UAE, US renew special bond

Mohamad Kadry
Filed on February 25, 2011

DUBAI Celebrations rang out across Dubai Creek Park on Wednesday as Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, rededicated the iconic Rings of Friendship monument to commemorate nearly 40 years of diplomatic relations between the UAE and the United States.

The rededication ceremony, organised by the American Business Council, is the beginning of a yearlong series of celebrations to mark nearly four decades of partnership between the two nations, including the upcoming inauguration of a newly built Consulate General in Dubai.

John Podgore, president of the American Business Council, commented the significance of the event, marking 14 years since the monument was dedicated.

“Many things have changed in the last 14 years. Anyone who knew Dubai back then knows that things have changed to a degree that’s almost unimaginable. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the strength of the relationship between the UAE and the United States. That’s something that is very comforting,” he said.

Economic trade between the UAE and the US has experienced staggering growth over the last decade. Two years ago, the UAE became America’s largest export market with volumes reaching $11.5 billion, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“The monument serves as an enduring symbol of the bonds of friendship and respect between Americans and Emiratis,” said Consul-General Justin Siberell. “They are a solid, yet elegant embodiment of the enduring bonds that unite our two people.”

The Rings — mounted on a pedestal of 11 tonnes of granite — are daunting in size. Each ring is 5 metres in diameter and weighs 6 tonnes. They are illuminated by seven lights, representing the seven emirates, and were carried in by a special military helicopter from Jebel Ali during the inauguration in 1997.

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