Prince William to meet Sheikh Hamdan at Expo during landmark visit to UAE

Future king is on his first official visit to the Emirates

Pupils at Victory Heights Primary school hold pictures of Prince William as they look forward to his visit to Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Prince William's visit to Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday will be a highlight of his first official trip to the Emirates.

But the busy day of engagements for the Duke of Cambridge will also take him to Abu Dhabi and Jebel Ali Port.

The timetable is subject to change, but here are the main parts of what is set to be a milestone visit:

Jubail Mangrove Park

Prince William will travel south to visit some of Abu Dhabi’s famed mangroves at the Jubail Mangrove Park.

The Duke of Cambridge will learn more about the UAE’s efforts to protect regional flora and fauna from human and environmental challenges.

The park opened in 2020 to raise awareness about Abu Dhabi's mangroves, while also seeking to protect the natural habitat.

An area of a million square metres includes a boardwalk that allows visitors to enjoy views of the mangroves and local birds, fish and crustaceans.

An aerial view of Jubail Mangrove Park. Photo: Wam

Visit to Jebel Ali Port

Prince William will also visit Jebel Ali Port to learn more about efforts in the region to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

United for Wildlife, established by Prince William in 2014, has been working in the region to help public-private partnerships in the UAE achieve this. DP World, the operator of Jebel Ali Port and many ports around the world, is a key United for Wildlife task force member. The company supports efforts to raise awareness of and action on the illegal trade.

During the visit, Prince William will be shown the scale of operations at the Middle East’s largest port and watch a demonstration of cargo being unloaded from container ships by crane, scanned for suspicious items and inspected by customs officers.

Visit to Expo 2020 Dubai

Prince William will tour the Expo 2020 Dubai site to cap off the day. He is expected to meet Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, at the site.

The Duke of Cambridge will visit Al Wasl Dome, the centrepiece of the site, to watch a performance celebrating the UK as the country celebrates its "national day". He will also visit other pavilions.

He will highlight the Earthshot Prize, annual awards he created to reward people trying to save the planet; champion UK sport and talent; and meet UK sportspeople and Commonwealth representatives as he takes part in the “Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay”, which will be making its way around the Expo site to various Commonwealth Pavilions.

UK 'national day' at Expo 2020 Dubai - in pictures

Updated: February 10, 2022, 9:25 AM