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UAE hires lobby shop to survey US opinion

The United Arab Emirates has hired the Glover Park Group to survey US public opinion ahead of the 2020 election.

The UAE Embassy in Washington hired Glover Park on June 22, according to a newly disclosed lobbying filing. The contract is for $35,000 and runs until July 31 unless both parties agree to extend it.

“The registrant will conduct survey research regarding public attitudes,” the filing states. “The registrant will also be available to meet with the embassy or its representatives to present this research.”

Managing Director of Research and Insights Graeme Trayner is currently the only registered foreign agent on the account. Glover Park currently lobbies for the UAE Mission to the United Nations.

The embassy previously retained Glover Park for similar work back in July 2019 for $80,000. That contract ended Dec. 16.

Saudi Arabia likewise receives US public opinion data via Certus Insights of Arlington, a Qorvis subcontractor. Certus was hired in May 2019 but only registered under FARA in March 2020.

“Registrant will conduct quantitative surveys for Qorvis Communications on American attitudes and perceptions of Middle East and current event issues,” its registration reads.

Both countries have spent millions of dollars to present themselves as modern nations moving beyond energy exports. In recent months, the UAE Embassy has notably retained New York-based Terakeet for search-engine optimization and paid former Foreign Policy Editor David Rothkopf‘s TRG Advisory Services $250,000 for a promotional podcast.

The two Arab Gulf countries however continue to suffer blowback on Capitol Hill over human rights and their intervention in Yemen. The UAE is also trying to influence US public opinion regarding Libya, with embassy lobbyists currently raising alarm bells over Turkey’s intervention.

Update: This post was updated at 9:40 a.m. on June 30 after new information about the length and scope of Glover Park’s contract was made available.