The United Kingdom is celebrating its national day at Expo 2020 Dubai with a splash of pomp and ceremony featuring cultural performances by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
There is also a site-wide journey of the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Relay Baton, and a visit by prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, as part of his first official trip to the UAE.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE minister of culture and youth, welcomed Nadine Dorries, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport and the UK delegation.
Also on hand was Mike Freer, minister for exports and minister for equalities, and Laura Faulkner, UK commissioner general at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Al Kaabi said: “The United Kingdom’s pavilion theme of ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’ demonstrates the country’s pivotal role in leading innovation efforts globally.
“Key breakthroughs in the future of science and technology, as well as its advances and contribution to space, artificial intelligence, energy, and more are essential to the development of our shared humanity.”
Following the speeches at Al Wasl Plaza, the band of the Coldstream Guards delivered an eye-catching performance in their red jackets and iconic bearskin hats.
Earlier, 40 children from the Dubai British School participated in activities involving the Rugby League World Cup at the Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub and visited the Surreal water feature.
Dorries said: “The UK and UAE share a deep and historic bond.
“We’re committed to tackling global issues together, and we’ve strengthened that relationship through our new and ambitious ‘Partnership for the Future’ – which, alongside our expanded UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership, we’ll use to create new trade, and collaborate on a number of areas including life sciences, education, climate and security.”
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Relay Baton left the UK Pavilion on its journey across the Expo 2020 Dubai site, ahead of the Commonwealth Games in July, inviting colourful participation at several other country pavilions along the way.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge will tour the site, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will perform in Jubilee Park, and a UK in 360 Projection will light up Al Wasl Plaza accompanied by performances from musicians including John Newman and Tom Seals.