Yemenis have expressed their anger over the UAE and its aggressive practices against their country over the past few days through a wide boycott of Abu Dhabi goods amid widespread popular participation.
The sluggishness of UAE goods in Yemen was overshadowed by a widespread campaign for a boycott of UAE products.
The campaign was in response to Abu Dhabi’s policies to encourage secession of the south, divide Yemen and create chaos hampering the work of the legitimate government with the support of armed militias outside the law.
Yemeni traders said that the appetite for buying UAE products fell to zero, after the boycott campaign so that the popular boycott reflected on the sales of those goods, which is clearly falling.
Yemeni activists and citizens launched a campaign on social media that first called for the boycott of Emirates, in response to the UAE violations in Yemen, and then expanded to call for boycotting all the products of the UAE.
Among the products most affected by the boycott campaign in Yemen are medicines. Five UAE companies, most notably Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar Pharma), account for about 70 per cent of the Yemeni pharmaceutical market, according to the Yemeni Pharmacists Syndicate.
Economic boycott campaigns, organized at a grassroots level via social media, often change the attitudes of major shareholders and investors toward states or companies involved in humanitarian or colonial abuses against a people.
Observers expect that the boycott of the UAE products will further affect the UAE economy, which is already suffering from problems and will put additional pressure on it, as a result of changing the attitudes and behavior of investors and international companies and their shareholders towards the UAE, as one of the most important investment destinations in the Middle East.
They stress the need to focus on and target major UAE companies, such as Emirates, Etihad, Emaar Properties, Dubai Ports, ADNOC Oil, and other companies that make up a large part of the UAE economy.
The Yemeni campaign to boycott UAE products is aimed at Voyager oils and lubricants produced by Abu Dhabi National Distribution Company (ADNOC) and has been distributed in Yemeni markets since mid-September 2017.
The boycott of Emirates airline and products is a natural consequence of its arbitrary interventions since the Arab Spring, and the spillover of reactions to the economy is a bad omen for a service-dependent country to flourish.
The UAE’s economy pays a heavy price for its involvement in wars and conflicts in different parts of the region, most notably Yemen. Economic reports show that this was reflected in growth rates of less than 2 percent in 2018 and less than 1 percent in the previous year.
The UAE is one of Yemen’s most important trading partners. Trade balance reached 8 billion dirhams ($ 2.2 billion) in 2011, equivalent to 444 billion Yemeni riyals, and in 2014 it reached 643 billion Yemeni riyals, according to the Yemeni Ministry of Industry.
After the Houthi coup and the outbreak of war, the UAE’s exports to Yemen rose to 754 billion Yemeni riyals in 2015, including 58 percent of oil derivatives and 19 percent of jewelery, precious stones and metals.
The UAE invested its participation in the military alliance to support Yemen’s legitimacy in controlling oil and gas-rich provinces and export ports, both through its own forces and local forces loyal to them, deepening economic crises and undermining the authority of the internationally recognized government.