"The UAE's [United Arab Emirates] relatively open borders and economy have won praise from advocates of expanded freedoms in the Middle East while producing financial excesses, social ills such as prostitution and human trafficking, and relatively lax controls on sensitive technologies acquired from the West. The UAE government is authoritarian, although it allows substantial informal citizen participation and consensus-building. Its economic wealth has allowed the UAE to largely, although not entirely, avoid the popular unrest that has erupted elsewhere in the Middle East in 2011. Still, there is a public perception that members of the elite (the ruling families of the seven emirates and clans allied with them) routinely make national decisions unilaterally, obtain favored treatment in court cases, and are favored for lucrative business opportunities. [...] For the Obama Administration and many in Congress, there are concerns about the UAE oversight and management of a complex and technically advanced initiative such as a nuclear power program."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21852