Meanwhile, Dubai International Capital - a state-controlled company - confirmed last month it was in talks with the management of EADS about buying a stake for a fund it manages.

"There are many strong common human and economic factors between the UAE and Qatar that enable them to establish a giant investment portfolio in long-term investment projects and acquisition of the shares of major companies listed on global stock markets," Mohammed Abdullah al-Gergawi, the UAE minister for cabinet affairs, said.

Government-controlled companies in Dubai have been searching worldwide for assets for years. Their acquisitions this year include stakes in HSBC Holdings Plc and Deutsche Bank.

Investments this year by Qatar, which has the world's third largest natural gas reserves, include a stake in J. Sainsbury Plc, the British retailer.