizing the need for homeland security.

Peculiarities of Border Control and Homeland Security

Background information

Security issues became a severe threat to the development of the country since the proclamation of independence. When the United Arab Emirates decided to be separated from the British Empire, representatives of different emirates faced difficulty in finding a comprise about the proper creation of the country and the further subdivision of responsibilities (“History”). Finally, six emirates entered the newly created union of the UAE in 1971 (“History”).

The last emirate, Ras al-Khaimah, became a constituent of the United Arab Emirates a year later (“History”). When this issue was solved and the country became fully independent other problems with border control appeared. For instance, Saudi Arabia did not recognize the United Arab Emirates as a federative country because of the disagreement about the Al Buraymi Oasis (“Foreign Relations”).

When the Iran-Iraq War commenced, the homeland security of the United Arab Emirates was also questioned. The problem was because of the disagreement of separate emirates concerning the support of the war (“History”). Thus, Abu Dhabi was ready to support Iraq, while Dubai became a supporter of Iran (“History”). As a reaction to the increasing instability in the region, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates established one organization known as Gulf Cooperation Council (“Gulf Cooperation Council”).

Oman and Iran also had claims concerning the belonging of several lands. The dispute with Iran concerned three small islands, including Greater Tumb, Lesser Tumb, and Abu Musa (“Foreign relations”). Iran had claims for all three lands even before the country gained independence. In 1971, the island of Abu Musa belonged to the jurisdiction of Sharjah emirate (“Foreign relations”). To settle the disagreement peacefully, Sharjah agreed to let Iran establish military objects in the northern part of the island while Sharjah’s civilian population is living in the southern part of the region. The situation was peaceful until the 1990s.

Workers of the United Arab Emirates needed to disembark on Abu Musa. However, Iranian authorities refused to provide them with access despite the agreement with Sharjah (“Foreign relations”). It was a direct violation of the legal agreement as far as the island of Abu Musa belonged to Sharjah (“Foreign relations”). This conflict was solved without aggravation though it served as a signal that Iran’s actions may be unpredictable. Besides, the discovery of oil deposits made other regional countries challenge the legitimacy of leaders of the United Arab Emirates (“Foreign relations”).

Current Stage of Development of the United Arab Emirates

At the current stage, the level of development of the country (especially of Dubai and Abu Dhabi) predetermines the need for advanced border control (Saif). These Emirates are becoming more and more vivid in the international arena (Saif). The location of the country in an unstable region makes it necessary to be ready for possible aggravations at any time. The history of the Gulf region has proved several times that safety is more about illusion than reality there.

The region itself is important for the global community because of its wealth due to natural resources. In the last thirty years, the region, including the United Arab Emirates, became an area for such conflicts as the Iran-Iraq War, The Gulf War of 1990-1991, and the invasion of the U.S. military forces in Iraq in 2003 (Al Kaabi et al.). After these events, the political power of Iraq decreased drastically, and Iran became of the main disturbing powers in the Arabian states. As Al Kaabi et al. write, “Under the pretext of wanting to establish a new reign of hegemony, Iran has been meddling in the internal affairs of the Gulf States and the region by using Shi’ite minorities as a tool to spread its influence.”

International Collaboration

Non-proliferation Treaty

In 1996, the United Arab Emirates displayed a desire to promote peace in the world by signing the Nonproliferation Treaty (Malek). The Nonproliferation Treaty means that the country will not become the manufacturer of the atomic bomb and weapons of massive destruction. This factor is important for the current research because it provides an insight into the United Arab Emirates’ intentions to become a safe and secure country (Malek). The signing of the Nonproliferation Treaty makes the country (especially the one from the Middle East) look solid and not dangerous for the representatives of other countries (Malek).

In 2014, the United Arab Emirates discussed the creation of a zone in the Middle East that will be free of weapons of massive distraction (Malek). The United Arab Emirates aims to accomplish this aim to make the Gulf region safe for any international and regional transactions and collaborations. According to the information in the article, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s protocol concerning the nuclear collaboration between the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America was signed (Malek).

Thus, the first state admits its devotion to avoid works related to plutonium separation or enrichment of uranium. However, it is still clear that the formation of a zone free of weapons of massive distractions is impossible now (Malek). This conclusion is logical because of Iran’s nuclear activities, the Yemen War, and other conflicts.

The international collaboration of the country is important to represent its status as a reliable, safe, and secure country. Also, international collaboration is a part of homeland security as far as the country receives necessary support and protection in case of some threat. The United Arab Emirates has been demonstrating its commitment to a peaceful existence in recent years. In 2008, the country actively supported “White Paper,” which meant the dedication to the ideas of the usage of nuclear energy for peaceful aims (“Overview”). In 2009, the state signed the “123” agreement on nuclear collaboration with the United States of America.

