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  • 14 Jul 2020 11:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After weeks of hard work and preparations, we were a week away from the Global Forum for Agricultural Innovation (GFIA), an agricultural trade fair that takes place annually in Abu Dhabi. We had been building momentum towards this event, planning a large incoming horticulture mission from the Netherlands, energized by a previous visit during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) in Jan 2020. Unfortunately, we had to hit the brakes just a week before the planned event and incoming trade mission. As many can probably relate, it’s rather odd to lay blame solely on a virus, but it was true. COVID-19 had officially began disrupting our 2020 plans.

    Like dominoes, we witnessed one exhibition, conference, event and meeting being postponed or cancelled after the next. Perhaps the biggest wrench thrown into our 2020 plans was the postponement of Expo 2020 by one year. No doubt, it was a wise and balanced decision, but a challenge nonetheless.

    Faced with so much uncertainty, how do we continue the valuable work we do? How do we evolve diplomacy, be it economic, public or otherwise?

    Diplomacy, at the heart of it, is the crisscrossing paper-cup-phones that we often played with as children. It is about maintaining channels of communication, strengthening relationships, and increasing cooperation towards common objectives and goals. While diplomacy is unquestionably made easier with the shake of a hand, sharing a cup of coffee, or breaking bread together - COVID-19 has certainly awoken us to the opportunities of “digital diplomacy”.

    But perhaps we need to take a step back and ask some important questions first:

    1. What is "digital diplomacy"?
    2. Is it something that's even new?
    3. Is it always a good thing?

    In a nutshell, digital diplomacy is the digitization of the various activities performed under the diplomacy umbrella, including political diplomacy, public diplomacy, economic diplomacy along with a whole range of other “diplomacies”.

    The digitization of diplomacy has in fact been taking place for quite some time now, evolving alongside social media. This is especially true for political and public diplomacy, while digitization in economic diplomacy is only just now beginning to take off.

    With public diplomacy, communication, which was once one-directional and through limited channels, has now evolved significantly and become more online. Through social media, governments, via their representatives, institutions, embassies etc. began communicating directly with the public, reaching a much broader audience than before. This is undoubtedly a positive development.  The digital shift has allowed for greater transparency, accountability, and access - with citizens being able to reach out to their representatives and vice-versa. Looking at COVID-19, the ability of government institutions to pass on useful information and updates to the public on new rules and regulations, testing, repatriation etc. highlights the benefits of having greater engagement.

    The digitization of political diplomacy on the other hand, may have taken a darker turn. While foreign policy positions have become more transparent than ever, it might not necessarily be a good thing. Moving conversations that usually took place behind closed doors to the public social media arena has in many cases eroded the meaningful and constructive dialogue within and between nations. “Twitter diplomacy” is a good example of this, whereby statements are sensationalized for public appeal, and bilateral relations are reduced to a game of individual ego and machoism.

    This finally brings us to economic diplomacy, which has experienced the most lag when it comes to digitization – up until now that is. While many digital tools have emerged over the past 20 years that can facilitate trade and business, it remained largely traditional, with bilateral trade meetings having continued to take place in person and trade missions rooted in physical conferences and exhibitions. The majority of government instruments that support business development, internationalization and export remained physical in nature – just like the GFIA exhibition we were working towards. However, like many other areas in today’s world, economic diplomacy was also ripe for disruption, and nothing could have been more disruptive than COVID-19.

    So how do we evolve economic diplomacy? Especially in these turbulent times when people, businesses, and the whole world is looking to their governments for leadership and guidance. It is a difficult question to answer, especially from the microcosm of a single Embassy. Nevertheless, I do believe that we’re on the right track. As businesses and organizations globally adjust, re-evaluate their business models and prepare for a post-corona world, we too are having our moment of introspection.

    It would be wrong to suggest that every human interaction can be reduced to a digital equivalent, especially in diplomacy. Moreover, digital fatigue is a serious issue that many of us are facing. Still, what we’ve been able to accomplish to date is truly impressive. We’ve continued to maintain our core services and are even challenging ourselves to push beyond.

