"The UAE's [United Arab Emirates] relatively open borders, economy, and society 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. These concerns--as well as concerns about the UAE oversight and management of a complex and technically advanced initiative such as a nuclear power program--underscored dissatisfaction among some members of Congress with a U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear cooperation agreement. The agreement was signed on May 21, 2009, and submitted to Congress that day. It entered into force on December 17, 2009. However, U.S. concerns about potential leakage of U.S. and other advanced technologies through the UAE to Iran, in particular, are far from alleviated. Despite its social tolerance and economic freedom, the UAE government is authoritarian, although with substantial informal citizen participation and consensus-building. Assessments by a wide range of observers say that members of the elite (the ruling families of the seven emirates and clans allied with them) routinely obtain favored treatment in court cases, obtain access to lucrative business opportunities, and exert preponderant influence on national decisions."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21852
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/