Expo 2020 Dubai: UK-UAE ties at 'different level', says UK official

The futuristic UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. KT photo/Neeraj Murali
The futuristic UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. KT photo/Neeraj Murali
KT photo/Neeraj Murali
KT photo/Neeraj Murali

Dubai - Lord Mayor of London says UAE is showing the world how to emerge stronger in a post-Covid era.

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Mon 4 Oct 2021, 8:47 PM

The UAE is leading the way for a better future, a top official from the UK has said, while adding that the country’s ties with the UAE keep growing stronger.

William Russel, the Lord Mayor of London, who visited Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday to discuss trade opportunities and sustainability with the Commissioner General and representatives of a few other pavilions, said the UAE is showing the world how to emerge stronger in a post-Covid era.

“The United Kingdom’s relationship with the UAE has always been strong, and has reached a different level in recent times,” Russel said, while speaking exclusively to Khaleej Times. The 692nd Lord Mayor of London said that the two countries will collectively continue to improve professional and financial services around the world. “It is wonderful that the UAE is leading the way for a better future,” he said.

Russell, who last visited the country in early 2020 before the UK imposed a Covid-lockdown, said the UAE has come a long way in forging a sustainable future and boosting economic growth, while managing to control the spread of Covid-19. “Dubai has evolved to a great extent since my last visit here, and all credit goes to the leaders of the country,” Russell said.

Speaking during a visit to the futuristic UK Pavilion at Expo 2020, Russell said that it was thrilling to see the UAE and Dubai project what’s happening in the world, and how can we contribute for a better future.

“When you have almost all the countries under one roof, we come to the real side of fulfilling the possibilities. Expo 2020 is a global ground to discuss trade for countries and companies,” Russell said.

Russell who visited the DP World pavilion, and met key officials there, said: “The flowing theme of the pavilion is explicit and every pavilion is unique in its own way. We discussed supply-chain issues and the changes that Covid has brought, with the officials.”

Russel says in the coming weeks and months, hundreds and thousands of people from all over the globe will be descending on Dubai to visit this extraordinary show that the city has put up.

“Dubai is already packed. The hotel I am staying is in full capacity,” he said.

Russel said it is commendable the way UAE is taking the lead in fighting climate change and focusing on a sustainable future, while noting that the country will be hosting the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) on Climate Change. “It is a brilliant thing that the UAE is focusing on, and here you can sense the long-term thinking of the leadership on sustainability,”

With the travel restrictions from the UAE to the UK now lifted, the Lord Mayor says a good number of tourists from the UAE will visit the UK and vice versa. “We expect travel to resume pre-pandemic levels, but it will take little time. Emirates will now have connectivity to Gatwick Airport. Travel from the UAE to UK will surely pick up in October as children take their vacations,”

Russell who will be visiting the Indian pavilion on Tuesday, said that ministers of different countries will be visiting Dubai over the next six months giving a great opportunity for discussions on trade and business.

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