    Though we are still experimenting based on our own experience and emerging best practices, below is a snapshot of what we’ve accomplished so far:

    1. Enhancing our economic bilateral cooperation

    • Development of Joint Economic Committee between the Netherlands and the UAE
    • Held multiple video calls with ministries and ministers on areas of strategic cooperation such as food security, culture and education

    2. Maintaining and expanding our local network

    • Reaching out to local companies and organizations that can partner with Dutch businesses and knowledge institutes
    • Partnering with other organizations where possible to improve our services and reduce redundancy (i.e. partnerships with the Netherlands Business Council and BeNeLux Business Council in the UAE)

    3. Checking up on Dutch companies in the country

    • Carrying out calls, video calls and virtual roundtables to see how companies are doing, understand their concerns/priorities, and support them where possible
    • Sharing information on economic stimulus measures in the Netherlands and Gulf countries

    4. Supporting small and medium sizes enterprises (SMEs) in the Netherlands

    • Raising awareness on market opportunities in the Gulf region through a series of webinars on: food security, water technology, clean energy, logistics, health care and beyond
    • Organizing virtual match-making sessions between Dutch SMEs, Dutch industry associations and local stakeholders
    • Developing an energy technology portal showcasing Dutch innovations to be used for export promotion

    Our colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) in the Hague, are continuously collecting best practices and cooking up new ideas and tools for enhancing our economic diplomacy. Like the Kickstarter voucher developed by RVO to support Dutch SMEs whose international activities have been impacted by the Corona crisis.

    While some of these measures are temporary due to COVID-19, the vast majority are not. The world is undoubtedly in a period of transition, including how we do business and facilitate it. However, one thing is certain, digital economic diplomacy is here to stay.

    Do you have any ideas on how to expand and further develop digital diplomacy? Please let us know, and share your suggestions!

    Author: Omar Saif, Regional Advisor on Water-Energy-Food Nexus Gulf Region - in collaboration with the Economic Departments in Abu Dhabi & Dubai

  • 13 Jul 2020 09:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members of the Benelux Business Council are now able to enjoy The Westin Abu Dhabi's weekly Bubbalicious Brunch with an exclusive 20% discount.

    Coming back this week, the Bubbalicious Brunch will take place every Friday from 1 PM until 4 PM. For drinks you will have the choice of either Soft Beverage, House Beverage or House Beverage & French Bubbly.


  • 19 Jun 2020 16:14 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2020 FM Global Resilience Index analyses core drivers of enterprise resilience, with the objective of helping companies assess the capacity of different countries to withstand disruption and, in case an disruption occurs, recover strongly. The index can be used by business executives in order to find the information needed to manage the exposure their companies face around the world.

    2020 FM Global Resilience Index - ranking

    The importance of resilience has become very obvious during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. “While pandemic risk is not explicitly measured in the index, the resilience of a country’s business environment is a reliable platform for businesses trying to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus,” says FM Global.

    Luxembourg: a highly resilient economy

    Luxembourg is ranked as the 7th most resilient economy among the 130 countries territories studied. The country slightly improves its overall score compared to the preceding year.

    The country’s high ranking is in particular due to its strong economy, for which it ranks 3rd in the world. The index analyses political and macroeconomic influences on resilience and looks at productivity (for which Luxembourg is 2nd in the world), political risk (4th), oil intensity and urbanisation rate.

    Luxembourg is in 18th place for risk quality, especially due to its low exposure to natural hazards. It ranks 26th for supply chain factors, where it stands out for its high control of corruption (6th in the world), the quality of its infrastructure (19th) and its supply chain visibility (33rd).

    Source: https://www.investinluxembourg.ae/news/luxembourg-7th-most-resilient-economy-in-the-world/

  • 19 Jun 2020 15:57 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It has been agreed with the Embassies of the Netherlands and France that KLM and Air France will operate a number of “Repatriation” flights between the 18th and the 30th of June.

    The schedule is found below:

    Air France and KLM repatriation flights (passenger and cargo) from Dubai in June:

       18  19 20
    21
    22
    23
    24
    25
    26
    27
    28
    29
    30
    KLM
       X  X        X    X  X      
    Air France
     X      X        X      X    
    Dates of the repatriation flights are marked with an X

    To comply with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs requirements the flights will be closed for sale 3 days before departure so that we can complete the required UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs formalities.

    These flights are bookable online or via your travel agent.

    KLM
    With the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands, KLM will operate a number of flights between Dubai and Amsterdam in the month of June.

    KL 428 with a departure from Dubai on June 19, 20, 24, 26 and 27.
    KL 428 departs Dubai at 02:50 from DXB Terminal 2 arriving in Amsterdam at 08:15 offering direct connections into Europe and beyond.

    These flights are bookable online or via your travel agent.

    Feel free to contact KLM directly toll-free on 800-556 or the office here on 04-602-5444 for additional information and to change or purchase your ticket.
    We look forward to welcoming you on board of KLM flights soon.

