According to UN and international reports, the emirate of Dubai has turned into a den of dirty operations and organized crime in recent years.
Dubai’s reputation has been tarnished with the revelation of its involvement in supporting terrorism and extremist organizations, beginning with the events of September 11, 2001, and providing logistical support to those who crossed terrorist operations in different parts of the world.
According to investigations and reports by international organizations, Dubai has become the worst city in the world with regard to extensive money laundering operations.
In early November 2019, the US State Department’s report described the UAE as the regional and international hub for terrorist organizations ’movements and a hub for receiving and sending financial support.
The American report confirmed that political considerations were an impediment to the UAE government freezing and confiscating terrorist assets.
The report stated that the organization of the state continued to spread globally during 2018 through networks and subsidiary groups, despite the announcement of the American administration’s victory over the organization in Syria and the killing of its leader in an air strike.
The American report does not set a precedent for the UAE’s support for groups and entities classified as terrorist and it is a country adopting a policy aimed at destabilizing international security and its involvement in financing terrorism on a global level, especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East region.
In March 2017, the US State Department disclosed that financial institutions in the UAE were involved in cash transactions involving large sums of revenue from international drug trafficking.
It also ranked the UAE among the major countries in the field of money laundering, to be the only Gulf country to fall under this classification.
On October 29, 2019, the French channel 2 broadcast a survey entitled “Cache Investigations” on the laundering of drug money, in which it revealed operations of millions of euros of cannabis trade in France, with annual estimates amounting to about one billion euros annually.
The French investigation showed that drug money is transferred in cash from France to Morocco and Belgium and ends in Dubai, then these funds are placed in multiple Emirati banks to be entered into the international banking system in the form of investments or regular transfers.
The French investigation showed that a network of companies operating in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, is complicit in laundering dirty money from drug smuggling and dealing without embarrassment with the emperors of the death trade in the world and that the UAE authorities who have a law to combat smuggling and money laundering turn a blind eye to the activities of these suspicious companies.
On February 1, 2019, Transparency International announced that the emirate of Dubai has become a global haven for money laundering where corrupt and other types of criminals can purchase luxury properties without any restrictions.
The organization reported findings of the Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Network and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington on money laundering in the Emirate of Dubai.
A report by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies released in June 2018 revealed that there are 44 properties in Dubai worth $28.2 million, owned directly by individuals subject to penalties, as well as 37 properties worth $80 million in the emirate itself that are owned by individuals who are directly related to those subject for penalties.
For its part, The Guardian said in July 2018 that Dubai surpassed the Spanish island of Costa del Crime, which is known as the worst place in the world in terms of money laundering.
The newspaper reported that Britons had cost the British treasury the loss of billions of pounds and that British investigators were studying leaked real estate information in Dubai that showed that the British used the city to hide 16.5 billion pounds in taxes for the United Kingdom between 2005 and 2016.
On September 20, 2018, the magazine “Lonouville Observator” published an interview with William Bourdon, president of the French company, Sheria, to combat economic crimes, in which he described Dubai as “the world’s washing machine for dirty money” as part of the coverage of what was known as “Dubai papers”.
In July 2017, the British Middle East Eye website said, “The presence of two Emiratis on the list of 19 September 11 hijackers, most of whom traveled from Dubai airport, confirmed the relationship between the UAE and al-Qaeda, prompting the families of the victims of the attacks to seek to prosecute Abu Dhabi using the law Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta).
The UAE has been mentioned in the investigations that took place regarding the events of September 11, more than 70 times, according to the British website.