21 October 2021
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, conducted his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates last week.
Following on closely from the visit to Jersey by the Emirati Ambassador earlier this month, the Chief Minister's programme sought to reinforce and enhance the diverse relationship enjoyed between the two jurisdictions.
During his time in Dubai, the Chief Minister met the British Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, to discuss the ongoing cooperation between the UK Government and Jersey counterparts including over human rights, as well as with representatives from the financial services sector.
The Chief Minister re-emphasised the importance of the close working relationship with the UAE Government through bilateral meetings with the Minister for Culture and Youth, Ms Noura Al Kaabi, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Mr Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh.
He also developed linkages for potential commercial opportunities through a meeting with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Mr Hamad Buamim.
Senator Le Fondré represented the Government of Jersey at the World Expo in Dubai, where he highlighted the Island's links with a number of key partners through visits to national pavilions and discussions with representatives, including those from the United Kingdom, the United States, and the UAE.
The Chief Minister was also pleased to attend an event to celebrate the Jersey community in the Emirates and looked forward to the development of this group as part of greater people-to-people links between the respective jurisdictions.
Further to his engagements in Dubai, the Chief Minister also developed Jersey's relationships with the Emirates of Sharjah and Fujairah. In Sharjah, Senator Le Fondre visited the Buhais Geological Park to discuss possible collaboration on cultural and heritage projects, whilst in Fujairah the delegation met His Highness Crown Prince Sheikh Al Sharqi to emphasise the potential of further bilateral cooperation.
During his time in Fujairah, the Chief Minister also visited Rumailah Farms, which produces dairy products from its Jersey cows, and met leaders of the Fujairah Chamber of Commerce.
Reflecting on his visit, Senator Le Fondré said: "I was delighted to make my first official visit to the United Arab Emirates to explore and reinforce the strong relationship between Jersey and our partners. This relationship encapsulates everything from culture and heritage to dairy products and financial services, and I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome that I received.
"I was pleased to learn more about the UAE, a country that has come a long way in its short 50-year history, and one that is clearly making further progress across a range of issues and sectors. It is apparent that, through our warm bilateral relationship, Jersey and the UAE can continue to work together for our mutual benefit, and I am confident that this visit has only served to further strengthen these ties."