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March Newsletter

At the start of the holy month of Ramadan, we wish you a blessed and peaceful time with your family and friends.


From the Chairman's Desk

The Emirates Society has had a busy March. Our members enjoyed two equally fascinating events. One covered the future of female leadership in the UAE, and the other was a discussion about the recent British parliamentary delegation to the UAE.

Also, we are pleased to announce that Emirates Airline will be joining us as founding members of our new silver corporate partners programme. We look forward to working with this prestigious airline. If your firm would like to know more about the programme, please contact Laura Roberts.

As we enter April and encounter lighter and longer days, I am looking forward to our Spring Members’ Dinner at Coutts on Wednesday 19th April. We are delighted that the new British Ambassador to the UAE, Edward Hobart CMG, will be attending prior to his posting to Abu Dhabi in May.

Best wishes,

The Rt Hon David Jones MP



The Emirates Society is delighted to announce that Emirates Airline will be joining us as a founding partner in our recently launched Silver Corporate Partner programme.

Established in 1984, Emirates Airline now flies to over 150 destinations spanning six continents. In 2020, Emirates was the largest international airline and with more than 270 aircraft, Emirates has the largest fleet of Boeing 777’s and Airbus A380s in the world. The Emirates’ long-established Dubai-London route has been a firm favourite for many flying between the two countries and we extend our sincere thanks to Emirates for partnering with us.


The Emirates Society is pleased to introduce you to our new feature, '60 Seconds with...' where we will be interviewing a different member each month.


60 seconds with... Sir Harold Walker

Sir Harold (“Hooky”) Walker was educated at Winchester College and, after National Service in the Royal Engineers, at Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied Modern History. He then had a full career in the Diplomatic Service. He studied Arabic at MECAS (the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies) in Shemlan, Lebanon. His first substantive posting was to Dubai, and in mid-career he served in Egypt and Syria. At home he served twice in the personnel function. His last postings were as Ambassador successively to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Iraq. Hooky Walker began his retirement by working for the charity CARE International. He eventually became Chairman of CARE International UK and then President of CARE International itself. Most of his other retirement occupations had a Middle East slant. He was Chairman of the Bahrain Society, and President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies. He was Chairman of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and is still on the editorial board of “Asian Affairs”, the RSAA’s journal.

What advice would you give your younger self? Work hard at your studies. Trite but true – you will never be given the opportunity to catch up. The same goes for any sport you may be good at. Where is the best place you have visited in the UAE? Al-Ain: I’ll always remember sitting in a falaj with tiny fish tickling my toes. What are you looking forward to this year? A visit to Scotland, where my wife comes from; I’ve visited the UAE more often than I have the country of her birth.


March Events

Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Future of Female Leadership in the UAE

The Emirates Society were delighted to host a thoughtful and insightful discussion on the future of female leadership in the UAE on the 15th March. Dyala Nusseibeh, director of Abu Dhabi Art and vice-chair of The Emirates Society's Advisory Council, expertly moderated our panel which consisted of Diana Wilde, co-founder of Aurora50; Fatema Al Nuaimi, Executive Vice President of ADNOC Downstream Business Management; and Dr Sara Chehab, Senior Research Fellow at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, and the author of the Women in Diplomacy Index. The recording of this event can now be found on our website here.


Aurora50 Poll

Aurora50 is conducting a short poll on what International Women's Day and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean to people. The poll has been conducted with other groups as well, comprising of senior women and DEI ambassadors. They would love to hear from you too. The results of the poll will be combined and shared back with you and will help guide all their efforts towards what resonates most with the wider community. Share your thoughts with Aurora50 by clicking here.


Reflections on the British Parliamentary Delegation to the UAE

On the 22nd March, the Emirates Society hosted a round-table style event in Portcullis House with the Lord Walney and Steve McCabe MP presiding. The two panellists participated on the recent parliamentary delegation to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This event gave them the opportunity to reflect on their experiences during the trip where they met senior ministers and government officials. They also shared their thoughts on the sectors and themes that define and shape the deep relationship between the UK and the UAE. Our members were also able to join the event virtually, and the recording of the event can now be found on our website here.


Forthcoming Members Event

We are delighted that the places for this dinner are now fully allocated.


The UAE in the News

(Clockwise, from left to right)

  • Mr Edward Hobart CMG has been appointed His Majesty's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Edward is due to take up his new appointment in May. Edward was previously Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi and served as Consul General to Dubai from 2012 to 2015. Edward succeeds Mr Patrick Moody who has been Ambassador since 2018 and will be transferring to another diplomatic service appointment. Read more here.

  • On the 16th March, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted two resolutions proposed by the UAE and Japan which ensure critical action to the Afghan people. The resolutions, which include an extension of the UN's Assistance Mission in Afghanistan for 12 months, highlight the UAE's unwavering support towards Afghanistan. Read more about this here.

  • The Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archeology announced that they have discovered the oldest pearling town in the Arabian Gulf on Al Sinniyah Island. Excavations this winter found evidence of a thriving 1,300-year-old settlement, complete with palatial dwellings, smaller fishermen houses, and a monastery. It is believed to be one of the largest surviving urbanised settlements and was most probably abandoned in the mid-eighth century. Read more about the town here.

  • The UAE has been ranked 10th in the Global Soft Power Index 2023. As well as making the Top 10, this year also marked the fourth year running that the UAE has achieved the highest score of any Middle Eastern nation. This is notably due to the country's increase in its 'commitment to diversification, innovation, and investment in a more sustainable future'. Read more about the Index here.


What's On

Exhibition and Auction

Testimony of a Journey: The Al Zayani Collection

  • As part of Sotheby's 'Islamic, South Asian and Middle Eastern Week' in London, more than 80 works, from the renowned art collector's private collection will be on sale on the 25th April.

  • The exhibition of the collection, which includes work from Emirati artists, will run from the 20-25th April. Find out more about the collection and auction here.

The UAE in Space

  • The UAE's Rashid Rover, part of the Emirates Lunar Mission, is scheduled to land on the Moon on the 25th April. Read more about the rover's journey here.

  • With the approval of the plan to establish a National Space Fund, the exploration rover marks another development in the Emirates' space journey.


We are proud to announce our

Founding Silver Corporate Partners

If you would like more information about our Corporate Partner programme, please contact


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