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Newsletter 04/2019

A word from the Ambassador | Mr Arthur Spyrou

 

Dear Friends.

We have had an eventful start to 2019. We were shocked by the terrible events which took place in Christchurch and Colombo. These horrendous acts were felt deeply in the UAE, just as they were back home in Australia. I was heartened by the warmth and sincerity shown in the responses from our Emirati friends in the aftermath of these sad events. The UAE, like Australia, is a diverse, outward-looking and tolerant country– and our shared values provide the basis for the successful bilateral relationship we enjoy today. That is why I believe it is incumbent on us all to be ambassadors for Australia and its people. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the way in which you represent who we are and all that we have to offer.


There was no better encapsulation of the values shared between Australia and the UAE than the Special Olympics which were held in March. I had the privilege of walking into Zayed Sports City Stadium alongside the Australian team for the Opening Ceremony. The enthusiasm of our athletes and their families was infectious and it was truly humbling to learn of the sacrifice and dedication that brought these inspirational Australians to the UAE (and for them to come home with 140 medals). I then had the great pleasure of personally thanking the families and volunteers who supported our Special Olympics team at a reception held at my residence. This was memorable experience and a definite highlight of my time in the UAE.


As always, the work of our Embassy has continued at a frenetic pace this year. In January, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, visited the UAE to promote opportunities for enhanced economic cooperation between our two countries and our plans for the Dubai Expo in 2020. In April, we supported visits from the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, a parliamentary delegation from Western Australia and the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I was also excited to support the Australian contingent at the Future Blockchain Summit, also held in April, and was very pleased with the level of interest shown in the Australian companies at the event. 


The Australian Embassy has continued its outreach across our networks in the UAE through our extensive program of calendar events. In February, we gathered to ‘Celebrate Australia’ at the St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Award-winning Chef, Ben Willis, showcased native Australian flavours and cutting edge culinary techniques to over 200 dignitaries and business leaders. On April 25, we commemorated ANZAC day with a solemn dawn service that honoured the sacrifices of Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women in times of war and while keeping the peace. We are looking forward to co-hosting with the ABCD the UAE-Australia Alumni Network Iftar and the combining of cultures and traditions that takes place through the event. 


Finally, as you would no doubt be aware, a federal election will take place on 18 May. I encourage to you to review the information on how cast your vote through the Australian Embassy’s website. You can also follow my twitter account (@AusAmbUAE) for the latest updates. 


See you all soon.

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