Also, the United Arab Emirates contributed ten million dollars to the IAEA fuel bank — an international organization that fights with illegal enrichment of uranium (“Overview”). In 2015, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber introduced “UAE Statement before the general debate of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (Al Jaber). In this statement, Al Jaber emphasized the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to the principles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Fighting Terrorism

The United Arab Emirates signed the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in 2005. The country’s devotion to fighting terrorism was supported at the Fourth Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by Mohamed Ali Al Shamsi. Al Shamsi described the national policies of the United Arab Emirates concerning the promotion of peace (“UAE Reaffirms its Commitment to Fighting Terrorism”). Fighting terrorism is a significant part of border control (“UAE Reaffirms its Commitment to Fighting Terrorism”). Terrorist attacks are extremely dangerous for the country’s security. Thus, the initiatives and policies devoted to eliminating and preventing terrorist attacks are necessary for the country.

The Development of the System of Law

The United Arab Emirates has provided a system of strict laws to control export. The aim of the law is to stop the transportation of illicit materials on the borders. The government presented a law in 2007 that presupposed the exact and stringent regulations of export.

According to Chapter 1 of this law, “new law authorizes the concerned authorities to ban or restrict the importing, exporting or re-exporting of any commodity for reasons related to safety, public health, environment, natural resources, national security (“UAE President issues law on commodities subject to import and export control procedures”). There was also the right to ban the export of weapons or any other military materials as well as biological and chemical substances.

This law enforced the establishment of a special committee that should handle the processes of import and export. A year later, the regulations became more severe. The law contains detailed lists of prohibited materials for export or import. It describes all necessary actions in case of violations and potential fines (“UAE President issues law on commodities subject to import and export control procedures”).

In 2009, the government created a new United Arab Emirates Committee on Commodities Subject to Import and Export Control (Committee for Goods & Materials Subject to Import & Export Control). The Committee was accountable to the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it, in its turn, to the President of the United Arab Emirates. The enhancement of this Law Committee is of great significance for border security (Committee for Goods & Materials Subject to Import & Export Control). It conducts necessary procedures for control, including the supervision of licensing, the entrance of materials, inspection and investigation, reporting, disclosure, and documentation of all transactions. There are representatives of the Committee in every emirate (Committee for Goods & Materials Subject to Import & Export Control).

Since 2010, the United Arab Emirates continued improving the system of law, especially export control. It was done as a reaction to the severe imposition of a new wave of sanctions on Iran. The country aimed to prevent the re-export of technologies to Iran by implementing stricter measures of export control (Katzman).

In 2014, the director of Dubai Customs introduced intentions of the Committee by stating, “We at Dubai Customs are committed to rigorously implementing both local and international export control regulations instituted to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction globally” (“Dubai Customs Calls for Strengthening Cooperation on Export Control”).

The United Arab Emirates has a unique system of approach to border control, known as “strategic trade control” (Dunne). The government has signed many treaties to enhance the enforcement of strategic trade controls. These agreements include the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 2006, Chemical Weapon Convention (2000), Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (Dunne).

These issues are crucial to the investigation of the legal regulations connected with homeland security and border control. The United Arab Emirates, being a rapidly developing country, faces numerous challenges connected with the protection of borders. The significance of the legal system should not be underestimated in this respect. Regulations of border control procedures predetermine the country’s readiness and intention to prevent possible aggravations and violations. The international collaboration and national laws of the United Arab Emirates demonstrate the country’s aim to become a superior country in terms of border protection.

Border Control

Land Border

The United Arab Emirates’ borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia. Land borders of the country may be observed in the following map.

UAE Map.
UAE Map.

The United Arab Emirates has built fences along borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman to enhance border control. Such protection of land borders is necessary for the prevention of illegal activity.

Sea Border

The United Arab Emirates share sea borders with Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, and Bahrain. Besides, the Strait of Hormuz (the most significant import point in the area) is located along its coastline (“America, Saudi Arabia, and the Strategic Importance of Yemen”).

Strait of Hormuz.
Strait of Hormuz.

The latest innovation for the protection of ports was launched in Abu Dhabi — two flying drones that control the zone (“Eye in the Sky: Abu Dhabi’s Ports now protected by drones”). The significance of sea borders in the United Arab Emirates cannot be overestimated. The state borders with Persian Gulf (the most significant gulf in the region), and all activity should be monitored there. The reason for such need lies in the fact that the United Arab Emirates shares sea borders with unstable countries. Consequently, there is a need to protect all sea borders to prevent illegal activities.

Air Traffic Control

Major airports of the United Arab Emirates are presented in the following image.

UAE Airports Map.
UAE Airports Map.

The system of border control in the United Arab Emirates aims at providing maximum safety and security for conducting all types of border-crossing services. The tourists who are going to visit the United Arab Emirates must have an entry visa that should be arranged at the place of leaving before arrival. There is a list of nationalities that should not follow the described procedure. Those who belong to the list of exceptions can obtain the visa after arrival.

