The UAE and South Korea have linked up in an effort to ensure the competitiveness of their national economies and maintain an edge over nearby rivals.
The Emirates Competitiveness Council (ECC) has partnered its South Korean counterpart to boost productivity in the UAE economy. It has also signed research and development deals with universities in both countries intended to bolster strategic industries.
The two countries are seeking to share expertise of economic management that has led to rapid growth during the past few decades, said Tae-Shin Kwon, the vice chairman of the Korean Presidential Council on National Competitiveness.
"Korea should learn a lot from the UAE, not vice versa," he said.
South Korea was seeking to learn from Dubai's experience in developing tourism, services, hospitality and "green growth" industries, Mr Kwon added.
The UAE has developed a number of partnerships with South Korea, most notably selecting Korea Electric Power Corporation to design, build and help operate its civilian nuclear power plants. The two have also signed major deals in the oil and gas sector.
The UAE is now seeking to partner universities in South Korea and elsewhere in the world to improve the quality of the research it generates, said Abdullah Lootah, the ECC's secretary general.
"As a Government, I think we need to do more to facilitate the environment … for people with different thinking and great ideas," he said.
The ECC, established in 2009, plans to promote competition among government agencies and cut through bureaucracy, resulting in increased trade and accelerated economic growth.
In addition to increasing the quality and promptness of releases of official data and statistics, the organisation is considering the establishment of an agency focused on protecting intellectual property to develop the UAE's climate for research, Mr Lootah said.
"It could be one way of telling the nation that we take research and development very seriously," he said. "I think we're getting there, slowly, but I think we can speed up the process."
Among the most dynamic economies in Asia, South Korea has attempted to develop a so-called "knowledge economy" built around innovation in an attempt to ensure it remains competitive against cheap labour from fast-growing markets nearby such as China, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The UAE has attempted to replicate a "knowledge economy", establishing large numbers of university satellite campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
"We should make use of the 70-plus private universities in the country," Mr Lootah said. "Those entities are here not only to have a presence in the Middle East, but to add value to human capital."
Developing a country's universities and research environment could lead to substantial gains in its competitiveness, Mr Kwon said.
"It can be done by education and training, as we've seen in the successful story of Steve Jobs," he said.
"He never invented any new things, but he was a genius at collecting them together with good marketing and design."