Ross is not surprised that the UAE has also leveraged its wealth and power to shape United States foreign policy, including through luxurious junkets that highlight glamorous aspects of the UAE while concealing less savory elements.

“It is amazing what money will do,” Ross said. “It is not a whole lot different from Saudi Arabia in that regard. Abu Dhabi has the third-largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. With that kind of money you can buy the world’s top cultural brands. What they are paying for these brands is nothing to [the UAE] — so what is a few U.S. congressional representatives?”

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