UK media reacts to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's visit to London

Newspapers focus on UAE's decision to invest in green industries, life sciences and technology over five years

The British media welcomed the official visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, after his arrival in the UK this week.

News of Sheikh Mohamed's visit to Downing Street to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson was widely reported in the country's print and online media.

The Evening Standard reported that the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and the British prime minister discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing global efforts to combat climate change during their meeting at No10 Downing Street on Thursday.

Much of the focus was on the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership, in which the UAE will funnel £10 billion ($13.8bn) over five years into promising companies that operate in the clean energy, technology and infrastructure industries.

The Times said the deal builds on the UAE's previous decision to invest £800 million in the UK's life sciences industry made in March.

It also said the UK's Office for Investment would help the Mubadala Investment Company identify opportunities in green growth areas.

The Financial Times said UAE investment under the framework had already reached £1.1bn in UK companies and funds, including £500m in CityFibre, a telecoms infrastructure group.

Mubadala chief executive Khaldoon Al Mubarak told the FT that UAE investments in Great Britain would comfortably reach £2bn by the end of the year.

The publication also reported that the UK-UAE arrangement would look to strengthen trade and launch “new collaboration” across areas including climate change, regional stability and food security.

“These are all spaces that will grow substantially in the next period and both countries see eye to eye in terms of that outlook,” Mr Mubarak said.

CNN Business also reported that the agreement was part of the UAE's 10-year plan, unveiled earlier this month, to double the size of its economy and attract $150 billion in foreign direct investment by 2030.

Details of the visit featured prominently on newswire services including Reuters, Bloomberg and Agence-France Presse.

News of the official visit even made it into tabloid newspapers including the Sun and The Daily Express, which described news of the trade deal a 'masterstroke' by Mr Johnson that vindicated the UK's decision to leave the EU.

City AM, widely read by London's financial professionals, earlier this month was among the first to reveal details of the deal brokered by Mubadala Investment Company.

It said Britain was hoping to tie up deals with Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the UAE ahead of the Global Investment Summit on October 19, it reported.

Updated: September 17th 2021, 5:59 PM
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