Soft power is the ability to get what you want through incentives and persuasion rather than coercion, which entails setting agendas or programs for others through the use of several tools, including, culture, values, policies and institutions, where authorities follow public, bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
In April 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the formation of the Emirates Soft Power Council, which began to set the strategies of the UAE’s soft power in September 2017, and announced 4 objectives:
1- Creating a unified identity for the UAE in all fields
2- Developing the UAE’s position as a gateway to the Middle East region
3- Developing a global interactive network with individuals and international institutions
4- Consolidating the reputation of the UAE as a modern country open to every idea characterized by tolerance and love of goodness for all.
Furthermore, the UAE’s soft power is bolstered by the existence of key elements such as providing humanitarian aid, extending a helping hand to all, practising good governance, as well as having balanced international diplomacy, history, location, culture and arts, sports, and tourism.
Established in February 2016, the UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance played a prominent role in shaping the UAE’s soft power, by consolidating tolerance as one of the distinctive values of the UAE’s society.
In 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the Happiness Strategy 2021, which aspires that the UAE reaches a prominent position in this regard globally, prompting the establishment of the Ministry of Happiness, which greatly contributed to the consolidation of happiness within institutions and worked to imbue the Emirati community with happiness at every level.
These efforts helped the UAE rank among the top ten countries in the soft power index, which was announced at the Global Soft Power Conference, in addition, the UAE came 10th on the list of countries most followed by the global public and 11th in media influence.
The UAE’s soft power is now no less important than its hard power, as this soft power is aimed at consolidating the UAE’s position globally as a bastion of tolerance, freedom, and comradery among everyone in its beloved land.