It is necessary to make a visa and have a sponsor for the visit for representatives of nationalities that do not fall into the group of exceptions (“UAE Visa & Border Pass Requirements”). Such a system lets the United Arab Emirates improve border control and evaluate the efficiency of protection systems. Also, the country can analyze the rate of violations among nationalities that do not have to follow the requirements of the advanced procedures (mostly Middle East nations) and those who have to follow all procedures.

The government of the United Arab Emirates continuously seeks new ways of improvement of security measures. Iris recognition can serve as an example of advanced verification systems (Al-Raisi and Al-Khouri). These practices are predetermined by the need to identify intruders who may use new technologies.

Madha

Madha is a territory of Oman within the United Arab Emirates. It is an enclave. However, there is the village Nahwa in Madha that belongs to the United Arab Emirates officially. Thus, the situation is controversial for border control (Thomas). The controversy about enclaves concerns the border control procedures. Thus, there are checkpoints for both Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Numerous checkpoints make it rather frustrating for tourists to travel (Al Khan).

If all of the checkpoints are saved, the number of tourists may decrease. At the same time, checkpoints are necessary for the proper protection of the country’s borders. This situation creates a kind of paradox within the United Arab Emirates’ border control system. This case may serve as a vivid example of the possible controversy of the system of border protection in the country. Also, it demonstrates that challenges may occur even in the smallest regions.

People Who Work at Cross Points

People who work at cross points should have particular skills and knowledge to conduct their duties to deliver the best service at borders. They should realize the significance of their responsibilities. One individual who works at border cross points has been interviewed. He is a Sergeant Amer Al Jaberi of the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (“Interior Minister Views New Advanced Counterfeit Passport Detector”).

He introduced the information that all people who work at border cross points undergo particular training programs. They should also have a relevant high grade or university education to become employees. According to information provided by Al Jaberi, they are required to have a high level of awareness about all potential threats and ways of overcoming them. Al Jaberi’s sharing of knowledge is useful for the understanding of what is required to become a good protector of borders. We have learned that people who work at cross points should have good physical conditioning and critical thinking skills.

The Role of Yemeni Conflict in Border Control

Current instability and military conflict in Yemen proves the necessity to improve border control in the United Arab Emirates. It is estimated that regional instability cannot be eliminated quickly. Consequently, there is a need to protect the borders and the state. Started in 2015, the situation in Yemen was about fighting for governmental power in the country. Four major forces are involved: the separatists, activists devoted to the government, forces of the former President, and ISIL people (“Key fronts”).

Though the conflict is far from the UAE, the country supports Gulf states in resolving the conflict (Abdullah). It has particular concerns because of the possible aggravation of the situation. The situation in Yemen is important for the United Arab Emirates because the neighboring country, Saudi Arabia, is involved in the conflict. In the case of intensification, the United Arab Emirates may be under threat.

Development of Border

The United Arab Emirates spares no means to improve homeland security. The United Arab Emirates plans to double the expenses on border control (“UAE Sets $10 Billion for Homeland Security”). Consequently, the state is going to contribute 10$ billion within the following decades for homeland security systems improvement (“UAE Sets $10 Billion for Homeland Security”). The investments in the aviation infrastructure are more likely to reach almost 60$ million in one year (“UAE Sets $10 Billion for Homeland Security”).

The United Arab Emirates plans to launch a system that employs eye scans, fingerprinting, and facial recognition. The need for change is largely predetermined by the foreseen increase of travelers (Malek). Sheikh Ahmed, Dubai civil aviation president, discussed the importance of borders at the Future of Borders conference in March 2015. He said, “borders are strategic partners for airports. They should prepare themselves for a more important and challenging role in the future” (“Sheikh Ahmed Raises the Importance of Borders Debate”). Sheikh Ahmed introduced information about the state’s intention to constantly develop border control systems. E-technology, do-it-yourself methods, and smart gates are examples of recent innovations.

The increasing attention to the development of borders is predetermined by the government’s aim to prevent the entry of extremist groups in the country (“UAE Security Wall”). Also, the United Arab Emirates becomes a popular destination for tourists (Malek). The government should make sure that the country is safe for the further development of this business sector.

Smart Gates.
Smart Gates.

The most recent innovation to the border control systems was introduced in October 2015. It is a new microscope that can scan any documents, ID cards, and even tickets. The creator of this machine is Sergeant Amer Al Jaberi of the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. The quality of this microscope is twenty times better than that is of other devices (see Appendix B for more details).

Also, it is a low-cost, eco-friendly invention that will enhance security at airports significantly (“UAE Invests Device to Catch Fake Passport Holders of Any Country”). Thus, Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan actively supports the innovation (“UAE Invests Device to Catch Fake Passport Holders of Any Country”). The support is predetermined by the need to improve border control due to potential threats constantly.

