Yemeni activists have launched a digital campaign with the hashtag #الامارات_تغرق_اليمن_بالمخدرات, accusing Abu Dhabi of being involved in spreading drugs within the country and turning Yemenis into addicts to serve its ulterior motives.
These activists highlight a disturbing trend that wherever the UAE is present, terrorism, drug proliferation, chaos, and criminal activities seem to follow, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s unethical treatment of Yemeni youth.
It has been pointed out that the UAE appears to be deliberately targeting Yemen’s youth with ignorance and drugs as a destructive policy.
Whenever drug trafficking rings are apprehended, the security forces in Aden, under the Southern Transitional Council, reportedly intervene and release them under pressure.
Activists have warned that Yemen’s youth are in grave danger due to the drug influx. Dozens of boats and ships from “Jebel Ali” in Dubai have been seized carrying narcotics.
They reveal that the latest apprehended vessel, located in Socotra Island under Emirati control, was loaded with drugs and even bore the inscription “Dubai International Boat Show.”
Yemeni journalist Anis Mansour emphasized that the “Emirati drug scandal has gained international attention.” Last year, the European Union exposed Abu Dhabi’s involvement in suspicious financial activities, money laundering, terrorist support, and harboring mafia leaders and drug cartels, leading to its inclusion in the money laundering blacklist.
According to Yemeni officials, reliable data regarding the number of drug users in Yemen is scarce. However, they caution that the results are expected to be shocking, with alarming drug consumption rates.
Golala Rouhani, a development advisor who recently worked on anti-drug awareness projects in Yemen, stated in a previous interview: “Drug addiction represents a significant problem in Yemen and has worsened since 2011, particularly with synthetic drugs due to their affordability and availability.”
Officials affirm that UAE-affiliated security militias are actively involved in the drug trade, operating extensive networks in areas under their control. These interconnected cells market drugs in regions controlled by the legitimate Yemeni government. Substantial quantities of these narcotics have been confiscated in cities such as Aden, Lahij, Marib, and others.
Experts who track drug trade and consumption trends in societies release lists of growing drug markets and annual usage rates. Yemen used to have a clean record in this deadly realm for decades, attributed to the prevalence of the qat plant. However, since the rise of UAE-backed militias in Yemen, drugs have regularly entered the country, reaching all Yemeni cities and even being smuggled in significant quantities into Saudi Arabia.
Yemeni observers have long warned about the UAE’s control over Yemeni airports and ports, fearing that it could facilitate drug influx into the country and the proliferation of drug use among Yemeni youth. Furthermore, Yemen could potentially become a transit route for drugs into Saudi Arabia.