UAE ambassador to UK set for epic cycle tour across Britain

Mansoor Abulhoul hopes to raise funds for children’s hospital

The UAE ambassador to UK Mansoor Abulhoul at the London Embassy.
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The UAE ambassador to the UK has begun his cycle across the length of Britain, from the north-eastern tip in Scotland to the most southerly point in England.

Mansoor Abulhoul begun his journey on Tuesday in the remote John O’Groats peninsula and will cycle through the Scottish Highlands and into Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh.

The first leg of the trip is expected to take two days and will finish in the Scottish city of Inverness.

Mr Abulhoul will be meeting local people along the way, discovering and learning as much as possible about the East Coast of Scotland and exploring the region’s links to the UAE.

Scotland is a long-standing commercial partner of the Emirates. As of 2017, the UAE was its sixth largest export market outside the EU.

The UAE is also a major investor in Scotland. Abu Dhabi's green energy company Masdar formed a partnership with Equinor for Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm, which opened in 2017 off the coast of Peterhead.

The ambassador will later will cross the border into England, going through the country’s former industrial heartlands and finishing at Land’s End, Cornwall.

Mr Abulhoul says he hopes to meet executives from British companies exporting to the UAE and will visit universities that have welcomed Emirati students.

“And I look forward to meeting people who have spent part of their lives working in the UAE, such as veteran officers of the old Trucial Oman Scouts from half a century ago, or those who have worked in the Emirates in more recent years,” he told the state news agency Wam.

"The UAE’s relationship with the United Kingdom is long-standing and deep-rooted.

"All of these people, places and companies have played their part over the years in building the friendship that exists."

Mr Abulhoul says he has fond memories on the UK, having spent part of his childhood there.

Speaking to The National in June, the ambassador said he was looking to open a new era in ties between Britain and the UAE.

“Engaging with the UK public I see as a key theme for me,” he said. “I see the human element as the big thing. We’ve got so much there.”

Mr Abulhoul hopes to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, where his sister worked as a doctor.

The hospital completed the construction of the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children in July.

The centre was opened by Sheikh Theyab Al Nahyan, and was partly funded by a £60 million (Dh270.7m) donation from Sheikha Fatima, the Mother of the Nation.

Sheikha Fatima is also Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.