by Kira Munk
Despite the return of piracy off Somalia’s coasts in 2017, the UAE and others continue to bank on the region, sinking millions into new infrastructure.
The historical roots of engagement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Somalia harken back centuries to when Arab merchants controlled trade routes circumventing what now constitutes Somalia and the semi-autonomous Somaliland and Puntland regions. In March 2017, word broke that UAE-based heavy hitter DP World was planning to manage and develop a port in Berbera, Somaliland. In addition in April, UAE-based P&O Ports won a 30-year contract for the Puntland port of Bosaso. What is unfolding is a bid for strategic trade relevance, as well as for political clout and access to a troubled and opportunity-rich corner of the world.
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