It should be added that such counterfeit passport detector belongs to advanced technologies. This factor proves the United Arab Emirates’ intention to make the country safe and protected. Also, the creator of the detection, Sergeant Amer Al Jaberi, is young, and this fact shows the youth’s devotion to the improvement of the country’s future. The efficiency of Al Jaberi’s device has already been proved. In October 2015, the border control service of Sharjah managed to detain individuals who had fake one hundred billion dollars (“Ministry sergeant invents ‘green’ passport scanner”).

Homeland Security

Historical perspective and the current development of the United Arab Emirates are two primary reasons that define the need for advanced border control. Thus, Iran’s claims about the three islands prove the abruptness of its activities. Nowadays, the increasing influx of travelers and the growing economy predetermine the necessity to improve border control systems as well. The international collaboration makes the United Arab Emirates an exemplary country in terms of nuclear activities and fighting terrorism. The government recognizes the necessity to enhance the efficiency of border control measures. The recent innovations include smart gates and new microscopes for the detection of fake passport holders.

Challenges in Border Security

Cyberspace

Cyberspace gives immense opportunities for development (Neaimi, Ranginya, and Lutaaya). These opportunities attract the attention of different hackers or organized groups at the same time. Cyberspace of the United Arab Emirates has become a target for numerous cyber-attacks due to economic growth. Cyber-attacks can affect the state on the national level (“Cyber Terrorism: The Arab’s World Invisible Threat”).

Passwords manipulation, corrupted programs, malware, fishing belong to the active practices of cyber-attacks (Neaimi, Ranginya, and Lutaaya). In 2012, the government of the United Arab Emirates improved cyberspace criminal laws. Besides, two new laws were introduced: “Law No. 3 of 2012 on Establishing the National Electronic Security Authority (E-Security Authority Law)” and “Law No. 5 of 2012 Concerning Combating Information Technology Crimes (Cyber Crimes Law)” (Beretta and Berached).

The recent investigation has demonstrated that the United Arab Emirates is the second country with the most numerous cyber-attacks in the Middle East (Samoglou). In 2016, The United Arab Emirates started to collaborate with the UK to improve cybersecurity on the national level (Malek). The United Kingdom is known to have advanced cybersecurity systems. The United Arab Emirates is ready to cooperate with the UK and find some new ways to reduce cyber-attacks to the minimum.

An example of cyber terrorism can be malware known as Gauss. It is a virus designed to track banking data on the level of nations (Newman). It is not dangerous to the average user but can do a lot of harm to the country’s systems. The virus attacked the nuclear information of Iran and was found in other countries, including the United Arab Emirates (“Cyber Terrorism: The Arab’s World Invisible Threat”). It is an example of the real danger that modern countries face. The significance of cybersecurity should not be neglected as far as it is crucial for homeland security (Neaimi, Ranginya, and Lutaaya).

Terrorism

Terrorism is another threat to the border security of the United Arab Emirates. The situation between Middle East countries is tense. That is why the United Arab Emirates face the problem of possible terrorist attacks. According to Al Khoori, members of the terrorist group known as Shabab Al Manara have been found and delivered to the Federal Court for trial. Their aim was to overthrow the government via attacks (Al Khoori). Terrorists’ objective was to establish an Islamic state in the United Arab Emirates. Also, they aimed to bomb public places and chaos (Al Khoori). This situation serves as an example that terrorism is always a relevant threat.

This piece of news is not the only example of the challenges of the United Arab Emirates. The country is actively engaged in the process of eliminating any terrorism activity not only within the country but the Arab states region as well. For instance, the United Arab Emirates provided financial assistance for moderate Islamic forces fighting in Syria. The United Arab Emirates spares no means for the prevention of the activity of extremist Islamic groups (Katzman).

Also, Katzman writes, “The UAE and Saudi Arabia also have worked to undermine other Muslim Brotherhood-related organizations in the region, including Hamas.” This information justifies the government’s investment in the improvement of border control and homeland security. One may come to the conclusion that terrorism comprises a continuous and developing threat to the country, and it is necessary to be ready to react to it.

Described cases are examples of the successful confrontation with terrorism. However, the country’s numerous and large investments in protection and identification devices demonstrate that the threat of terrorism cannot be eliminated easily. The United Arab Emirates realizes that the terrorist groups use advanced technology too, and it makes the process of fighting terrorism long-lasting and constant.

Drug Trafficking

The smuggling of illegal substances is the other threat to border security. Trafficking of drugs and people undermines the idea of the rule of law in the country. The inner integrity is essential for border security as well. If there is a rule of law in all aspects, the country will be protected adequately. The United Arab Emirates utilizes strict measures such as the death sentence for drug trafficking. For instance, in 2012, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court conducted a trial on three Asian men who tried to smuggle more than fifty kilograms of hashish to Saudi Arabia. The accused were sentenced to death (“3 Sentenced to Death for Drug Trafficking”).

