A ground-breaking deal between Birmingham and an oil-rich Arab government could see millions of pounds of investment flooding into the city.
City council leader Mike Whitby was set to sign an agreement on Tuesday to provide local government expertise to Abu Dhabi.
In return, Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs, will agree to promote the benefits of Birmingham as a business destination among state-backed investors across the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states.
The Memorandum of Understanding between Birmingham and Abu Dhabi that the two leaders will sign is the latest step in a strategy to kick-start city centre regeneration projects mothballed in the recession.
Coun Whitby (Con, Harborne) said he hoped Birmingham would soon rival London as the first port of call inn the UK for super-rich Middle East investors.
Under the agreement, Birmingham City Council will offer support, advice and consultancy to help Abu Dhabi set up a local government structure.
Coun Whitby said: “This partnership offers fantastic opportunities for Birmingham to gain direct access to some of the wealthiest and most ambitious investors in the world.
"We have been looking to develop the many commercial and cross cultural opportunities that exist for the city of Birmingham outside of the UK, and in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi we have found a partner that parallels our thinking and our vision of excellence.
“We are starting the journey that says that Birmingham offers unrivalled opportunity as a city ripe for global investment.
“It is also a great endorsement of our city that from the entire world they have chosen Birmingham as the model for how to develop successful local governance structures.”
Mr al Hajeri, said: “By partnering with Birmingham City Council, we can learn from their experiences to inform and drive our ambitious plans and achieve recognition for our accomplishments so far.”