UAE Ambassador to UK presents diplomatic credentials to Queen Elizabeth

Mansoor Abulhoul praised the 'extraordinary' and 'warm' ties between the UAE and the UK

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The UAE’s new Ambassador to the UK has tweeted Thursday of his joy at presenting his diplomatic credentials to Queen Elizabeth at a special ceremony in London.

Mansoor Abulhoul met the British monarch at Buckingham Palace as part of an accreditation ceremony steeped in pageantry and tradition.

The ambassador and his wife, and members of his diplomatic team travelled from the UAE Embassy in central London to the palace in a landau, one of the Queen’s horse drawn carriages

During his audience with the British monarch Mr Abulhoul presented his letter of credence and discussed the close ties between the UAE and the UK.

Speaking afterwards at a reception at the Lanesborough Hotel attended by diplomats and officials, Mr Abulhoul said he had been warmly welcomed by the Queen.  "It was an extraordinary experience — almost a little bit sort of magical," he told The National at the reception attended by diplomats, civil servants and other officials.

He said the Queen had shown great interest in the Middle East during their conversation, fondly recalling her trip to the UAE in 1979 when she met with Sheikh Zayed.

As tradition dictates a senior British diplomat gave a toast to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Abigail Boyle, the Assistant Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps, praised the “strong and prosperous and mutually beneficial relationship” between the UAE and the UK.

Mr Abulhoul has strong personal ties to the UK. His mother, who has lived in the UAE since 1968, was born in Britain. He also attended school and university in the UK.

“On so many levels, the UK and the Emirates have a wonderful connection and I sometimes feel we do all of these wonderful things but we don't really say ‘we are great friends and we should really celebrate this friendship,’ so we can use it as a platform going forward and I really see that as being key to my role,” the Ambassador said.

Mr Abulhoul also sees sport as a great opportunity for a meeting of UAE and British culture. An avid sportsman himself the ambassador has set himself the challenge cycling the length of the UK. “I see sport as great medium to bring together the nations,” he said.

“There is a lot more to learn about the Emirates and I feel our presence here and our engagement here on the ground will make people aware,” the Ambassador added.