Technical cooperation between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Bank began in 1980 and a framework agreement for annual technical cooperation was signed to cover a two-year period (1995-96).
The first program featured two studies: a comprehensive national health assessment study and a government computer center restructuring study. Later, the government requested assistance in agriculture and water resource management, including environmental impact assessments, and in debt market and labor market development.
More recently, the Bank supported efforts in the health insurance domain, public finance management laws, and expenditure effectiveness in health, education, and infrastructure. In addition, the Bank has also delivered technical assistance to individual Emirates. To note a few recent examples, the World Bank assessed innovative approaches to enhance the quality of private education in Dubai by relying on governance and accountability measures rather than on traditional education-focused measures. The share of UAE students in better schools increased from 30% to more than 50 %. This innovation in the UAE provided highly valued unique lessons of practical experience to the world and to development practitioners.
In 2015, the Bank became a Strategic Partner to the Prime Minister Office at the UAE Government Summit. Cooperation would continue in the governance domain and in the facilitation of a global knowledge exchange platform to help achieve the SDGs.
The size of Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) portfolio in the UAE was around $800,000 in 2016, as compared to around $600,000 in 2011.