Next week, in my capacity as the Lord Mayor of London, I am heading to Dubai – less than a month after having already been to Abu Dhabi. The visits underline how seriously we in the City of London see the potential of our future relationship with the UAE. They are just the start of a golden year of opportunity for our two countries, as we look to strengthen our partnership for the decades to come.
That is because, as the UK leaves the European Union and Dubai welcomes the world for Expo 2020 later this year, the importance that we attach to our trading relationship with the UAE – already one of our strongest outside the EU – is coming into even sharper focus.
London, as the top-ranked financial centre globally for the quality of its green finance offering, will be looking to work with like-minded partners such as the UAE in Glasgow, so that we can agree on real progress towards transforming the global economy and therefore meet the challenge of climate change. Indeed, discussions around sustainability featured prominently throughout my visit to Abu Dhabi last month, which coincided with the emirate’s Sustainability Week.
Away from the UK, with Expo 2020 coming up soon, this is of course a very exciting time to be visiting Dubai. I hope to see the Expo site while I am there, and to discuss the cultural legacy that the city hopes to create as a result. Our co-operation in this regard is something in which I take a particular interest, and the interaction between culture, innovation and trade is an integral part of the mayoral theme for this year.
There is plenty to look forward to in 2020, as the UK and UAE embark upon this promising new chapter in our relationship. I hope that the conversations I have in Dubai this week will be the next step towards a future of mutual prosperity for both of us.