Common Ground

Sheikh Tahnoon seeks UAE-U.S. AI pact as Washington trip concludes

The UAE has over $1 trillion invested in the U.S., with large allocations in tech, green energy and aerospace

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed with Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, and Peng Xiao, Group Chief Executive Officer of G42, at the signing of a deal for Microsoft to invest $1.5 billion in Abu Dhabi’s G42 earlier this year.

UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed concluded a three-day trip to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday as the UAE and U.S. look to nail down a common policy framework that protects intellectual property and data.

Amid increasing commercial activity between the two countries on advanced technology, artificial intelligence is among the fastest-growing areas of bilateral commerce, the UAE Embassy to the U.S. noted in a summary of Sheikh Tahnoon’s visit.

The relationship is a two-way street: more than $1 trillion is currently invested by the UAE in the U.S. economy, with significant backing from Emirati funds in semiconductors, AI, space and clean energy.

UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba called the U.S. “our partner of choice” on AI development with “ambitious plans to do even more.”  

Sheikh Tahnoon, who is the brother of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and chairman of sovereign wealth funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and ADQ, met with former President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss joint efforts to use technology to improve education. 

He also met with his counterpart Jake Sullivan on Tuesday and held discussions with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, a key figure in Microsoft’s $1.5 billion investment in G42.

Others who met with Sheikh Tahnoon included Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell; Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines; Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer; and Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security Amos Hochstein.

Also, White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk; Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy Dan Shapiro; Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA).

Traveling with Sheikh Tahnoon were UAE Minister of Investment Mohamed Alsuwaidi; Executive Affairs Authority Chairman and Mubadala Investment Co. CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak; Supreme Council for National Security Secretary-General Ali Al Shamsi; National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority Chairman Ali Al Neyadi and G42 CEO Peng Xiao, who is a member of the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council.

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