The French shipping group CMA-CGM has partnered with Abu Dhabi Ports to rival Dubai. Giuseppe Gagliano's analysis
In collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP), a partnership founded by pushing the group to rival the DP World of Dubai, the French shipping group CMA CGM appears to have joined forces with the rising star of the UAE.
ADP is the subsidiary of ADQ, formerly nicknamed “Abu Dhabi Inc”, run by national security adviser Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also on the rise. ADQ acquired a stake in the Louis Dreyfus Commodities trading group in November 2020.
The holding's appetite for new business was fueled by a brutal dynastic game that gripped Abu Dhabi for months, ending with Tahnoon's triumph over the emirate's sovereign economic sectors. In addition to ADQ, Tahnoon has recently taken control of EDGE Group , the driving force behind the emirate's military and financial activities.
This was achieved by gradually putting his hands on all EDGE branches where his brother and rival, Presidential Affairs Minister Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, still had influence. These included NIMR and Caracal, some of which UAE-made rifles were sold unchecked in Yemen. Tahnoon's success was silently firing someone close to Mansour or being subject to an administrative investigation. Those close to Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's right-hand man, as well as former EDGE chairman Homaid Al Shemmari, have been transferred to the Mubadala sovereign wealth fund. Only the current CEO of the Faisal Al Bannai group remained in office despite being the subject of an investigation led by the Tahnoon teams. Al Bannai is protected by the son of Crown Prince Khalid bin Mohamed Al Nahyan.
Tahnoon has also created synergies between the activities and contracts of the different entities under its control. Digital14, ADQ's cyber and hybrid warfare developer, which has taken over DarkMatter's data collection and processing activities, works on the 15th floor of the distinctive Aldar headquarters building alongside other companies acquired by EDGE. Cyber offensive specialist BeamTrail, on the seventh floor, remains the only unrelated entity although owned by state funds.
Despite ongoing rumors, ADQ is unlikely to absorb EDGE in the foreseeable future as the two publicly funded conglomerates operate in complementary sovereign sectors. Even before this rapid development, Tahnoon had been at the helm of his private security and defense empire, Trust International Group (formerly Hydra Trading) and was in charge of Group 42 artificial intelligence specialist, hired for possible AI partnerships between Abu Dhabi and China.
The rapid rise of the ADQ, control of the emirate's industrial sector and talks on oil fields demonstrate Tahnoon's influence on Abu Dhabi's economy and security is growing.
The dynastic wars within the UAE are not a marginal or secondary aspect to understand the choices of foreign, economic and internal policies of the Emirates but are on the contrary a determining factor for understanding the UAE's political dynamics.
Any disturbance to Abu Dhabi's political stability would indeed worry its international partners. For decades, the UAE has been seen as one of the few stable centers in the Gulf that many countries rely on, not least for their military operations in the region.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/cosa-fanno-francia-e-abu-dhabi-sui-porti/ on Fri, 15 Oct 2021 06:00:47 +0000.