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United Arab Emirates among the most militarily powerful Arab countries

The Persian Gulf country ranks 36th in the world and fifth in the Arab world according to Global Fire Power's 2022 rankings
AFP PHOTO / MINISTERIO DE ASUNTOS PRESIDENCIALES-UAE

AFP PHOTO / MINISTERIO DE ASUNTOS PRESIDENCIALES-UAE  -   Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, walking with military personnel during a reception to celebrate members of the UAE Armed Forces who served in the Arab coalition in Yemen, at the Zayed Military City in Abu Dhabi.

The United Arab Emirates tops the indicators of the most powerful military force, according to the Global Fire Power index for the year 2022. This portal presents an annual analysis of data on the military forces of more than 140 countries around the world, assessing each country's potential ability to wage war by land, sea and air, based on conventional means of force, from manpower, equipment, financing, geography and logistics. The ranking uses more than 50 factors to determine the rank of these 140 countries through a score. With the ideal score of 0.000 being the most evidence of military strength, the United Arab Emirates has been ranked at 0.5859. This figure relegates Abu Dhabi in the world rankings to 36th place and sixth place among Arab countries.

Un avión de combate F16 de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos vuela durante el ejercicio militar internacional Iniochos en la base aérea de Andravida, a unos 279 kilómetros (174 millas) al suroeste de Atenas, el martes 20 de abril de 2021 AP/THANASSIS STAVRARIS
AP/THANASSIS STAVRARIS - A UAE F16 fighter jet flies during the Iniochos international military exercise at the Andravida air base, about 279 kilometres (174 miles) southwest of Athens, Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The UAE Army strength is 77,000 soldiers, with an active duty strength of 65,000 soldiers. In terms of ground forces, the Gulf state has 354 tanks, 9255 armoured vehicles, 183 self-propelled guns, 76 field guns and rocket launchers. However, it is the air forces that make it the world's 20th largest air power, with a total of 554 aircraft, including 100 interceptor and attack aircraft, 39 transport aircraft, 146 trainer aircraft, 23 special mission aircraft, 3 refuelling aircraft, 223 helicopters and 30 attack helicopters. In addition, in terms of sea forces, the UAE has 79 naval units, including nine cruisers, 38 patrol boats and two minesweepers. 

Fuerzas Armadas de los EAU realizan el simulacro militar conjunto Emirates Shield/50 al oeste del Teatro Marítimo en Abu Dhabi, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, 11 de enero de 2022 REUTERS/SATISH KUMAR
REUTERS/SATISH KUMAR - UAE Armed Forces conduct the Emirates Shield/50 joint military drill west of the Maritime Theatre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 11 January 2022.

On the other hand, the Global Fire Power ranking places the United States at the top of the list of the world's best militaries, followed by Russia and China. According to the portal, if China continues on this trend, it could become the United States' "main global military adversary". India came fourth, ahead of Japan, South Korea, France and Britain. In the Middle East, Egypt topped the region's military powers after ranking twelfth globally. Saudi Arabia ranked second among Arab countries, and 20th among all countries.

According to another ranking by the American Gallup Foundation, the UAE ranks first in the world in the rate of residents who feel safe when travelling alone and "wandering the country's streets alone", as expressed by 95 % of UAE residents. Among the measures on which the institution relied were the safety of people walking alone at night in the area where they lived, their trust in the local police, and whether the person had been robbed or assaulted in the past 12 months.

Las Fuerzas Armadas de los EAU realizan el simulacro militar conjunto Emirates Shield/50 al oeste del Teatro Marítimo en Abu Dhabi, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, el 11 de enero de 2022 REUTERS/SATISH KUMAR
REUTERS/SATISH KUMAR - UAE Armed Forces conduct the Emirates Shield/50 joint military drill west of the Maritime Theatre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 11 January 2022.

The UAE's military position has enabled the country to react to a number of terrorist attacks, such as those in recent weeks in Abu Dhabi by Yemen's Houthis. On Monday, the Gulf state's defence ministry reported that its anti-aircraft defences intercepted and destroyed two missiles launched by Houthi rebels against the capital without leaving any casualties. In a statement, the ministry confirmed that it "is ready to deal with any threat and is taking all necessary measures to protect the state from all attacks".

Mapa satelital que ubica a Abu Dhabi, en los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, y su aeropuerto AFP/AFP
AFP/AFP - Satellite map showing the location of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and its airport.

So much so that the reaction of Emirati forces has been swift, with the Emirati Defence Ministry's Joint Operations Command announcing that an F-16 destroyed a ballistic missile launcher in northern Yemen after the Houthis launched two of these missiles at Abu Dhabi.