Beijing: The inaugural Dubai Week in China — the largest event to be staged in China showcasing Dubai and the opportunities it presents — opened in Beijing on Friday night. Running until May 15, the event — a Falcon and Associates initiative in partnership with DTCM, DIFC, Dubai Expo 2020, Emirates, Jafza, Jumeirah Group and KHDA — got underway with a VIP welcome reception.
It was attended by more than 200 guests, including Chinese government officials, and business and thought leaders, along with a senior delegation representing the UAE and Dubai, which included Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State and Honorary President of Falcon and Associates; Issam Abdul Rahim Kazim, CEO, DCTCM; Arif Amiri, Deputy CEO, DIFC; Barry Brown, DSVP Commercial Operations East, Emirates; Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb, CEO, Jafza; Gerald Lawless; President and Group CEO, Jumeirah Group; and Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General, KHDA.
Reem Al Hashemi and Li Xiaolin, President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), delivered opening addresses which highlighted how Dubai Week in China will not only celebrate thriving ties but will also highlight the unprecedented opportunities the emirate presents China across business, tourism, culture and lifestyle.
“China and the UAE share an energy and drive to achieve what others can sometimes see as the impossible. This pioneering spirit, combined with our strategic location, has enabled us to become a global trade hub and gateway of opportunity for China into the Middle East, Africa, Europe and beyond,” said Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy. “Dubai Week in China is a place to meet and foster friendships, a platform to stimulate greater levels of understanding and discuss new opportunities which will bring us closer together and further strengthen economic and cultural ties between our two great countries.”
“Dubai Week in China marks and an important step in the strengthening of relations,” said Madame Li Xiaolin. “Dubai can play a key role as China looks to implement its One Belt, One Road strategy, through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, role in China’s future. We look forward to working with the Dubai entities to create new friendships and foster meaningful dialogue, inspiring increased levels of knowledge transfer and collaboration in the pursuit of common goals.”
Displays of traditional Emirati music — including an Ayallah band and an oud performance — were highlights of the evening, while the venue — The Orange, Taikoo Li Sanlitun South — has been transformed into an interactive experience, providing visitors the opportunity to see, touch and taste Dubai and discover sides of the city that they perhaps were not aware of, such as the warmth of Arabic hospitality or its rich culture and Bedouin heritage.
Visitors are taken through Dubai’s incredible journey from a humble fishing village into a global city of opportunity, while they also have the chance to learn more about the pioneering spirit and visionary leadership of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
In addition, a business centre at the venue will provide event Partners and Chinese business leaders and government officials a platform to explore opportunities of mutual benefit, while several announcements are also expected to be made during the week. Thought leadership panel discussions are scheduled — on Dubai as an investment destination, as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as the growing educational opportunities in the emirate — while there will also be evening events celebrating China and Dubai’s shared passion for sport, food and art.
China became Dubai’s number one trading partner in 2014 after a 29 per cent increase to $47.6 billion moved it above India for the first time since 2004. This strengthening of economic ties has been driven in part by the 3000 Chinese companies operating in Dubai and the city’s thriving community of over 200,000 Chinese, accounting for 10 per cent of its population.