HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited Australia this week as part of an official UAE visit.
During the three-day visit, HRH Princess Haya was received by Governor General Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove, and met with the Hon Julie Bishop MP, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Hon Matt Kean MP, the Minister of Innovation and Regulation.
As part of her discussions, HRH Princess Haya was able to learn more about Australia’s aid program, specifically in the Indo-Pacific region, and how the country is supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment as part of its development program.
In her capacity as Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City, HRH Princess Haya also participated in a roundtable at the Lowy Institute for International Affairs, Australia’s number one think tank. In attendance at the round table were the UAE's Ambassador to Australia, Dr. Obaid Al Ketbi, as well as delegates from the Institute, Australian NGOs and organisations that share Her interest and passion for humanitarian work and research.
Top of the agenda for discussion were global humanitarian issues including delivery of aid, as well as the humanitarian needs of conflict zones and those affected by famine.
"It was an incredible visit to Australia, and this trip taught me a great deal about the aid program the Australian Government has in place to respond to international crises and to help their neighbours in terms of education, health and reducing poverty," said HRH Princess Haya.
"As the world goes through a turbulent time, the scale and need for humanitarian aid is growing. Now more than ever, Governments and the international community must unite to address the magnitude of the issues and find new and innovative ways to address crises across the globe."
In her capacity as Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority, HRH Princess Haya, together with Dr. Obaid Al Ketbi, visited the Smith Family Charity in Sydney, the Lifeline Charity in Canberra, and paid official visits to Canberra's Centenary Hospital for Women & Children and the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.
As an avid campaigner for children’s health worldwide, these visits allowed her to share her experiences and also learn about the fantastic work these hospitals do in local communities, as well as their research and education initiatives.
"My visits to the Centenary Hospital in Canberra and the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne taught me a great deal and I am hopeful that there is scope for further discussions, collaboration and the sharing of best practices with our Al Jalila Hospital in Dubai."
While in Sydney, HRH Princess Haya also attended the FIFA World Cup Qualifier between the UAE and Australia at The Sydney Football Stadium, having greeted the UAE team at training the day earlier.
"During my time in Australia I have met some incredibly dedicated people from whom we can learn a great deal, as well as some beautiful and brave children. I have been touched by the warmth of the Australian welcome and hope that my visit will serve in a small and humble way to enhance the already strong ties between Australia and the UAE."