Abu Dhabi: The Embassy of Bangladesh in the capital will soon have a new location, following land granted by the UAE Government for a new building in the capital.
Speaking of the development, Mohammad Imran, outgoing Bangladeshi Ambassor to the UAE, said it is a testament to the unprecedented strengthening of relations between the two nations.
“Our nations have always had a long-standing friendship, going back to their establishment in December 1971. The new embassy building will be another symbol of this, and I am glad to be able to announce it,” Imran told Gulf News.
Imran finished his posting as Ambassador to the UAE in January, having served in the role since April 2013. His is the longest posting of a Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UAE, and one that has seen a number of major developments.
For one, Bangladesh’s head of state, Prime Minister Hasina Wajed, undertook four official visits to the UAE during the period. After a visit in 2014, she came by again in the February and the November of 2019, as well as in January 2020.
“In turn, we hope to welcome His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Dhaka soon, as Bangladesh is celebrates the birth centenary of its founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in 2020,” Imran said.
During his posting, he oversaw the 700,000-strong Bangladeshi expat community in the UAE transition from handwritten to machine-readable passports between 2014 and 2015, and the start of the process to issue Bangladeshi National IDs in 2019.
Annual two-way trade between the UAE and Bangladesh has risen to $1.2 billion, and UAE-based businessmen are showing tremendous interest in investing in Bangladesh.
“This is why an economic zone is being created in Dhaka, with major interest from Emirati investors, and land has also been allocated for a UAE Embassy there,” Imran said.
For his efforts, Imran was last week awarded the UAE Medal of Independence of the First Order by UAE President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Future growth in UAE-Bangladesh relations
The outgoing ambassador is now headed to New Delhi, India, as Bangladeshi High Commissioner. He spoke fondly of how his arrival in the UAE in 2013, after serving a three-year stint as Bangladeshi Ambassador to Uzbekistan, was the first time he had visited the country.
“I have become used to the comfortable life here, and have keenly watched the country’s rapid pace of growth. I have admired the vision of its leadership, and have been privileged enough to get to know many of them during my stay,” he said.
Imran added that the UAE leadership had always supported his efforts, as had the embassy staff.
“Work is currently ongoing to resolve the visa-related concerns of Bangladeshi expats as well,” he said.
In future, Bangladesh hopes to send skilled technical workers to UAE rather than mostly domestic workers, and the UAE has voiced plans to introduce a training centre in Bangladesh to train potential workers.
“The Bangladeshi community here is composed of sincere, law-abiding expatriates, and they are happy to lend their services to the UAE. There are many Bangladeshi businessmen here as well, and we are happy to see similar interest by Emirati investors,” Imran said.
“Bangladesh will also play a prominent role in the upcoming Expo 2020, with a pavilion located close to UAE’s Al Wasl Plaza,” the diplomat added.