Dubai: Brian Wilkie, the founder of regional charity Gulf For Good, is to receive the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).
Wilkie set up the charity in 2001, which is run under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group.
Wilkie said: "I'm hugely delighted and very proud and astonished. You don't expect this thing to happen to an ordinary chap."
Wilkie also established the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC), of which he is currently Deputy Chairman.
DUCTAC was officially opened in 2006, by Honorary Patron, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
"There wasn't a theatre in Dubai and so I decided to set it up. It was going to be a small theatre in the desert and it grew into the project it is today. A friend wanted to raise money to buy an ambulance in Kenya, and we ended up climbing Kilimanjaro and raising enough money for three ambulances, so that's how Gulf For Good was set up. Dubai is like that, you can have an idea and people are supportive if you make it fun for them," he said.
He has been awarded the MBE for 'services to British commercial interests and charitable activities in Dubai'. He has been in Dubai since 1976.
"I'm still a bit overwhelmed and emotional, and there have been lots of congratulations coming in. I'm the only awardee as far as I know in the Gulf this year. I feel quite privileged and honoured, because I think that there are people that have done more than me," he said.