Alexander Sporys, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UAE, said hundreds of Emiratis visit the Czech Republic every year for tourism and health treatment. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The President of the Czech Republic. Miloš Zeman, inaugurated the new premises of the Czech Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

The new embassy in Marina Village in the capital was opened in the presence of a large number of dignitaries.

Zeman reached the UAE late on Wednesday for a three-day official visit, during which he had meetings with top UAE officials. It is the first visit of a Czech President to the UAE.

The visit is part of strengthening the existing strong bilateral relations, a top Czech diplomat told Gulf News. The relations are improving and the UAE is expected to open its embassy in Prague this year, Alexander Sporys, Czech Ambassador to the UAE, said.

Although the Czech Republic opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi in 1989, the people-to-people relations started in the early 1970s, he said. Czech chandeliers have been popular among Emiratis for a very long time. Hundreds of Emiratis visit the Czech Republic every year for tourism and health treatment. About 50,000 Czech citizens visit the UAE every year. Up to three flights a day operate between Dubai and Prague, the envoy said.

With the UAE diversifying its attractions for tourists, more Czech residents may visit here.

“New museums to be opened in Abu Dhabi will definitely attract more people. It is a smart move from shopping malls and beaches to museums,” he said. About 1,500 Czech citizens are living in the UAE and most of them are in Dubai.

Czech exports to the UAE are increasing every year , which were valued at $800 million (Dh2. 936 billion) in 2014, the envoy said. However, there is no considerable exports from the UAE to the Czech Republic. “We do not buy oil from the Gulf region,” he said.

Glass and crystal products, heavy machinery, food items, etc, are the major exports, he said.