Leaping into a New Royal Era

A momentous abdication after 52 years marks the end of Queen Margrethe II’s reign, welcoming King Frederik X to lead Denmark into a new era. According to Anders Bjørn Hansen, Ambassador of Denmark to the UAE, this transition holds immense significance for diplomatic, commercial, and sustainable alliances with the UAE

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Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 10:33 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 3:14 PM

On January 14, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II stepped down as the Queen of Denmark and handed over the throne to her son, His Majesty Frederik X, who became King of Denmark and Denmark’s new Head of State.

The Queen’s 52-year reign is the longest by a monarch in Danish history. She took on the role of Queen at the age of 31 in 1972 when her father, King Frederik IX, passed away. Since then, the Queen has been a beloved anchor and a gathering figure for Denmark. This is the first time in nearly 900 years that an abdication has taken place in Denmark. Indeed an extraordinary and historic event.

The accession of the new King of Denmark is also an excellent opportunity to reflect on the strong diplomatic and commercial ties between Denmark and the UAE.

Sustainability has become one of the most important strongholds for Denmark, and as #3 on the United Nation’s global sustainability index, the results speak for themselves. This has fostered a tradition of public-private partnerships and fast-forwarded the green transition while making Denmark an internationally recognised hub for sustainable innovation.

The UAE and Denmark had a strong collaboration up to and during COP28. As the outcomes of COP28 are implemented, the collaborative spirit between the UAE and Denmark in addressing climate-related issues is likely to contribute towards a more sustainable and resilient global community. Many Danish companies are international, and the UAE hosts subsidiaries of some of the biggest and most innovative Danish companies, the Danish Sustainability Champions in the UAE.

This shared commitment could further solidify the diplomatic ties and serve as a foundation for future collaborations on environmental and climate-related initiatives. Other strong areas of collaboration would include trade, technology, and renewable energy initiatives. In terms of economic partnerships, there could be increased collaboration in sectors like green technology, sustainable development, and innovation, aligning with both Denmark and the UAE’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Both countries could further explore opportunities to strengthen bilateral relationships, including through cultural exchanges. Given Denmark’s rich cultural heritage and strong economic presence, promoting cultural exchange and economic partnerships is a priority.

Denmark and UAE trade relations

The two countries have had close commercial ties over many years and are important trade partners. The Embassy of Denmark in the UAE seeks to enhance this cooperation with sustainability as its core. His Majesty King Frederik X has for years been an advocate for strengthening business ties abroad and was also present at COP28 in December when Denmark had its largest delegation ever, consisting of more than 30 companies and organisations.

Denmark is a Green nation. We have over the years fostered close collaboration with the UAE in a wide range of areas, for example, green infrastructure, sharing best practices in building green with a focus on district heating to reduce CO2 emissions. When you say green energy, Denmark is mentioned as a global pioneer as around 50 per cent of electricity is powered by wind or solar through substantial investments, solidifying its position as a global leader in onshore and offshore wind projects. Denmark is now also pioneering in Power-to-X and green hydrogen, which is also a known focus area in the UAE.

Denmark is a Maritime nation. For many years, we have been a seafaring nation. Today it is the fifth global shipping country in the world and Danish ship owners transport approximately 10 per cent of global trade, also marking it the largest export industry in Denmark. The unique position of the UAE as a global logistic hub, for sure invites potential collaboration.

Denmark is a Food nation, and so is the UAE. Every year Denmark has a pavilion at the World’s largest food exhibition Gulfood in Dubai. This year expecting the participation of Denmark’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries to continue dialogue on cooperation. Denmark was one of the co-endorsers of the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action leading up to COP28.

Denmark is a healthy nation. Healthcare is another area with close collaboration between both, for example when it comes to the fight against chronic and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes or obesity. There is potential in digital health where Denmark is a world leader exporting advanced technologies and solutions to improve the way healthcare is delivered.

Denmark is a Digital nation. Technology and digitalisation are other key strengths and #1 on the World Digital Competitiveness Ranking and in e-governance. Denmark already has multiple collaborations with the UAE within this sector.

There is definitely potential to further foster more cooperation between Denmark and the UAE in all sectors.


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