The UK government refused to handle the student's case through intelligence channels, in line with the wish of the UAE, fearing that it would be considered as an admission of his guilt, according to The Times newspaper.
The news comes following a meeting last week between UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
On the same day, speaking about the issue, UAE Ambassador to London Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui said that the United Arab Emirates was looking into whether to grant clemency to a convicted PhD student.
"Mr Hedges' family has made a request for clemency and the government is studying this request," Almazroui told the Sky News broadcaster.
Earlier this week, a court in Abu Dhabi declared Hedges guilty of spying on behalf of the UK government, in particular, for MI6 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Media reports emerged in October that Hedges, 31, was arrested at Dubai airport in May as he tried to leave the country after a study trip. The student reportedly came to the UAE to gather information for his research on the UAE security policy following the Arab Spring. On October 15, the UAE attorney general confirmed Hedges had been charged of espionage on behalf of a foreign state.