Korean culture
Korean performers present cultural and musical show at the Korean National Day celebrations in Dubai on Tuesday. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed

Dubai: More than 13,000 Korean residents are currently living in the UAE and the numbers are increasing every year due to strengthen bilateral relations and trade, said a top Korean diplomat in Dubai.

“More Koreans are coming to the UAE because Korea and the UAE share many common interests, implement similar strategies, and possess great potential for cooperation and investment especially in the fields of trade, high tech, and innovation,” said Chun Young-Wook, Consul General of the Republic of Korean to Dubai and Northern Emirates.

“It is heartwarming to see how Emirati youngsters are eager to master the Korean language and how enthusiastic they are about the Korean-Wave, which includes Korean pop culture, drama, music, food and Taekwondo,” he noted.

“I believe there is so much more we can accomplish together when we encourage more contact and understanding of each other’s culture, traditions, religion, customs, mentalities, and preferences,” the Korean Consul General said while speaking at a reception in Dubai on Tuesday to mark the Korean National Day.

Korean National Day
Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment (from right); Chun Young Wook, Korean Consul General with officials and other diplomats at the reception in Dubai. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment was the chief guest while the event was attended by a large number of diplomats, officials, businessmen and prominent members of the South Korean community living in the UAE. The highlight of the evening was a special performance by cultural troupes from Korean.

Young-Wook said that there are about 170 Korean companies and 13,000 Korean residents in the UAE. “ Last year, out of 51 million Korean citizens, more than 28 million travelled abroad; I do hope that many Koreans would visit the UAE in the upcoming years,” he said.

He said that the Gaecheon-Jeol Korean Foundation Day is believed to date back to more than four thousand years ago. Over the course of thousands of years, Korea has proved its vitality as a sovereign independent nation.

Korean wave

“Having lived in Dubai since May last year, my consulate and I have striven to bring Korean heritage, culture, art and music to the UAE, as well as promote the tolerance culture and UAE heritage and traditions to Koreans. My consulate has invited some Korean music and dance delegations to the UAE, and organised several cultural gatherings for university students,” he added.

Korean language in the UAE

He said that they have also worked on establishing King Sejong Institute, which is a Korean language and cultural center, at Zayed University. More branches of the language institute will be opened in Northern Emirates.

“The bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation between Korea and the UAE have been growing steadily under the strong leadership of the two countries over the past 40 years.

“Both our countries’ economies are geared towards trade, investment, high tech, innovation, and aim to vary the fields of cooperation to include ICT, green energy, blockchain-based smart cities, cosmetics, and medical treatment.

Through President Moon Jae-In’s visit to the UAE last year, he added, both the countries pledged to solidify friendship and trust and establish special strategic partnerships between Korea and the UAE.

“This was further consolidated by the visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Korea earlier this year.

Korean culture
Korean performers at their country's national day celebrations in Dubai. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed

Next year, he said, they will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between both the nations.

He said the Koreans have also participated in shaping Dubai’s international image, which is a testament to the expertise, talent and technology of Korean companies.

Koreans participated in the construction of many projects such as that of Burj Khalifa, desalination projects, oil storage in Fujairah, and Barakah nuclear power plant. Korean medical staff is currently operating Sheikh Khalifa Specialty Hospital, which attests to the trust placed on Korea’s outstanding medical expertise and technology.

Expo 2020

As the UAE prepares for the 2020 Expo, which promises to be a monumental event and a catalyst that will trigger new economic growth in the UAE, Korean companies seek opportunities to create a win-win strategy for both countries and consolidate the cooperation between Korea and the UAE.

“I also hope that Dubai Expo 2020 will mark a momentous point for the UAE, for the progress of our bilateral cooperation and for the world,” he concluded.

A video documentary about Korea’s participation and its pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 was also shown on the occasion.

Korean singer
Traditional Korean singers perform at their country's national day reception in Dubai on Tuesday. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed