With four thousand of its citizens now living in the UAE, Denmark this year marks the 40th anniversary of the setting up of its embassy in Abu Dhabi, the country’s ambassador, Merete Juhl, said last night.
Addressing guests at a reception to mark Denmark Day, celebrated on the occasion of the birthday of the country’s monarch, Queen Margrethe II, Juhl recalled that a diplomatic delegation from her country had visited the Emirates in 1975 to evaluate the prospects for opening an embassy.
“A diplomatic report back to Copenhagen concluded that the outlook for the UAE was promising and pointed out that this country could become an important hub in the region,” she said, adding that: “Time has indeed proven the assessment right.”
Links between the two countries are older than that, she noted, pointing out that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the arrival of a Danish archaeological team from the Moesgard Museum. The team, led by Professor Peter Glob, went on to undertake the first archaeological excavations in the country, first at Umm an-Nar, just outside Abu Dhabi, and then, at the invitation of the late Sheikh Zayed, at Jebel Hafit.
Professor Glob, the ambassador said, “had understood enough about Emirati culture to make the effort to bring a white falcon from Greenland to Sheikh Zayed, and a wonderful cooperation was established.”
Karen Frifelt, the female leader of the team, Juhl said, had promised Sheikh Zayed “to dig out Emirati history.”
Earlier this year, Juhl added, six Danish archeologist veterans revisited the UAE. “They were impressed with the development of Abu Dhabi beyond recognition and happy to receive the Emirati hospitality from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, as they had felt it earlier with his father in desert camps.”
Noting that this year’s celebration was taking place during the Year of Zayed, Juhl added: “Through my work I see how Emiratis and Danes alike think big. Strategic vision, a spirit of ambition and focus on future opportunities is something we have in common. Commitment to great results has led to remarkable Danish Emirati business cooperation and achievements.”
The reception was attended by Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Danish community and other guests.