The Functional Federalism of the United Arab Emirates

The Functional Federalism of the United Arab Emirates

Nisrine Abiad

Although only a young federation, the United Arab Emirates is prosperous and well-functioning, and its success set it apart from numerous unaccomplished federal experiments in the region. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of the UAE’s 1971 establishment, this article aims to understand what model of distribution of powers is designed in the UAE and to what extent it is possible to classify it through the lens of comparative federalism. It is notable that flexibility in the provisions of the constitutions and in the jurisprudence of the UAE Supreme Federal Court shapes the division of powers between the federal government and the emirates. The analysis clarifies that despite evidence of dual and administrative federalism features, the UAE federalism model is still in the making. Nevertheless, it finds its relevance in a strong principle of supremacy of federal laws and the recent emergence of a direct relationship between the citizens and the federation.

Download pdf

ISSN: 2036-5438
Centro Studi Federalismo

© 2001 - 2023 - Centro Studi sul Federalismo - Codice Fiscale 94067130016

Fondazione Compagnia San Paolo
The activities of the Centre for Studies on Federalism are  accomplished thanks to the support of Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo
Fondazione Collegio Carlo Alberto
Our thanks to Fondazione Collegio Carlo Alberto