The United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of the Netherlands have concluded the activities of the inaugural ‘UAE-Netherlands Week’, in a series of events that promoted cultural and knowledge exchange between the two countries.
The week came against the backdrop of the two countries’ celebration of nearly fifty years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, as well as the UAE’s fiftieth anniversary since its founding as a nation.
Representatives of Emirati and Dutch governmental entities, cultural institutions, and youth organisations took part in the forum. Participants included HE Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Public and Cultural Diplomacy at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; HE Dr Hissa Abdulla Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands; HE Lody Embrechts, Dutch Ambassador to the UAE; HE Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, and HE Hans Sandee, Dutch Consul General and Netherlands Commissioner General for Expo2020 Dubai, among others.
Speaking at the event, Ghobash remarked, “The UAE-Dutch relationship, which has produced significant economic benefits for our countries, has also brought our peoples together to share our rich cultures. The UAE and the Netherlands firmly believe that by strengthening cultural collaboration, our countries can benefit from each other’s experience and diverse range of offerings.”
Attendees also discussed Dutch participation in Expo2020 Dubai, where the Netherlands will host a pavilion highlighting the nexus between water, food, and energy security.
“Expo2020 Dubai will also serve as a forum through which the UAE and the Netherlands can strengthen one of the pillars of our enduring relationship: that of food security. We in the UAE are excited to see what our Dutch partners will present under their themed microclimate pavilion, which will focus on water, energy, and food resources. Our two countries have worked concertedly to achieve food security in a sustainable manner, and Expo 2020 Dubai offers opportunities for Dutch agri-tech companies to expand their engagement within the UAE, as well as other target markets,” Ghobash added.
For his part, HE Lody Embrechts, Dutch Ambassador to the UAE, commented, “The topics we touched upon this week – from design to women empowerment, entrepreneurship to food security – are of great importance to our two countries. The ‘UAE-Netherlands Week’ has hopefully created a platform to discuss opportunities, exchange ideas, think about the future and increase collaboration. We both have open, diverse societies with a focus on innovation and I look forward to tackling the various issues discussed in concert with the UAE.”
Sessions addressed diverse topics, including ways to strengthen cooperation in the arts and cultural sectors, promote food security and energy efficiency, empower women in STEM fields, and foster entrepreneurship and scientific innovation.