Generous promises and rosy dreams that Abu Dhabi carried to the Egyptians about 7 years ago, since the military coup in the summer of 2013, but most of them quickly evaporated, leaving Egyptians reaping the thorns with a deteriorating economy, a stunted regional role, and national security threatened by Emirati shovels.
Since the outbreak of the revolution in January 2011, in which the Egyptians overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak after 3 decades in power, and Abu Dhabi was hostile towards it, then Abu Dhabi was the first to congratulate the current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s coup – when he was defense minister – on July 3. July 2013, which has become concerned – according to many indicators – with urgent and deferred bills of the Emirati partner, at the expense of the country’s capabilities.
In light of these bills, the UAE withdrew the rug from under the feet of the Egyptian regime, on the Arab and regional levels, and is competing with it in more than one file, whether by pushing it to support its allies in Libya, Yemen and Syria, or to enter into political and military confrontations with Turkey, especially in the areas of gas exploration east of the sea. The Mediterranean and Libya.
Finally, the Egyptian national security has become dependent and threatened by the Emirati-Israeli normalization agreement, as the Suez Canal became its first target victim, after the disclosure of Emirati-Israeli plans that did not exclude Saudi Arabia, to establish alternative transport lines for Egypt’s national artery, in addition to the decline of the historical Egyptian role as a mediator in the Palestinian issue.
And recently, the largest Emirati contracting company, “Arabtec”, declared its bankruptcy, after selling the illusion to the Egyptians, by building one million housing units, without realizing anything from them.
The UAE’s monopoly over Egypt’s capabilities and the decline of its generous material support to the regime was negatively reflected on citizens, as the prices of services rose dramatically, in contrast to the increase in taxes and the state’s retreat from developing its private sector, with Sisi heading towards borrowing in an unprecedented way, according to observers.
The number of Emirati companies operating in Egypt currently exceeds 1,100 companies, with investments of more than $ 7 billion – according to government estimates – in the sectors of oil and gas, marine ports, health, real estate, communications, agriculture, education, retail trade and others.
While the UAE’s acquisition of Egypt’s capabilities represents a direct threat to its national security, observers confirm that the supervisory role of the sovereign authorities over sectors in which the UAE invests, such as communications, information technology and education, has become tied to immunity from the necessary security approvals or legal accountability.
In this regard, the Egyptian academic and economic expert, Ahmed Zikrallah, attributed the Emirati empowerment in the joints of the Egyptian economy to the fact that the Egyptian authority “is trying to return the favor through a set of facilities for Emirati investors, without taking into account the implications for national security.”
He mentioned to Al-Jazeera Net that the Emirati role was aimed from the beginning to disrupt the Egyptian projects that compete with its service role, especially in the maritime sectors that the UAE undertakes, whether in the “Jebel Ali” area in Dubai or Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi.
In his explanation of the suspicious role in killing the aspirations of the Egyptians in the development of the Suez Canal, he cited that when Dubai Ports took over the management of the port of Ain Sokhna (the largest and most important port on the Red Sea), the project was supposed to be the opening of a group of major projects, but the storage capacity of trucks that pass At the port, it decreased from 570,000 trucks to only 500,000 trucks, after the administration assigned to Dubai Ports, through an agreement in 2008 in which it acquired a 90% stake.
He pointed out that the UAE froze the development projects of the promising canal axis immediately and completely after the coup, without clarifying the Egyptian government about the fate of these projects, which it was hoped would move the country to advanced development stages.
He added that the UAE has also seized the medical sector in Egypt, where specialists estimate that it controls a third of the sector, including laboratories and hospitals, in contrast to its role in the displacement and demolition operations taking place in Warraq Island and Fatimid Cairo, in preparation for tourism projects and financial services, within the roles and services in advance.
In turn, Egyptian politician Tharwat Nafeh confirmed that the alliance of Sisi and bin Zayed, in addition to bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, is not hidden and announced since before the military coup, and its repercussions have become clear to all.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Nafeh said that Egypt paid for this alliance a great price, such as forsaking the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea in favor of Saudi Arabia, and relying on an Emirati point of view in some files, on top of which is the Libyan file.
The Egyptian politician added, “Although the Egyptian regime had some positions that may be to some extent rational, such as non-military intervention in Yemen, there are still flaws, including that the alliance with Arab countries attacks Arab countries which weakened Egypt’s position in the region.”
The former head of the National Security Committee of the Shura Council warned that Egypt “has become threatened by its political position in some files from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which dwarfs its role in the region and its major files.”
He ruled out the existence of a late Egyptian awakening towards the alliance of Sisi and bin Zayed, Nafeh said, “We hope that the regime will wake up and be aware of Egypt’s size, position and historical role, but all evidence does not lead to that this will happen soon.”
Before the Israeli flood
The Egyptian researcher at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Saif Al-Islam Eid, agreed with the previous opinion, adding, “It is possible to link the UAE’s role in the collapse of the Egyptian economy and the announcement of its recent alliance with Israel in dwarfing the regional and Arab role of Egypt, especially after the 2013 coup.”
In an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Eid said, “The UAE has a project to lead the Arab and Islamic world that stands in the way of peoples’ aspirations for democracy and freedom, and since Sisi came with Emirati support, Egypt has abandoned its role in the Palestinian cause, Libya, Syria and Yemen.”
The Egyptian researcher also expected the continuation of the alliance of Sisi and bin Zayed “as long as there are Emirati ambitions,” adding, “I do not think that these ambitions will end soon, and I see them develop with the Israeli-Emirati alliance.”
He added, “Al-Sisi has become only serving the Emirati vision or working to activate the Emirati moment, as Abdul Khaleq Abdullah (a prominent Emirati academic) calls it when he wrote an article in an Egyptian newspaper announcing the end of Egypt’s regional and Arab role.”
On more than one occasion, the Emirati academic Abdul Khaleq Abdullah spoke of the increasing role of his country in the region in parallel with the decline of Egypt, and that the Arab political decision is being made in the Gulf capitals, not Cairo.
The Egyptian writer Mohamed Esmat, in an article late last month, warned in Al-Shorouk newspaper of massive strategic coups in the Middle East with the start of diplomatic relations between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv with Saudi blessing.
Esmat stressed in his warning that Egypt is on the threshold of fateful threats that it may not have faced throughout its entire history, which require new policies and rearrangement of all its internal conditions, before being swept away by the flood.