    Air France
    With the support of the Embassy of France, Air France will operate a number of flights between Dubai and Paris in the month of June.

    AF 655 with a departure from Dubai on June 18, 21, 25 and 28 are bookable on line or via your travel agent.

    AF 655 departs Dubai at 00:40 from DXB Terminal 2 arriving in Paris Charles de Gaulle at 06:15lt offering direct connections into Europe and beyond.

    Feel free to contact AF directly toll-free on 800-23823 or the office here on 04-602-5400 for additional information and to change or purchase your ticket.
    We look forward to welcoming you on board of Air France flights soon.

  • 17 Jun 2020 10:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Multi-Nation Business Continuity Task Force

    Convenes in Abu Dhabi, Dubai

    Business to Government Discussion Platform in Response to Global Impact of COVID-19


    Dubai-UAE: 15 June, 2020 - In response to the global impact of COVID-19 and its pressures on the international business landscape, including here in the United Arab Emirates, a multi-nation group of business councils and chambers based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have joined forces to engage with the UAE government and work collectively to ensure business continuity in the UAE.

    Initiated by AmCham Dubai and AmCham Abu Dhabi to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Multi-nation Business Continuity Task Force aims to gauge sentiment, assess business continuity challenges and support the wider business community on specifics that require UAE government assistance. The task force will provide a channel of communication for its members and is committed to supporting members on an individual basis where possible, in addition to presenting common strategic themes at the government level.

    Co-Secretariat members AmCham Dubai and AmCham Abu Dhabi, task force members; the German-Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce, the Australian Business Group Abu Dhabi, the Australian Business Council Dubai, the Belgian Business Council Dubai, the Benelux Business Council Abu Dhabi,  the British Business Group Abu Dhabi, the British Business Group Dubai & the Northern Emirates, the Canadian Business Council Abu Dhabi, the Canadian Business Council Dubai and Northern Emirates, the Danish Business Council Dubai, the French Business Group Abu Dhabi, the French Business Group Dubai & the Northern Emirates, the Italian Business Council Abu Dhabi, the Malaysian Business Council, the Nepali Business Council Dubai, the Netherlands Business Council UAE, the Portuguese Business Council, the Russian Business Council, the South African Business Council, the Swedish Business Council, the Swiss Business Council Abu Dhabi, the Turkish Business Council and the Ukrainian Business Council UAE

    "Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities in the UAE have rushed to contain the outbreak through closely monitoring and proactively testing and enforcing self-quarantine. These efforts helped ensure that our families and communities were safe. Now, as businesses return to more normal operations, we believe that the proven commitment of the UAE government to continue supporting a robust business environment for those operating throughout the country, will see a significant surge in business confidence,” said Sammy Bousaba, President AmCham Dubai.

    The mission of the Multi-Nation Business Continuity Task Force is to expand and improve awareness of business goals and support the development of policies that shape a robust trade environment. The joint task force will serve as the integrated window of communication between its representative multi-nation business community members and the UAE government. APCO Worldwide is the advisor and consultant to the Secretariat and will continue to support the important mission of the Multi-Nation Business Continuity Task Force.

    “AmCham Abu Dhabi and other Abu Dhabi based business groups and councils recently participated in a successful joint effort on the In-Country and Abu Dhabi Value programs’ impact on business. When the UAE AmChams started working on their joint response to the pandemic, it was a natural course of action to involve additional groups in both emirates and build a consensus effort to work alongside the various UAE entities - business and the government alike. All of us are working to ensure business continuity and adapt to new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead,” said Jay Huston, Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi.

    Comprising 25 diverse business councils and representing over 6,500 companies, the joint task force is a business-to-government initiative established with the intent of serving as an advocate and resource that may be leveraged by the UAE government to secure clear, concise feedback from business and industry.

    “Raed Hergli, AmCham Dubai Board Member and Government Affairs & Policy Managing Director, GE MENAT, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Task Force. “This is a crucial time to further deepen government and business collaboration, and this initiative will allow us to tackle the challenges and opportunities in a robust and sustainable way. I am looking forward to the collective work and outcomes that we will drive together.”

    The task force is working with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI) and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) as well as various UAE government entities.

    During a recent meeting held by the task force, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shared his insights on the current business landscape reshaped by the impact of COVID-19, and stressed the importance of close cooperation between the public and private sectors in addressing new challenges and developing the right solutions to address them.

    “The establishment of this task force is a significant development that will advance ongoing efforts to meet the changing needs of the UAE’s business community and serve its interests. We look forward to working closely with various business councils and chambers of commerce throughout the country to ensure a favorable business environment and pave the way for economic growth,” said H.E. Buamim. 

