That's certainly one scenario and time will tell. My comment about Israel has to do with it's influence in Congress and the possibility it will perceive any F-35 sale to a GCC state as upsetting the strategic force balance in the region.I think this makes an F-35 order a near certainty. Wikileaks had a 2009 cable transcript of a meeting between Bahrain's king and Gen. Petraeus. The Persian Gulf kingdoms were keen on getting the F-35 as soon as possible and Petraeus assured him it would be made available when the aircraft is ready.
The F-16 order allows the UAE to replace their older M-2000s without introducing a new type and sets them up for a 30-40 F-35 order in 2016-7 for 2020 introduction. I believe if the UAE had intentions of buying the Rafale or E.F. they would have ordered 60 instead of the F-16s. A stealth aircraft that can hit Tehran from the southern P.G. is a compelling deterrent for all the P.G. countries.
Google "Wikileaks casts light on arms sales process"
But the cables sometimes reveal the private thoughts of key players. For example, in a private meeting with Gen David Petraeus, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain agreed with his visitor's claim that the Dassault Rafale is "yesterday's technology", according to a dispatch dated 4 November 2009.
Hamad's comments carry some weight in the fighter business. Bahrain may be in the market to replace its fleet of Northrop F-5s. If the USA offers the Lockheed Martin F-16 or Boeing F/A-18, the Rafale is from the same era.
But if the USA offers the Lockheed F-35, it could boast offering "today's" technology. In January, a Lockheed Martin executive attending the Bahrain air show told reporters that Arab states would start buying the F-35 after Israel signs an order.
The Israelis have signed.