Dubai 's chief of police Dahi Khalfan
Dubai 's chief of police Dahi Khalfan

Dahi Khalfan, said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was aware of a planned international plot instigated by governments in Syria and North Africa to overthrow regimes in the Gulf States.

"There's an international plot against Gulf States in particular and Arab countries in general.This is preplanned to take over our fortunes," Reuters quoted Khalfan as telling reporters

"The bigger our sovereign wealth funds and the more money we put in the banks of Western countries, the bigger the plot to take over our countries. The Brothers [Muslim Brotherhood] and their governments in Damascus and North Africa have to know that the Gulf is a red line, not only for Iran but also for the Brothers as well."

Khalfan comments came after activists complained about a series of dissident arrests in the UAE in recent months.

Most of the detainees are Islamists with some belonging to the Al-Islah (reform) group, which the UAE authorities see as a proxy for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Although Al-Islah members acknowledged sharing some common goals with the Muslim Brotherhood they deny any direct links with the group.

Earlier this month authorities had said they were investigating a foreign-linked organisation accused of planning "acts against state security".

Although officials have not yet commented on the arrests sources said some of the members arrested are suspected of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Khalfan is an outspoken critic of the group, repeatedly accusing it of plotting against regimes in the Gulf Countries.

"I had no idea that there is this large number of Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf States. We have to be alert and on guard because the wider these groups become, the higher probability there is for trouble," Khalfan added.

"We are aware that there are groups plotting to overthrow Gulf governments in the long term."

In January Khalfan said, during the Gulf Cooperation Council National and Regional Security Conference in Bahrain, he saw the Muslim Brotherhood, as part of a greater 'US foreign policy plan to destabilise the area'.

Iran stirring up unrest?

Although the UAE has avoided the mass protests that swept across the Arab World last year and this year, critics of the regime and the ruling families of the seven emirates have become more vocal in recent months.

Neighbouring countries such as Bahrain have faced more prominent calls for reforms with mass protests organised in 2011 and 2012. Tensions also aroused in Saudi Arabia eastern province. Protests are on-going in both countries.

In both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's eastern province protests are led by a majority of Shia, though Shia Muslims constitutes the majority of Bahraini nationals. Demonstrators have complained about a government bias by denying them important state jobs, restricting their places of worship and limiting their educational opportunities and leading a crackdown on critics of the regime.

Bahrain and Saudi have complained Iran has been involved in stirring up unrest, a charge denied by protesters and activists.