Those three criminals were caught on the borders of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi Criminal Court demonstrated that the severest measures should be applied to those who do not follow the rules. The case is one more example of the fact that threats never disappear, and the country should always be prepared for more serious violations. The legal regulations of the smuggling of illegal substances are directly connected to the social and religious background of the United Arab Emirates. This fact demonstrates that the country’s protection of border control is a means of protecting the purity of cultural values as well.

Illegal Weapon and Equipment Smuggling

The illegal weapons and equipment may be used for the manufacturing of different types of weaponry for wars. The United Arab Emirates has to control this aspect, too, especially in relation to Iraq, which is the primary threat to border security. The United Arab Emirates has faced the problem of illegal trafficking many times. For instance, in 2009, “authorities captured a cargo shipment illegally carrying North Korean weapons, which included nuclear missile-related materials, and was headed to Iran” (Issa). The same article describes the seizure of sixteen thousand pistols that were heading to Yemen.

Smuggling of illegal weapons of this kind can unsettle the situation in the area. In the article provided, both instances of smuggling provide information about weapons that are to be used in large-scale military conflicts. This information also proves the topicality of the current research and the need to improve border control. The United Arab Emirates has to eliminate such practices to prove its intention to promote peace in the Middle East.

Homeland security

The government of the United Arab Emirates has to improve its system of law and security measures constantly. Although various modifications and advancements have been made, provided examples demonstrate that violations of border control law are still relevant. Thus, cyberspace of the countries is always under the threat of such malware as Gauss. Terrorism is another concern as far as news proves that there are always some fanatics who want to unsettle the stability.

Drug trafficking is an illegal activity that should be eliminated. Smuggling of weapons comprises the concern for the country as far as it can be used for the aggravation of the situation in the whole Gulf region. All these examples are challenges to border control, and they prove the fact that the malefactors employ more advanced technologies in their activity too. Thereafter, the country has to address every challenge with maximum efficiency.

Research Findings

Qualitative method

Numerous researchers have tried to investigate homeland security and border control in the United Arab Emirates. Some of them state that the political stability of the United Arab Emirates is impressive if taking into consideration continuous conflicts in the Middle East region. Thus, Anne Aartun considers that the oil-based economy and political behavior as a rentier state have been used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to maintain its political stability.

Despite this fact, some other sources emphasize the potential threat of instability in the region. Thus, the World Economic Forum mentions that the rapid economic development of the United Arab Emirates may be undermined by the geopolitical instability in the area (World Economic Forum). Yet, there is a lack of research concerning the investigation of residents’ awareness of the border control measures and homeland security issues. The aim of the research below was to investigate knowledge of border control and homeland security issues of citizens of the United Arab Emirates. This information interests us for several reasons:

  • Recent news demonstrates that the government of the country finances border control actively. It is worth to know whether people are aware of these intentions;
  • It is useful to know whether the residents of such an economically developed country comprehend the importance of border control for overall prosperity.

Data Collection

A questionnaire of ten questions was prepared for the research. The questionnaire was sent to fifty individuals for them to choose the most appropriate answer. Thus, all respondents were instructed to write down one of the following answers under each question: Agree, Strong Agree, Disagree, and Strong Disagree. One can find the full version of the questionnaire in Appendix C.

Thus, the current research was based on indirect interviews with fifty respondents. Respondents were chosen randomly. Before sending the questionnaire, everyone was asked about the willingness to answer several questions about border control and homeland security. Also, every potential respondent was notified that the questionnaire would be anonymous. After receiving the agreement, questionnaires were sent to respondents. The latter were given one week to answer the questions and send the file back.

Data Analysis

An inductive approach is used for the evaluation of results as far as conclusions should be based on data. One can find the answers of five respondents in Appendix C. These five answers are provided as an example of what has been done. Answers of all fifty respondents may be summarized in the following table:

Number of question Agree Strong Agree Disagree Strong disagree
1 30 20
2 28 22
3 43 7
4 5 45
5 50
6 12 13 18 7
7 17 33
8 19 12 19
9 14 8 28
10 33 17

One week after sending the questionnaire, respondents’ answers were gathered and evaluated. All respondents were given the same questions about border control and homeland security in the United Arab Emirates. To make the process of questioning comfortable and not time-consuming, the questions were designed in such a way that they can be answered by choosing one of the suggested variants (Agree, Strong Agree, Disagree, Strong Disagree).

It should be added that all respondents provided answers to questions quickly and without delays. Together with the filled questionnaire, some respondents left remarks concerning the type of research. Some of them were glad to participate, while others shared their opinion that they could not express what they wanted with the help of the suggested answers. Such information provides the opportunity for further improvements in the following types of research. Also, the accuracy of information depends on the respondents’ willingness to share their points of view.

