By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik, Editor Kevin Lee
Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul said, “Today we are here to celebrate a very special event in my country, United Arab Emirates. It is the Golden Jubilee of the unification of the seven Emirates in 1971.”
Speaking to the guests at a gala reception he hosted at Hotel Shill in Seoul on Dec. 2, 2021 in celebration of one of the most auspicious occasions of his country, Ambassador Al Nuaimi then added, “Over the past 50 years, the UAE has made remarkable achievements in all fields thanks to the vision laid by the founding father Sheikh Zayed and his fellow members of the Federal Supreme Council.” (See details of his speech at the end of this report.)
The reception was one of the best-attended diplomatic functions in the last two years of COVID-19 padenic. Ambassadors and madams of many countries were present expressing congratualtions to the host.
In a rare example, the spacious Dynasty Ballroom of Hotel Shilla that evening was one, in an infrequent example, with all its partitions completely removed—making it a one big open ballroom!
Obviously to insure maximum safety from the COVID-19 woes, each table was completely partitioned with transparent barriers so that the guests could be safe even conversing with each other and one another.
Braving the still lingering worries about COVID-19, presence of the guests was literally unprecedented with most of the tables fully occupied by the guests. A good number of the 117 ambasadors accredited to Korea appeared to be present, many of them with their spouses, and a larger number of VIP geusts from the business and various other segmenets of Korean socierty as well as from the government.
They included Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Sung-wook of the Korean government and representatives from various segments of Korean society and inernational organizations. The guests included Chairman Byun Jun-hyun of Vision Power, CEO Fred Minn of Nami Island, and representatives from Hanwha, Korea Aerospace Industires, LIG Nex1, KITA, KAIF, KNOC, KEPCO, KHIDI, Severance Hospital, EO System, and many other busienss and public organizaions.
The celebration began with the solemn presentation of the National anthems of Korea and the UAE, which was followed by presentation of cultural performances.
Welcome songs were presented by beautiful Korean women singers all clad in colorul traditional costumes of the UAE, which significantly attracted the approving response from the guests.
Another striking feature of the reception was the presentation of the history and culture of the UAE through video images shown on all large screens on the stage and also on both sides. They were so well presented that the guests could ampbly and easily grasp the history and culture of the UAE and her relations and friendship with the neiboring countries and also those located far beyond.
About 300 guests, including ambassadors of various countries of the world as well as the leaders of the Korean government and various other segments of society in Korea, attended the gala event.
In celebration of the auspicious occasion, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Sung-wook of Korea said in a congratulatory speech, “Korea and the UAE have so far kept a close economic and business cooperation and the two countries should promote such favorable bilateral ties in the future.”
The UAE is a federation of seven emirates and is the gateway to the Middle East as well as the international aviation hub country. The UAE has been chosen as the best country for young Arab people to live in for nine consecutive years (according to Arab Youth Survey) for the reasons of its open economic system and the culture of tolerance.
Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to the Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources, the UAE has set an example of “humanitarian solidarity” by providing medical and food supplies to over 70 countries such as Africa, Central Asia, European countries, as well as neighboring Middle Eastern countries.
In particular, 2020 was a meaningful year which marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and UAE. Korea has a “special strategic partnership” only with UAE among Middle Eastern and African countries. And the partnership is developing to a mature stage, befitting 41 years of relations.
In addition to cooperation in diplomacy, defense, and energy based on solid friendship and confidence between leaders, Korea and the UAE have recently been working closely in public health sector to respond to the COVID-19 together.
The UAE has the largest Korean community (about 13,000 people) in the African and Middle Eastern countries. And the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in Abu Dhabi, the only one in the Gulf region, is organizing various programs for cultural exchange to bring the citizens of Korea and the UAE closer together to their hearts.
Korea and the UAE designated last year (2020) as the “Year of Cultural Dialogue,” but considering the difficulties under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the two countries have decided to extend the period to the following year so that all the related events could be held more properly.
Korea and the UAE are expected to stay vigilant and cooperate together to curb the spread of infection of COVID-19 pandemic. Even in the midst of changes in international order due to COVID-19 pandemic, Korea and the UAE are working side by side more firmly to develop the win-win cooperation between them.
Degtails of the speech of Ambassador Al-Nuaimi:
Today we are here to celebrate a very special event in my country, United Arab Emirates. It is the Golden Jubilee of the unification of the seven Emirates in 1971.
Over the past 50 years, the UAE has made remarkable achievements in all fields thanks to the vision laid by the founding father Sheikh Zayed and his fellow members of the Federal Supreme Council.
The journey has continued with energy and determination under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
Backed by these solid successes, today the UAE stands as one of the most competitive countries around the world in many aspects.
The UAE looks forward to the future for the sake of the next generation both nationally and globally.
In line with auspicious event, the UAE launched a new round of strategic projects called "Projects of the 50" to lead the next era of domestic and international growth.
The projects provide a momentum for investment in the digital economy, as well as sectors based on artificial intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution.
As it turns toward the next 50 years of its diplomatic engagement, the UAE will continue building its foreign policy on a number of well-established principles.
The UAE will increasingly seek to strengthen its role as an active member of the international community, especially as it has been elected as a member of the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council as well as the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
It will persistently promote de-escalation and dialogue to address conflicts in the region and around the world.
The UAE will advocate openness, tolerance, good neighborliness and peaceful coexistence as well as provision of humanitarian aid and empowerment of women.
At the bilateral levels, the UAE will focus on cementing its partnerships and friendly ties with other nations across the globe.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As the UAE's relations with the friendly Republic of Korea are concerned, the ties have witnessed significant progress over the recent years. The bilateral cooperation has been expanded and diversified.
As a result, the relations had been elevated to “Special Strategic Partnership” in 2018 thanks to the resolve of our leaders.
For the coming years, this strategic partnership will allow the two sides to further strengthen their current diversified exchanges and expand it to new areas.
Again, thanks to all of you for your participation in this special event.
I hope that this gathering will be a step forward in the efforts to get back to our normal lives for the post Covid-19 era.