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Newsletter 05/2018

A word from the Ambassador | A busy 2018 so far for the Embassy


As we head into the holy month of Ramadan I take the time to reflect on the Embassy’s work and our achievements over the last couple of months. I wrote in my last newsletter about the high watermark in the Australia-UAE bilateral relationship thanks to successive Head of State and Ministerial visits.  The tempo has continued with the visit to the UAE by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, whom many of you met at the ABCD-hosted reception in Dubai on 18 January. 

Just this week (9 May), the UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayhan, made an official visit to Australia as a guest of the Australian Government.  His Highness was hosted by the Governor-General at Government House, and at Parliament House for a busy program of meetings with the Prime Minister and seven federal ministers, enabling fruitful discussions on a range of bilateral foreign policy, trade, development and security issues. 

As most of you would be aware, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Mr Ciobo, jointly announced Australia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai on 25 March.  It is important that Australia be represented and showcase Australian culture, ingenuity and innovation and highlight the quality of our services sector and education system, agricultural products and credentials as a secure investment destination.  Expo 2020 provides an excellent opportunity for Australian businesses to capitalise on new commercial opportunities in the lead up to Expo 2020.  The Dubai Government has earmarked AED 5 billion for Expo-related projects this year. 

The Australian Embassy has enhanced its social media activity by launching new accounts on Facebook and Instagram in parallel to our existing Twitter account.  Our social media accounts will focus on promoting Australia to UAE residents and keeping the Australian community informed, including on consular matters.  Please follow us on Facebook @AusEmbUAE and Instagram at @AusEmbUAE.

I was heartened to see ANZAC Day so broadly commemorated through many activities in the UAE this year. The Australian and New Zealand Embassies in Abu Dhabi co-hosted a dawn service in the grounds of the Westin Hotel for around 300 people. The Australian and New Zealand Association (ANZA) in conjunction with the New Zealand Consulate-General hosted a dawn service for around 400 people at the Intercontinental Hotel at Dubai Festival City.  The Abu Dhabi-based Aussies Abroad community organisation hosted a sunset service in the grounds of the Hilton Hotel in Abu Dhabi, and the ABCD and AusBG hosted gala events for their members.  I would like to personally thank the Australian and New Zealand communities for their significant efforts to organise these important commemorative events that brought us together and reminded us of our deep historical and cultural ties and shared sacrifice. 

Arthur Spyrou

Australian Ambassador to the UAE

Twitter: @AusEmbUAE

Facebook: @AusEmbUAE

Instagram: @AusEmbUAE

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