Prince William highlights wildlife conservation and climate change on first trip to UAE

DUBAI — Britain’s Prince William made his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, where the future monarch is highlighting his passionate work around wildlife conservation and climate change.

The Duke of Cambridge’s one-day visit marks a milestone in relations between the UK and the United Arab Emirates, a Western-allied Arab Gulf nation ruled by hereditary rulers. The prince is expected to meet the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the son of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Queen Elizabeth II first visited the United Arab Emirates as a monarch in 1979, while Prince Charles’ last visit was in 2016.

The former British protectorate is a magnet for British nationals, whose culture permeates almost every aspect of expat life in this country of over 9 million people, where foreigners make up around 90% of the population. population.

According to the British Business Group in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, more than 100,000 British citizens live in the UAE and more than 6,000 British businesses operate in the country.

The Duke of Cambridge’s visit coincides with Britain’s National Day at Expo 2020, the world’s fair taking place in Dubai. Prince William toured the British Pavilion and toured the $7 billion Expo site grounds, as well as the falcon-shaped pavilion of the United Arab Emirates.

While touring the United Arab Emirates, news emerged that her 73-year-old father Prince Charles had tested positive for COVID-19 and was self-isolating. This is the second time the heir to the throne has contracted the coronavirus.

During his first stopover in Dubai, Prince William visited DP World’s massive Jebel Ali port, where he observed the cargo being scanned and inspected by customs to apparently highlight efforts to combat the illegal trade in wild species. Her visit comes more than 40 years after her grandmother inaugurated the port during her royal tour of the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai-based global port operator DP World is a key partner in Prince William’s United for Wildlife, an initiative created by the prince in 2014 to help tackle the illegal wildlife trade. The Dubai government-owned port operator, in partnership with Dubai Expo 2020, is also among the founding funding partners of the Prince’s Earthshot Prize.

Launched by Prince William and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the end of 2020, the Earthshot Prize held its first-ever awards ceremony late last year, offering five million prizes. books ($1.36 million) to innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists looking for solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems. The award is funded for 10 years, totaling 50 awards.

This year’s awards ceremony will be held in the United States. Last year’s finalists will present their innovative solutions to an audience at the Expo’s DP World pavilion after a speech by Prince William.

The Duke, like his father Prince Charles, has long used his platform to advocate for greater environmental awareness, warning that the Earth is at a tipping point and faces irreparable damage unless actions are taken. action is taken to repair the planet.

Prince William, who is traveling without his wife, Catherine, began his UAE tour with a visit to Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Mangrove Park to learn about local conservation efforts for the plant that helps protect areas coastal erosion. There he met children planting mangrove trees, and he planted one himself. He was accompanied by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, son of the powerful Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

While in Dubai, the Duke is also expected to meet British sports figures as the Queen’s Baton Relay travels through the Dubai Expo site to pavilions of Commonwealth countries – mainly territories with former colonial ties to Great Britain. The baton contains a message from Queen Elizabeth and travels to all 72 nations and territories ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Katy Holmes, chief executive of the British Business Group in Dubai, said Britons were really excited about the prince’s visit as it sent a positive message about strengthening a bilateral relationship so well established by Queen Elizabeth II, who has celebrated 70 years on the throne on Sunday.

“He is very well regarded as a member of the royal family and he is the future of the British monarchy, so I think there is interest from that point of view. But it is also a celebration of the ‘Expo,’ said Holmes, who is among those invited to attend an evening performance at Expo which will be attended by Prince William.

The territories of the United Arab Emirates have attracted British attention since the early 18th century, when the region was considered part of a strategic Persian Gulf trade route with links to India and other British colonies. . The territories, ruled by various tribal sheikhs, later became a British protectorate and remained so for 150 years until the founding of the United Arab Emirates in 1971.

British nationals have largely benefited from high wages, milder winters, lower tax rates and luxurious living conditions offered to Western expatriates in the Gulf.

British nationals occupy critical teaching positions in the country, but also work in a range of positions as hairdressers, fitness trainers, estate brokers, bartenders, hotel managers and event planners, to name a few.

British accents dominate English radio broadcasts and British pub culture is popular in Dubai. In a rare move, the United Arab Emirates has granted citizenship to Sir Tim Clark, the British chairman of long-haul carrier Emirates, who helped build the Dubai-based airline into a globally recognized brand.

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