Last Updated: Mar. 11, 2024

Debate: Will Emirati, Saudi accession to BRICS shift their alliances?

Leaders of BRICS member states pose for a group photo at the annual summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 26, 2018. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)


The BRICS group of countries could soon include both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This trajectory partly stems from Gulf Arab aspirations to balance alliances with the west. It also appears driven by a desire for greater influence on the global stage, and bolstered commercial ties with BRICS members—primarily China.

But will BRICS membership shift Emirati and Saudi partnerships with the west? invited three experts to share their views on what likely lies ahead.

  • Ahmed Aboudouh is an Associate Fellow with Chatham House and Head of China Studies at the Emirates Policy Center (EPC).
  • Hesham Alghannam is the Director General of the Security Research Center at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS). 
  • Andreas Krieg is an Associate Professor in Security Studies at King’s College London and a Fellow at King’s Institute of Middle Eastern Studies.

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