The time frame of the research comprised one month. One week was devoted to the development of questions and finding respondents. One week was given to respondents to submit their answers. The evaluation and analysis of results lasted for the rest of the time.

The reason for the questionnaire was the fact that little attention is paid to the awareness of the masses of border control and homeland security issues. On the one hand, there is no need to dwell on possible threats constantly to avoid panic or exaggerations. On the other side, it is useful to analyze the people’s awareness of the problem and study their attitude towards the government’s activities in this sector.

Analysis of questionnaire

The general outcome of questioning demonstrates that respondents are aware of the most significant notions referring to border control and homeland security issues. It is necessary to evaluate every answer separately. Thus, the predominant part of respondents considers that homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and illegal activity. Thus, they know the most important function of homeland security. Based on the results of the research, one can state that residents realize the significance of economic development and agree that there is a connection between the economy and homeland security.

Most people believe that border control influences the life of usual people though seven respondents express the opposite opinion. This statement is proved by answers to the fifth question. Thus, forty-five responders do not believe that border control influences only those who work there. All respondents unanimously agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country. The sixth question presents that there is a lack of knowledge about types of border control procedures because respondents are not sure whether fingerprinting is the most efficient way of checking. Despite the majority’s understanding of the primary function of border control, respondents do not support the government’s initiatives to finance border control intensely.

Perhaps, this attitude is caused by the unawareness of reasons for such actions, as it is proved in the next question. Twenty-eight respondents consider that there are other significant threats to homeland security. Finally, all interviewees agree that the current situations in Yemen and Syria serve as a sign of the government’s concern about homeland security.

Outcome

The aim of the questioning is to evaluate the level of residents’ awareness about homeland security and border control in the United Arab Emirates. The research is motivated by the fact that there is a lack of investigations of people’s opinions about homeland security. Results have shown that most respondents realize the importance of homeland security. However, they are not sure about the reasons for the recent initiative to finance border control actively.

The results of the questionnaire have demonstrated that residents are aware of the most widespread challenges to border control. They realize that the government invests in border control to protect the country from terrorism, smuggling, and drug trafficking. Also, residents of the United Arab Emirates comprehend that the protection of border control is crucial for the further development and prosperity of the country and its citizens.

Conclusions

Summary of Findings

The United Arab Emirates is a modern country with a developed infrastructure and economy. The instability of the region, as well as the country’s prosperity, predetermine the need to improve border control measures. The United Arab Emirates is an active participant in the international agreements concerning the regulation of nuclear activities of the countries. Even more, the state is a model of excellent collaboration. Besides, the government continues investing in new methods of border control, such as smart gates.

The level of residents’ awareness in terms of homeland security and border control is rather good. Thus, they comprehend that there is a connection between border control and the economic condition of the country. Also, all respondents agree that the existing disturbing situations in Yemen and Syria prove the geopolitical instability in the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates realizes that the instability in the region cannot be eliminated in the soon future. The government should always finance and improve border control to prevent potential threats. The state is moving in the right direction and conducts everything required to provide travelers with a safe service and residents with protected lands. The United Arab Emirates’ initiative to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons demonstrates its intention to enhance the development of the whole region in the Middle East. Still, a peaceful environment in the area is not impossible until numerous conflicts may be solved.

Implications for Future Research

Homeland security and border control should be further investigated and compared to data from the current research for several reasons. The first aspect to be taken into consideration refers to the fact that the level of border control and homeland security will be improving. As a result of particular changes, residents’ opinions concerning border control issues can be altered. This change can be measured with the help of further investigations.

Also, other pieces of research will be appropriate for the comparison of the citizens’ attitude towards governmental activities and finding the level of satisfaction. It can be useful to evaluate the country’s approach to homeland security and border control and define the theoretical background for it. The constant development of both security measures and threats makes this topic actual. Future research may investigate the influence of security advances on the prevention of threats and overcoming challenges.

Lessons Learned

The United Arab Emirates is a young country that has demonstrated impressive economic growth and overall development (World Economic Forum). The United Arab Emirates is rich in oil. This resource is central to the country, and it has brought it prosperity as well. The United Arab Emirates has been developing as a rentier country. Two oil booms in the 1970s and 2000s resulted in the United Arab Emirates becoming one of the most successful countries in the world (“United Arab Emirates: MERI Report”).

The United Arab Emirates may be classified as a rentier state because natural resource comprises the largest part of its revenues (Aartun). However, the country develops the private and public sectors as well. This statement can be proved by the flexible system of taxation and the fact that seventy percent of the emirate are engaged in non-oil sectors (Zicchieri). As a well-developed country, the United Arab Emirates should protect its borders and face numerous challenges. Apart from this, the location of the country is one more challenge.

