The UAE usually ignores foreign requests for judicial cooperation regarding its offshore hubs but has bent over backwards to accommodate Angola's investigations into the family of former president José Eduardo dos Santos. By doing so, the Emirates are not only forging stronger ties with Luanda but also earning money-laundering brownie points.
Angola's justice ministry has previously asked Emirati and Mauritian authorities to help it locate the assets of the dos Santos family. Now it is taking the treasure hunt all the way to Singapore. Isabel dos Santos, for her part, is fighting back in court in London.
The Fundo Soberano de Angola, a leftover from the dos Santos era, has lost its shine since João Lourenço came to power. The technocrats appointed in 2018 to run the fund have been forced to shrink their ambitions in the face of a drastic reduction of its portfolio and the government's patent lack of interest.
The wealthy Indian Kothari family, which owns the KGK Group gemstone and jewellery company, is backing João Lourenço's shake-up of the diamond sector. By helping the president with his plan to make Angola more than a mere producer of stones, the Kotharis are counting on better access to the country's output.
President Lourenço would have preferred a shipping company to take on Luanda's multipurpose terminal rather than DP World. But it finally resigned itself to choosing the Dubai-based port operator, which spared no expense to win its first major contract in southern Africa.
After the memorial event for late Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo held on 5 November by his widow Isabel dos Santos in Dubai, where the couple lived and where Dokolo died on 29 October, the family of former president José Eduardo dos Santos planned to hold three simultaneous masses.