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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, met Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, on Saturday.
They attended the French pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which hosted a parade of stilt-walkers dressed as aliens.
Each country represented at Expo 2020 will have a day held in its honour, and the vast Dubai South site came to life to celebrate all things French.
Pupils from French schools in the UAE paraded down the Avenue of the Nations, proudly waving their national flag.
Minutes later, the skies over the site were painted in the French national colours – white, red and blue – by pilots of the Patrouille de France, the aerobatics unit of the French Air and Space Force.
Sheikh Mohammed and Mr Le Drian discussed “ways to enhance constructive co-operation between the two countries, building on the progress made in advancing ties during the recent meeting of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris”, according to a statement from the Dubai Media office.
The facade and roof of the French pavilion are made of 2,500 square metres of solar tiles, which produce 60 per cent of the energy it consumes.
Sheikh Mohammed also toured the Oman and Saudi Arabia pavilions on Saturday.
He was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
Being held for the first time in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, Expo 2020 Dubai runs until March 31, 2022.