Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to begin state visit to the UAE

The leader arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday for a three-day visit before a wider Gulf tour

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited Wahat Al Karama, which commemorates the sacrifices and heroic deeds of UAE martyrs. He was welcomed by Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court. Wam
Powered by automated translation

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, beginning his first state visit to the UAE.

He landed at the Presidential Airport, where he was greeted by Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry.

Later on Saturday, Mr Bolsonaro visited Wahat Al Karama, Abu Dhabi’s national and cultural landmark that commemorates the sacrifices and heroic deeds of UAE martyrs, Wam reported.

Mr Bolsonaro was welcomed there by Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, and attended the guard of honour ceremony. The Brazilian leader then laid a wreath at Martyrs' Monument, which is made up of 31 panels leaning on one another "in a symbol of solidarity between the leadership, people and soldiers of the UAE".

Mr Bolsonaro will spend three days in the Emirates, where he is expected to further trade relations between the UAE and Brazil.

On Sunday, the Brazilian leader is due to open the Brazil-UAE Business Forum in Abu Dhabi. The forum will present investment opportunities in both countries; more than 100 Brazilian business people are expected to attend.

Mr Bolsonaro will go on to visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia, respectively, from Monday. The Gulf tour is intended to publicise more than a dozen projects in renewable energy, health, defence and infrastructure to draw investment and foster exports.

“The UAE is a door and entrance for Brazil to the Arab region and Asia," said Fernando Luís Lemos Igreja, the Brazilian ambassador to the UAE, speaking to state news agency Wam.

"Brazil was one of the first countries that recognised the UAE, when it was founded, and we opened our embassy in the UAE 41 years ago.”

The ambassador said the visit came at an important time as both countries were celebrating more than four decades of diplomatic relations, and shared common views on many issues.

An agreement was signed between the UAE and Brazil in 2017 allowing free-visa travel between both countries.

"We are moving to new levels of co-operation," Mr Igreja said.

"Last year we signed agreements on the avoidance of double taxation and facilitating investments.”

He said the two countries would be discussing “certain agreements in important areas”.

Mr Bolsonaro's visit follows Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed’s journey to Brazil in March, after Mr Bolsonaro took office in January.

The UAE will also host a football match between Brazil and South Korea in November. "This will pave the way for more avenues of interactions between both peoples," Mr Igreja said.

There are an estimated 10,000 Brazilians living in the UAE. Among their numbers is reported to be 1,600 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors alone, as well as their families.

"Most of them are from several parts of Brazil and they are a close-knit community. They know each other very well,” Mr Igreja said.