The UAE has held talks with BAE Systems about buying armoured vehicles in a multimillion-dollar deal.
If successful, it could help the country to realise its aim to gain a foothold in manufacturing military hardware.
The world's second-largest defence company is vying to sell the Armed Forces "several hundred" models of its RG41, an eight-wheeled-drive combat vehicle, said Johan Jooste, the BAE Systems business development director.
After successfully completing trials in the UAE, BAE is looking for the first international buyer of the product and the company, based in the UK, is waiting for a request for a proposal on an order, he said.
"This is the first stages of a new product with a customer with whom we have done business for a long time," Mr Jooste said.
"We are in the process of negotiating on a future cooperation but it must lead to industrial production. It must be a foothold here and stimulate the local economy to meet our offsets obligations."
Under Abu Dhabi's Offset Program Bureau (OPB), weapons and aerospace suppliers are obligated to lend financial and technical resources to form companies under defence contracts they sign.
BAE is looking to form a long-term partnership with International Golden Group, an Abu Dhabi company that partners international defence firms. Golden already signed a joint venture agreement earlier this year with another defence supplier, Paramount Group of South Africa.
The deals form part of broader plans to create a defence industrial base and diversify from oil revenues.
BAE is already a leading supplier of hardware to the UAE. Land Systems, the company's South African unit, has supplied RG31 and RG12 models of its mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles to the Armed Forces.
The RG12, a multi-purpose vehicle for public order use, is in service with Dubai Police. BAE is in discussions with Abu Dhabi Police about a possible sale of the same model.
In addition to the RG41, BAE also hopes to secure buyers in the Gulf for a smaller version of the vehicle, called the RG31. Offering protection from mine explosion and with high mobility, BAE says the vehicle is also adaptable to cope with a range of climates including arctic and desert. It could reach steep gradients of up to 70 per cent, making it ideal for climbing dunes.
As part of its involvement in the Eurofighter consortium, BAE is also vying to supply Typhoon aircraft to the UAE. The consortium has been invited to submit an offer to supply 60 of the combat jets.