Francisco Alonso Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: With efforts aimed at boosting trade and tourism ties between Mexico and the UAE, the Mexican envoy told Gulf News that an official announcement on direct flights from Dubai to Mexico will be made soon.

Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the Mexican Independence Day celebrations at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi to mark the country’s significant milestone on September 16, Mexican Ambassador to the UAE, Francisco Alonso, said that this announcement will elevate bilateral trade ties.

“The opening of the embassy four years ago in the UAE was an initial step towards boosting relations between Mexico and the UAE. There are a number of other initiatives in the pipeline that are anticipated to further bolster this step, such as the direct flights from Dubai to Mexico through Emirates airline, which will be made available very soon,” he explained.

“Diplomatic academies will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the beginning of next year that will enable the Mexican Foreign Ministry to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE on training new cadres of diplomats, who are expected to support UAE’s growing presence in Latin America,” he added.

Bringing into sharp focus the importance of elevating trade ties between the two countries, the ambassador also said that a ProMexico Trade Office will be opened in Dubai in November, which will reinforce Mexico’s commercial presence in the UAE, a vision that the country has been working towards diligently.

Francisco said that the Embassy is currently preparing for the upcoming visit scheduled to take place in October, which will see the Mexican Secretary of Economy, IIdefonso Guajardo, and the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, accompanied by a ministerial and business delegation, fly to the UAE.

This meeting will discuss the state visit of President Enrique Pena Nieto to the country in 2016, who will be coming to the UAE for the very first time, the ambassador told Gulf News.

During the celebrations held at the capital to cherish the Mexican’s Independence Day, Dr Tariq Al Haidan, Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organisations Affairs, several Ambassadors and Diplomats from the UAE, were also in presence.

National songs fired up a sense of patriotic fervour and the colours of the Mexican flag permeated the hall, which featured crowds representing a number of different nationalities to celebrate the country’s momentous turning point.

Maria Padilla, a Mexican mother of two, said that this day is a chance for her to meet friends and family to celebrate Independence Day together.

“As a Mexican, it makes me feel very proud to know that we were able at some point to rise and become our own independent country.”

Another Mexican resident, David Abreso, a professor, said that September 16 marks an exceptional occasion for any Mexican.

“This day in particular to me is very special because I am celebrating my country’s independence in another country. If I were back home during this time, I wouldn’t go to all the designated areas with festivities going on to celebrate the Independence day. However, I did make an effort to come today to get a taste of my own country in the UAE,” he explained.

Two other residents, Helen Christiansen from Denmark and Roald Van Rensburg from South Africa, said that they have always had an appetite to learn more about the Mexican culture, particularly as Mexico is known to have an array of remarkable tourist destinations which they are hoping to know more about through events like this.

Maisoon Mubarak is a trainee at Gulf News