    Based upon exploratory meetings now held, the task force steering committees have developed sector specific and target-specific working groups. The working groups, which include members from a diverse section of international business and industry sectors, along with UAE Chamber representatives, will work on longer-term policy development designed to stimulate and promote a healthy and sustainable collective business environment for all post-pandemic period.

    His Excellency Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Chamber will continue to support the efforts of the government in Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general in supporting businesses and limiting the negative effects of the novel Corona virus COVID-19 on the economic scene.

    He pointed out that the Abu Dhabi Chamber, since it represents the voice of the private sector in the emirate, has launched a number of initiatives since the beginning of the pandemic. “These initiatives were directed towards motivating businesses and encouraging them to confront the current crises,” he added, praising the solid and fruitful cooperation between business councils and groups in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by working together to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic.

    The Director General also praised the interest of the American Business Council in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in opening new communication channels between the public sector and the private one in order to work together in drawing solution and suggestions on how to better serve the business community and implement the precautionary measures that ensure business continuity and efficiency.


    Multi-Nation Business Continuity Task Force

    Initiated by AmCham Dubai and AmCham Abu Dhabi to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Multi-nation Business Continuity Taskforce aims to gauge sentiment, assess business continuity challenges and support the wider business community on specifics that require UAE government assistance. The task force aims to provide a channel of communication for its members, and is committed to supporting members on an individual basis where possible, in addition to presenting common strategic themes at the government level.

    Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)

    Established in 1965, DCCI is a non-profit public organization whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai. It does so by creating a favorable environment; promoting Dubai as an international business hub and by supporting the development of business.

    Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI)

    Established in 1969, ADCCI was born out of the need to forge a unified body to support, promote, enhance and protect the business interests of enterprises in the emirate. By doing so, we remain true to our purpose, which is to be the voice of the business community of Abu Dhabi.

     AmCham Dubai

    The American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates (AmCham Dubai), the first bilateral trade organization established in the UAE, operates under the local patronage of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and is an affiliate of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce and represents corporate and individual members with business interests across the Middle East.

    The organization’s membership is comprised of American Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, and professionals from all sectors of business and industry – all carefully chosen based on a stringent membership qualification process with a goal of building the strongest possible trade and investment relationships.

    AmCham Dubai maintains strong ties with local and international, public and private sector leaders, providing a wide range of services and organizing events and business advocacy efforts on behalf of its members.

    AmCham Abu Dhabi

    AmCham Abu Dhabi (the trademark of the American Business Group of Abu Dhabi) is a member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce. Active since 1986, AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Mission is to promote commerce, investment, and goodwill between its membership, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.

    AmCham Abu Dhabi is an independent, not-for-profit association comprised of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs.

    AmCham Abu Dhabi provides a uniquely situated platform through which executives pursue and discuss issues impacting business operations between the U.S. and U.A.E.

    Substantive government advocacy programs, educational and networking programs and customized business service are just a few of the many benefits AmCham Abu Dhabi provides its members. Through the support of its members, AmCham Abu Dhabi has become the recognized voice of U.S. business in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.

  • 15 Jun 2020 16:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Belgian Embassy is looking for a consular assistant/bookkeeper based in Abu Dhabi. The following are some of the tasks for the position.

    Bookkeeping & Administration:

    • Following up on the bookkeeping of the embassy, verification of invoices, preparation of payments, checking consular incomes, month-end closing...
    • Request quotes according to needs (health insurance of local personnel, car insurance, Etisalat, utilities, ...)
    • Management of the payment terminal by bank/credit card

    Consular roles:

    • Registering countrymen in the consular register (follow up on requests, create a dossier, registering, updating, transferring, ...)
    • Legalise documents, deliver testimonials
    • Support drafting of notarial deeds (back up)
    • Processing of applications for passport requests, ID cards and visas (back up)
    • Every other administrative task needed for the good functioning of the embassy.

    The Belgian Embassy is looking for a candidate with a training in the areas of administrative and financial management, a good experience in bookkeeping and office management, as well as possible experience in consular tasks. Experience in teamwork, communicative skills and independent working are also required. The candidate is required to have a strong command in at least one of the national languages Dutch and/or French. Knowledge of English is helpful, and Arabic is an asset.

    This vacancy is available shortly (mid-July, the exact date will be confirmed).

    If you are interested in applying for this role, please send a short letter with your CV through to Mr Harold Vandermeulen (AbuDhabi@diplobel.fed.be) until Monday the 22nd of June 2020.

