In January this year, Jiří Slavík was officially appointed as the ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UAE. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, received a copy of his credentials and wished him success in carrying out his duties in strengthening cooperation between the two nations.
Slavík has been proactive in building the liaison between nations through productive collaborations with various sectors of the community, industry and tourism. He says, “The UAE is a very important trade, commercial and economic partner for the Czech Republic. To illustrate that, bilateral trade between the two countries is the highest from among all the Arab countries. This is the main reason why Czech citizens focus on the UAE for trade growth. We estimate that there could be about 2,000 citizens currently in the UAE. Most of them are in businesses. Some of them are with families. The sectors in which they are working are electro-engineering, IT technologies, energy sector, chemical industries, defence, civil engineering, health, transport, glass, ceramics and the entertainment industry.”
The UAE is a very important trade, commercial and economic partner for the Czech Republic. To illustrate that, bilateral trade between the two countries is the highest from among all the Arab countries. This is the main reason why Czech citizens focus on the UAE for trade growth
Increase in tourism
The countries enjoy a mutually enriching and healthy flow of tourists. “The exchange of people is strongly supported by the existing connection and the connection is the bridge of four airline companies flying between the two countries – namely Emirates, Fly Dubai, Smartwings and Air Arabia. In summer we are expecting more enhanced flights so that the traffic flow is increased for people to conveniently fly to and from the Czech Republic.”
Tourism between the countries has been gaining popularity for many reasons. It is a short flight of 6 hours and 20 minutes into the heart of Europe. “Many tourists come to the Emirates as an ideal destination. It is safe and it has many experiences for the tourists to enjoy. The climate is complimentary to the Czech Republic. The best time to visit here is from November to April when the temperatures are lovely and that is when we have peak winter. Vice versa in summer here when the temperatures are very high we have moderate temperatures that are a pleasant escape to enjoy the time in the Czech Republic.”
The bilateral agreement, signed on May 6, 2015, between the European Union and the UAE, allows citizens of the UAE to stay in the Schengen area without a visa for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. “The Czech Republic comes within the Schengen area and it is easily possible for tourists to also visit neighbouring countries like Germany, Poland, Austria and even Slovakia during their trip. The country is safe, prices are competitive and the experiences are plenty to explore. Our nation is rich with history, sightseeing, nature, food, health retreats, sport adventures and good services at reasonable prices,” adds Slavík.
Flagship of growth
Efforts are underway not just to build on the tourism but also on bilateral connections in industry and education sectors. The Czech Republic sees Expo 2020 as a flagship of growth. “The Czech pavilion is already being built on site. One of our main attractions at the pavilion is the technology of capturing moisture from air humidity to convert into usable water supply. We are banking on this patented technology as our leading motive of the Expo pavilion — water as the necessary condition for sustainable life. Once we present our contribution at Expo 2020 I hope that we will be able to establish ourselves and our technology in the UAE and across the region,” says Slavík.
Since his appointment as ambassador, Slavík has been witness to some historic events in the region, such as the visit of Pope Francis. He also saw 70 national athletes from his country participating in the Special Olympics, hosted recently in Abu Dhabi. He spoke highly of the visionary leadership of the country in the sectors of education, sport, tolerance and space technologies. “These landmark events showcase the fact that the country has futuristic goals and strategies that are clearly defined. It is a privilege to be part of this forward thinking region and grow together in a positive frame of mind,” says Slavík.