With sirens wailing and lights flashing, the police cars cut a path through the lunchtime traffic on the journey between Tripoli International Airport and the city centre.
To the UAE Government officials and business leaders they were escorting, the vehicles held a special significance.
They were among the 100 squad cars donated to the interim Libyan government last year to help to stabilise the country after the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
Now, four months later, as Libya starts laying the foundations for a new future, the UAE may again be able to help. Forty years, ago the UAE emerged to embark on its own transformation. Money from oil poured into manufacturing, ports, tourism and aviation.
It is an example from which Libya is keen to learn.
Oil wealth means Libya has more in common with the UAE than with many of the other regional and western powers also forging friendships with the new leadership.
But for now, Libya's land remains undeveloped, its ports sleepy and its Mediterranean beaches empty. Only a handful of tall towers rise above the breeze-block buildings and colonial frontages.
Libyan officials are inspired by the success of the UAE's free zones in attracting foreign direct investment and spurring trade. They also want to copy the "hub and spoke model" of handling east-west air traffic pioneered in the region by the UAE.
The Emirates' business landscape is also one Libya approves of as it begins to loosen state shackles on its economy. The network of firms operating with Government links has helped the UAE diversify its income and drive the private sector.
This role-model status is likely to count for a lot as business partnerships are formed and deals struck.
Police cars will probably not be the only thing the UAE provides.