These are not ordinary times.
All this happened in the past week: President Biden visited Kyiv to underline America’s commitment to Ukraine. China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, flew to Moscow for talks with the Russians after exchanging balloon barbs with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. International inspectors announced that Iran is producing uranium close to weapons-grade. And word of a confidential “channel” between senior U.S. and Taiwanese officials leaked to the press.
No state anywhere in the world can insulate itself from these developments, but the United Arab Emirates, a small (total population about 10 million, more than 85% of whom are foreign workers) and rich (with the world’s sixth-largest oil reserves) country, feels more exposed than most. I visited the gleaming city of Dubai to see how officials assess the state of the world.