The Soft Power Strategy seeks to increase the global reputation of the United Arab Emirates by showcasing the culture, identity, heritage and contributions of the UAE to the world. This strategy is propelled by the goal to achieve the developmental, economic and cultural objective of laying the foundation for a strong reputation of the nation. The UAE soft power strategy is also expected to help as a framework for all sectors in the UAE. It was launched in September 2017 by the UAE Soft Power Council.
What are the objectives of the Soft Power Strategy?
The Soft Power Strategy aims to:
- Promote the United Arab Emirates as a regional leader for art, culture and tourism
- Unify various sectors like humanities, media, science and tourism in the right direction
- Promote the United Arab Emirates as a friendly country welcoming to visitors.
- Help in promoting the United Arab Emirates as a business hub for potential investors thereby boosting the economy.
Pillars of the Soft Power Strategy
The Soft Power Strategy encompasses six pillars that combine to form the structure of the UAE’s public diplomacy. They include:
- People diplomacy
- Economic diplomacy
- National representatives diplomacy
- Humanitarian diplomacy
- Cultural and media diplomacy
- Scientific and academic diplomacy
Citizens of the United Arab Emirates (Emiratis) are instrumental in the successful execution of the Soft Power Strategy. By communicating their thoughts and opinions through the portals of communication developed by the department, they aid the effectiveness and progress of the strategy. The portal developed by the department is expected to function as a channel of communication for Emiratis and the government. It can also function as an avenue to deliver crucial messages pertaining to the Soft Power strategy to everywhere in the UAE and beyond.
The government of the United Arab Emirates also decided to consolidate public and private entities within the country under the initiative and projects of the Soft Power Strategy. This is to ensure that there is optimal contribution and participation from both the private and public sectors. The two sectors are expected to submit periodical reports that encompass records on the progress and implementation of the initiative to the UAE cabinet.
The UAE’s Soft Power has increased the rank of UAE’s passport as the passport has secured a spot as one of the most powerful passports in the world. This was made known by the Arton Capital on its updated Passport Index. This means that UAE passport holders are now able to gain entry to 167 countries without obtaining a visa beforehand.
The UAE’s ranking jumped from fourth place to the top because there was a rise in how citizens gained visa-free access to quite many more countries including Ireland, Canada and China.
Additionally, the UAE’s Soft Power has boosted cultural tourism with the establishment of the new tourism destination of Louvre Abu Dhabi which was a project of a 10-year partnership with France. The museum has over 600 artworks from around the world with 300 granted on loan from 13 leading French institutions. The paintings features work from notable painters such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Cy Twombly.
The cover art concentrates on the portrayal of vital stages in human development highlighting the links between cultures and civilisations. Initiatives for boosting the tourism sector had encouraged foreign investors to set up businesses in the UAE.