Dubai: London is the "eighth emirate" of the UAE, Dominic Jermey, the new British ambassador to the UAE said on Monday.
Jermey also spoke of the long-standing relationship between the UK and UAE.
"This is a relationship that counts politically, and [because of] the commitment by successive governments in the UK, by politicians in both countries, that commitment endures," he said, during his first official appearance at a celebration of the Queen's birthday on the lawns of the British Embassy.
The ambassador continued that British diplomatic missions in the UAE have issued more than 20,000 visas to Emiratis visiting the UK in the last year.
The relationship between the two nations is long-term and committed, he said, where the two have shared political aims on the Middle East peace process; shared agendas on climate change and Copenhagen; a shared agenda on defence with the two forces training together; and on security with "close collaboration between our police forces and different agencies".
"And so we can look to the future, and I say this coming in new to this relationship, I look and I encourage you to look to the future with real confidence," he concluded.
The British Embassy in Dubai holds an annual birthday celebration for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In true British tradition, Commander Mark Stuttard of the Royal Navy, raised a toast to the Queen.
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, and other dignitaries joined prominent members of the British community at the celebration.
Traditional British food and beverages, such as fish and chips and ‘bangers and mash', were served to the guests, who were entertained by the Emirates string ensemble after the playing of the UAE and UK national anthems.
An Aston Martin DB5 — the James Bond car — was also on display on the lawns. The 1964 model was restored by the Aston workshop in the UK.
Guy Warrington, Consul General at the Dubai Embassy, also spoke of the close ties between the UAE and UK: "Many Emiratis say to me how at home they feel when they're in London, and I think that's very much a reciprocal relationship for the British community here. I'm very grateful to our Emirati hosts for looking after us and providing us with the welcome they do."
"The British community here is extremely hardworking, extremely committed to the future of Dubai, and whatever you might read about them in the press in the UK, a vast majority of them are extremely well-behaved," he said to an amused audience.
A total of 100,000 Britons live in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, with an estimated population of 240,000 in the UAE. Dubai and the northern emirates also receive one million British visitors a year.