Dubai's success as growing financial centre lauded

DUBAI The Lord Mayor of the City of London yesterday praised the success of Dubai as a growing financial centre and important trading partner for the UK.

By Arthur Macdonald (BUSINESS EDITOR)

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Published: Wed 19 Feb 2003, 3:06 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

Speaking at a meeting of the British Business Group, Lord Mayor Gavyn Arthur, said that in the first 11 months of last year trade between the Uk and Dubai had been worth more than £700 million.

He said he had been impressed by the scope of the development of the financial, media and leisure industries that were making Dubai a major regional and international focus for business.

He "About 300,000 people from the UK come here for holidays every year and for many people from the UAE London is now their second home."

The post of Lord Mayor, which is held for one year by each person elected, dates back to before the the Norman invasion of England in 1066, has traditionally been a ceremonial position but Alderman Arthur pointed out that today only about five per cent of his time was spent on ceremonies while the rest involved entertaining guests of the Government and the Royal family and travelling the world to promote the City of London.

As Lord mayor he is head of the Corporation of London and he represents the City which is the financial square mile at the heart of London surrounded by London wall.

He pointed out that the City he represented was the largest international financial market in the world, ahead of both New York and Tokyo and emphasised that 50 per cent of the people and institutions in the City were not UK nationals.

However he was at pains to explain that Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London who chairs the London Assembly and is elected by about eight million people was the political head of the city.

He jokes: "Anything that you disapprove of in London is not my responsibility."

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