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UAE launches new body to bolster border security

Airline travellers wait immigration control at Dubai International Airport, UAE on 25 August 2016 [Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images]
Airline travellers wait immigration control at Dubai International Airport, UAE on 25 August 2016 [Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images]

The UAE has established a new border security body aimed at enhancing coordination between its seven emirates. Set up according to a decree issued in September by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Council for Border Crossing Points Security will be tasked with setting up border security policies and advising the government.

"The UAE has seven emirates with seven overlapping border security structures, and the problem is that each of them has individual… forces and individual border controls over foreigners," explained Anthony Cordesman, the emeritus chair in strategy at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "The emirates that really have the most efficient systems are Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah."

He told Defence News that the new border security body established in Dubai has its own conglomeration or separate structures for Dubai. "I think people say the system works fairly well, but nobody does a perfect job. Abu Dhabi is stricter about extremists or hard-liners — even just people who are politically aligned with Islamic parties — than Dubai is."

The Gulf state is also looking to improve its locally-made security systems, in line with Vision 2030 which envisions the country to produce 50 per cent of its defence needs domestically.

Last month, the UAE's Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship Customs and Port Security partnered with Britain's National Economic Crime Centre to toughen border controls against smuggling illicit assets.

READ: UAE, Bahrain to establish joint investment fund

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