German and UAE officials told Emirates Business yesterday that the state visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to Germany will result in a strategic boost to the already strong relations between the two countries.
The high-profile delegation Sheikh Mohammed is leading reflects the new strategy of the United Arab Emirates to build a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership with major countries from around the world. Officials from both Germany and the UAE pointed out that the traditional purpose of state visits was to boost political ties. Now a new dimension has been added where economic co-operation and investments are as important and crucial to bilateral relationships as the political partnership.
The visit of Sheikh Mohammed is aimed at renewing the strategic partnership the UAE enjoys with Germany and to further build an all-encompassing relationship that covers all areas of co-operation, whether in economy, trade, commerce, defence or cultural and socio-political areas, the officials said.
An economic team accompanying His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who is on a two-day official visit to Germany, held talks with German economic institutions and major companies operating in Berlin.
The UAE team comprises 20 senior business leaders and top officials from strategic and important sectors in the Emirates.
The team met the chairman and board members of the Berlin Business Centre, who highlighted the services and facilities offered by the centre to companies, establishments and investors. The chairman said Berlin was an important business city that offered unparallel technical and logistical facilities and services to foreign companies and investors.
He said rents of commercial space and other services are the lowest in Europe, adding that it was an important element in the success of investment projects in the city.
The team also visited the Mercedes-Benz headquarters, where it met a number of officials handling technical and professional training as well as educational programmes. A senior Mercedes-Benz official said the Berlin branch of the company offers practical and professional training to 2,500 students and 85 per cent of them are absorbed by the car manufacturer.
The Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry Salah Salem bin Omeir Al Shamsi said official and private institutions were interested in benefiting from German professionalism and technical knowledge. He said an agreement with the company should be signed.
Meanwhile, businesswomen who are part of the team held a meeting with their German counterparts in Berlin. Chairperson of Dubai Businesswomen Council Raja Al Gurg and her deputy Fatima Obaid Al Jaber gave a review of the role and missions of the council as well as the role played by UAE women in the country’s economic progress through involvement in commercial, industrial and service activities and their effective presence in public and private economic institutions. They said a number of women in the UAE are chairpersons of large companies, where they play an important and effective role.
They said Dubai Businesswomen Council was interested in benefiting from the German experience of enhancing the role of women and involving them in all sectors of the country.
Present at the meeting were the members of the Dubai businesswomen Council Sofia Abdullah Saleh and Abu Dhabi’s Noura Jassim Al Nuwais.
Emirates may start Dubai-Berlin service
Dubai-based Emirates airline could soon be launching a regular scheduled service between Berlin and Dubai, according to an airline official accompanying the UAE delegation to Germany.
He said that the issue of an Emirates flight to Berlin was on the agenda during the visit and will be discussed with hopefully a positive outcome.
“We are keen to open a new route from Dubai to Berlin and other major destinations in Germany. We have been trying, but could not get permission from the German civil aviation authorities until now. However, we are optimistic that this state visit to Germany will help strengthen our case and we look forward to a positive decision,” the airline official told Emirates Business.
He said that the airline had received encouraging signals from provincial officials. “The mayor of Berlin and members of the provincial parliament are supporting the launch of a route between Berlin and Dubai.
“They have been pushing the government to allow Emirates to fly to the city. The mayor has said that allowing the airline to fly to Berlin will help increase tourism and trade relations between the two countries,” the official said.
He said the reason why the German civil aviation has so far not given permission to Emirates to fly to Berlin is to support their national airline Lufthansa.
Berlin welcomes Mohammed