Dubai, 3 December 2021 (TDI): United Arab Emirates (UAE) has inked a deal with France for purchasing 80 Rafale fighter jets. The French President Emmanuel Macron is on a diplomatic visit to UAE. Moreover, he will also visit other Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Macron met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. France also maintains a permanent military base in Abu Dhabi. Paris remains one of the UAE’s main suppliers of arms.

France is deepening political ties with UAE. Therefore, the multi-millionaire deal serves as the largest military deal concerned with fighter jets as well as 12 military helicopters. In addition, the monetary worth of the deal amounts to $19.20 billion (17 billion euros). Both leaders met at the sidelines of the Dubai Expo. French Armed Forces Minister, Florence Parly, also accompanied the French delegation.

Strategic Partnership to lead to regional stability

The French Minister Parly stated that the contract is ‘historic’. In addition, the French Presidency released a statement that the strategic partnership will result in stability in the Middle East.

France and UAE also share common strategic interests in the Middle East and North Africa as witnessed in Libya and the Mediterranean.

French companies witness an increase in shares

Dassault Aviation SA, the Rafale’s maker, witnessed an increase of more than 9% in its shares. Countries such as Greece, Egypt, and Croatia also finalized Rafale deals during this year. The military helicopters are purchased by UAE are of the Caracal model. The Rafale deal offered to UAE in 2011 was, although, previously scrapped. However, this did not in any way impact the Mirage 2000 later bought by UAE. A French official informed the media that the 80 Rafale jets and Caracal helicopters will result in the creation of more than 7000 jobs. Furthermore, it will result in an increase in production capacity.

French Defense Ministry released a statement to highlight that the deal was the largest-ever weapons contract of France for export.