The UN’s in-country presence in the UAE dates back to 1972 when UNICEF established its UAE office in Dubai. The United Nations expanded its presence in the country following the establishment of the International Humanitarian City. Today, there are around 350 UN personnel in the UAE, supporting over 60 United Nations programmes and projects in the country from 13 office locations. Another 9 UN entities engage with the UAE through their regional presence and headquarters.
The UN’s engagement in the UAE is concentrated on policy-level technical cooperation and advisory support on a variety of issues. UN agencies also work closely with government counterparts and other partners in advocacy, outreach, and mobilization in support of shared objectives and internationally agreed development and cooperation frameworks.
In terms of thematic activities, UN engagement revolves around several programmatic areas of importance to national counterparts, such as international humanitarian relief operations, food security, climate change, gender equality, youth empowerment, among others. These priorities are being revisited to improve realignment with Agenda 2030 and the UAE’s development ambitions.
The UAE is an important regional and global partner with active initiatives to promote peace and stability, respond to emerging crises, and support life-saving humanitarian operations around the world. In this context, below are some examples of relevant UN initiatives in the UAE.
Advancing the wellbeing of people remains the cornerstone of the UN’s programming in the UAE. Different UN agencies have a series of policy-level engagements as well as technical assistance projects focusing on several socio-demographic groups, such as women, children and youth, and migrant workers.
A key element of UN engagement with the UAE involves a wide range of interventions in relation to the natural sciences, biodiversity, and climate change.
In response to national priorities relating to economic growth and prosperity, UN entities engage with government counterparts in a range of initiatives intended to advise policymakers and strengthen engagements in related SDG targets
The United Nations system engages with a variety of partners in the UAE, including governmental agencies, private sector representatives, research organizations and think tanks, media partners, and social-cause organizations, all of which are vital to UN programming in the country.