The United Arab Emirates is located in the Middle East – region that is characterized by constant instability. There is a threat of possible aggravation of the situation. Other threats to homeland security include cyber-attacks, terrorism, drug trafficking, and weapon smuggling. The country realizes the significance of eliminating these perils. The government spares no means to improve the border control (“UAE Sets $10 Billion for Homeland Security”).

The United Arab Emirates implements various ways of identity verification — an important procedure that allows identifying intruders. Iris recognition is considered to be one of the most recent innovations that makes it possible to check the individual with maximum efficiency and accuracy (Al-Raisi and Al-Khouri). The country does not underestimate the role of robotic devices for the monitoring of the activities at borders. In 2014, remote flying drones were used for the control of Abu Dhabi’s port (“Eye in the Sky: Abu Dhabi’s Ports now protected by drones”).

The usage of the recently invented machine that identifies fake documents is another proof of the United Arab Emirates’ intention to have superior border control and homeland security (“UAE Invests Device to Catch Fake Passport Holders of Any Country”). We have learned that the country has significant reasons to improve border control, such as the increasing development and the constant changes in the Middle East region. Also, it has been found out that the United Arab Emirates employs advanced and new methods to protect the country.

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Aartun, Anne. “The Political Economy of the United Arab Emirates.” Thesis for Cand. Polit. Degree in Political Science, University of Oslo, 2002.

Al Kaabi, Yousef, and Al Kaabi, Khaled. “The Iranian Century: The Tension Between Iran and the Gulf State.” Thesis for Master of Science Degree in Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate school, 2011.

Appendix A

Population of the United Arab Emirates by nationality

NATIONALS OF POPULATION % OF TOTAL POPULATION YEAR OF DATA
India 2,600,000 27,15% 2014
Pakistan 1,200,000 12,53% 2014
UAE 1,084,764 11,32% 2015
Bangladesh 700,000 7,31% 2013
Philippines 525,530 5,49% 2014
Iran 400,000 – 500,000 4,18% – 5,22% N/A
Egypt 400,000 4,18% 2014
Nepal 300,000 3,13% 2014
Sri Lanka 300,000 3,13% 2015
China 200,000 2,09% 2015
Jordan 200,000 2,09% 2015
Afghanistan 150,000 1,57% <2011
Palestine 150,000 1,57% 2009
United Kingdom 120,000 1,25% 2015
South Africa 100,000 1,04% 2014
Lebanon 100,000 1,04% 2015
Ethiopia 90,000 0,94% 2014
Yemen 90,000 0,94% 2013
Indonesia 85,000 0,89% 2015
Sudan 75,000 0,78% 2013
Saudi Arabia 70,000 0,73% 2014
Somalia 70,000 0,73% 2015
Iraq 52,000 0,54% 2014
USA 50,000 0,52% 2015
Canada 40,000 0,42% 2014
Kenya 40,000 0,42% 2014
France 25,000 0,26% 2015
Australia 16,000 0,17% 2015
Germany 12,000 0,12% 2013
Spain 12,000 0,11% 2015
Algeria 10,000 0,10% 2014
Italy 10,000 0,10% 2014
South Korea 10,000 0,10% 2014
Thailand 10,000 0,10% 2014
Turkey 10,000 0,10% 2014
Azerbaijan 7,000 0,07% 2015
Ireland 7,000 0,07% 2015
Malaysia 6,000 – 7,000 0,06% – 0,07% 2015
Kazakhstan 5,000 – 6,000 0,05% – 0,06% 2015
Greece 5,000 0,05% 2015
Mauritania 5,000 0,05% 2015
Netherlands 5,000 0,05% 2015
Serbia 5,000 0,05% 2015
Ukraine 5,000 0,05% 2014
Sweden 4,000 0,04% 2015
Denmark 3,000 – 4,000 ~0,03% 2015
Mexico 3,000 – 3,500 ~0,03% 2014
Belgium 3,000 0,03% 2015
Eritrea 3,000 0,03% 2015
Japan 2,603 ~0,03% 2015
Dominican Republic 2,000-3,000 0,02% – 0,03% 2015
Austria 2,500 ~0,03% 2015
Belarus 2,500 ~0,03% 2015
Hungary 2,500 ~0,03% 2015
Switzerland 2,430 ~0,03% 2013
Poland 2,348 ~0,02% 2015
Singapore >2,000 ~0,02% 2015
BIH 1,000 – 2,000 0,01% – 0,02% 2015
Czech Republic 1,500 ~0,02% 2015
Venezuela 1,200 ~0,01% 2015
Norway 1,184 ~0,01% 2015
Finland 1,180 ~0,01% 2014
Cyprus 1,000 ~0,01% 2014
Slovakia 1,000 ~0,01% 2014
Senegal 700 – 800 < 0,01% 2015
Ghana 500 < 0,01% 2015
New Zealand 444 < 0,01% 2015
Taiwan 400 < 0,01% 2015
Latvia 300 < 0,01% 2014
Peru 300 < 0,01% 2015
Chile 270 < 0,01% 2014
Albania 200 – 300 < 0,01% 2015
Chad 200 < 0,01% 2015
Slovenia 100 – 150 < 0,01% 2015
Angola 100 < 0,01% 2015
TOTAL (countries on this list) 9,334,504 – 9,439,503
TOTAL (official UAE 2010 census) 8,264,070
TOTAL (2015 UN estimate) 9,577,000

(Snoj).

