The Duke of Cambridge will travel to Dubai next month and take part in events featuring talent from across the UK, Kensington Palace has announced.
William’s trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 10 will be his first major overseas visit since touring the Middle East in 2019 and is being carried out at the request of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The Duke, who has never officially visited the United Arab Emirates, will visit Expo 2020 in Dubai, which is temporarily taken over by the British National Day.
British talent will be showcased at the event which will also feature the 2022 Commonwealth Games baton relay, launched by the Queen from Buckingham Palace last October, as it marches through the Expo site to visit Commonwealth national flags.
Britain has had close ties with the United Arab Emirates for almost 200 years.
The region’s importance to the United Kingdom was due to its location near the vital trade route to India via the waters of the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea.
It was the discovery of oil in the 1950s that transformed the Gulf from a sleepy collection of ports, where fishing and the declining pearling industry were economic mainstays, into a global financial powerhouse.
The United Arab Emirates was created in 1971 by the “Trucial States” which had gained independence from the United Kingdom.
It is made up of seven states – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain – which are governed by a supreme council of rulers made up of the seven emirs, who appoint the prime minister and the cabinet. .
Kensington Palace said: “The bond between the UK and the UAE runs deep and strong and Prince William’s visit will highlight and build on those ties as he has the opportunity to engage with many young Emiratis, government leaders and committed conservationists.”
During the tour, the Duke will learn about initiatives to protect areas of unique flora and fauna in the region.
He will also have the opportunity to highlight his environmental award, the Earthshot Prize, and his United for Wildlife initiative to combat the illegal wildlife trade.