Appendix B

UAE invents device to catch fake passport holders of any country

Appendix C

Questionnaire

Under each of the question, write your variant. The possible answers are:

Agree strong agree Disagree Strong disagree

  1. Do you agree that the homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and other illegal activity?
  2. Do you agree that the economic situation in the country is connected with potential threats to homeland security?
  3. Do you believe that homeland security influences everyday lives of people?
  4. Do you think that homeland security influences only those people who work in border control?
  5. Do you agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country?
  6. Do you consider fingerprinting to be the most efficient method of border control procedures?
  7. Do you support government’ initiatives to finance border control actively?
  8. Do you think that active financing of border control is caused by some external threat?
  9. Do you agree that terrorism is the only threat to homeland security?
  10. Do you agree that current situations in Yemen and Syria influence governments’ concern about homeland security?

Respondent 1

  • Do you agree that the homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and other illegal activity?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that the economic situation in the country is connected with potential threats to homeland security?
    • Strong agree
  • Do you believe that homeland security influences everyday lives of people?
    • Disagree
  • Do you think that homeland security influences only those people who work in border control?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country?
    • Agree
  • Do you consider fingerprinting to be the most efficient method of border control procedures?
    • Strong agree
  • Do you support government’ initiatives to finance border control actively?
    • Disagree
  • Do you think that active financing of border control is caused by some external threat?
    • Strong agree
  • Do you agree that terrorism is the only threat to homeland security?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that current situations in Yemen and Syria influence governments’ concern about homeland security?
    • Strong agree

Respondent 2

  • Do you agree that the homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and other illegal activity?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that the economic situation in the country is connected with potential threats to homeland security?
    • Agree
  • Do you believe that homeland security influences everyday lives of people?
    • Agree
  • Do you think that homeland security influences only those people who work in border control?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country?
    • Agree
  • Do you consider fingerprinting to be the most efficient method of border control procedures?
    • Strong disagree
  • Do you support government’ initiatives to finance border control actively?
    • Disagree
  • Do you think that active financing of border control is caused by some external threat?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that terrorism is the only threat to homeland security?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that current situations in Yemen and Syria influence governments’ concern about homeland security?
    • Strong agree

Respondent 3

  • Do you agree that the homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and other illegal activity?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that the economic situation in the country is connected with potential threats to homeland security?
    • Agree
  • Do you believe that homeland security influences everyday lives of people?
    • Agree
  • Do you think that homeland security influences only those people who work in border control?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country?
    • Agree
  • Do you consider fingerprinting to be the most efficient method of border control procedures?
    • Disagree
  • Do you support government’ initiatives to finance border control actively?
    • Agree
  • Do you think that active financing of border control is caused by some external threat?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that terrorism is the only threat to homeland security?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that current situations in Yemen and Syria influence governments’ concern about homeland security?
    • Strong agree

Respondent 4

  • Do you agree that the homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and other illegal activity?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that the economic situation in the country is connected with potential threats to homeland security?
    • Strong agree
  • Do you believe that homeland security influences everyday lives of people?
    • Agree
  • Do you think that homeland security influences only those people who work in border control?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country?
    • Agree
  • Do you consider fingerprinting to be the most efficient method of border control procedures?
    • Agree
  • Do you support government’ initiatives to finance border control actively?
    • Disagree
  • Do you think that active financing of border control is caused by some external threat?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that terrorism is the only threat to homeland security?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that current situations in Yemen and Syria influence governments’ concern about homeland security?
    • Agree

Respondent 5

  • Do you agree that the homeland security is primarily about preventing terrorism and other illegal activity?
    • Agree
  • Do you agree that the economic situation in the country is connected with potential threats to homeland security?
    • Agree
  • Do you believe that homeland security influences everyday lives of people?
    • Agree
  • Do you think that homeland security influences only those people who work in border control?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that the primary function of border control is to protect the country?
    • Agree
  • Do you consider fingerprinting to be the most efficient method of border control procedures?
    • Disagree
  • Do you support government’ initiatives to finance border control actively?
    • Agree
  • Do you think that active financing of border control is caused by some external threat?
    • Disagree
  • Do you agree that terrorism is the only threat to homeland security?
    • Strong agree
  • Do you agree that current situations in Yemen and Syria influence governments’ concern about homeland security?
    • Agree.