    Applications for this vacancy close Monday the 22nd of June 2020.

    Please not that only selected candidates will be contacted for the next round in the selection process.

    For more information on the job vacancy please visit www.diplomatie.be/abudhabi

    Click on the links below to view the full job descriptions

    French: EMPLOI AMBASSADE AAP - FR new.pdf

    Dutch: BETREKKING AMBASSADE PAM - NL new.pdf



  • 21 May 2020 19:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    In response to the economic challenges arising from the coronavirus crisis, the Luxembourg government announced on 25 March 2020 the launch of a massive stabilization program for the national economy. Measures for a total of €8.8 billion will help companies face the immediate shortage of cash and maintain employment. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel outlined the content of the stabilization program, which includes different measures adding up to a budget of €8.8 billion, or over 14% of GDP. The initiative testifies to the government's firm determination to support the national economy. According to the Prime Minister, it is made possible by Luxembourg's "very performing economy and strong finances". The measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus have brought many companies to a complete or near stand-still, and while staff can work from home in some cases, in others, activity has virtually ceased. The government has therefore made the short-term employment mechanism, by which the state covers 80% of salary costs during the period of inactivity in order to avoid that employees are made redundant, widely available. €500 million per month are now being set aside to cover theses costs, and an accelerated procedure has been put in place to deal with support requests and process payments.

    The government has also reserved a monthly sum of €200 million to provide advance payments of the costs related to the extraordinary family leave that is being granted to parents having to care for their young children at home while schools and childcare facilities remain closed.

    The workforce in Luxembourg is characterized by a very high number of cross-border workers from France, Belgium and Germany who are subject to strict limitations on the number of days per year that they can work outside the Grand while still falling under the Luxembourg tax regime. As the exceptional circumstances now oblige many of them to work from home, agreements have been concluded with Belgium and France to temporarily wave the limit regarding the amount of days they can work at home without being taxed in their country of origin.

    Source: https://www.investinluxembourg-china.com/news/luxembourg-launches-unprecedented-economic-stabilization-program/

  • 19 May 2020 13:58 | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    In an effort to support businesses and individuals and bolster the emirate's economy at this time, the Abu Dhabi Government has introduced the Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package and the Financial Initiatives programmes.

    The Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package comprises of 16 wide-ranging initiatives to support businesses and individuals in Abu Dhabi. The key aims are to ensure continuous economic growth, preserve economic gains, lower cost of living and provide financial relief.

    The Financial Initiatives programme was developed with FAB, ADIB and ADCB in coordination with the Department of Finance and the Department of Economic Development. It comprises of 17 initiatives that seek to reduce finance-related costs, and to improve the ease of access to financing for individuals and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    For more information on the Abu Dhabi Economic Stimulus Package visit: https://www.ghadan.abudhabi/en/economic-stimulus-package/

    For more information on the Financial Initiatives programme visit: https://www.ghadan.abudhabi/en/home/#faq-1376

  • 9 May 2020 18:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    The Gothams-Hub71 Aerospace and Defence accelerator program at Hub71, the global tech ecosystem located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, will provide a place to develop your ideas with access to incredible knowledge, connections and venture networks.

    If you are an aerospace and defence-related start-up that would love to access the growing number of mentors, teammates, and sponsors that create the foundation of the Gothams-Hub71 Accelerator program, and get 120KUSD to accelerate your company, please read below and apply!

    The Gothams-Hub71 Accelerator program is helping to build the next generation of aerospace and defence start-ups. We provide the resources and connections to help empower companies to successfully own their vision and accelerate into the aerospace and defence industries. The 12-week program at Hub71 includes:

    • Investment ($120k for 6%)
    • Partner Support (Regular 1:1 Meetings + Office Hours)
    • Programming Including Speakers, Mentors, Demo Day
    • Office Space in WeWork / Hub71 (Co-working desk space with access to printers, conference rooms, event space)
    • Housing in Abu Dhabi (Resort Hotel - Residence for up to 2 people)
    • Legal Support: Basic Setup & Incorporation
    • Access to all WeWork / Hub71 Resources (Slack Community, Deals & Discounts, Events)
    • Accountability for Your Goals and Growth
    • Connections to Our Network of Founders and Access to Our Silicon Valley Network
    • Fast track application for Hub 71 long term incentive program (up to 2 years free housing and co-working desks)
    For more information or to apply:https://bit.ly/2YLvaBi



  • 29 Apr 2020 06:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    King’s Day, also known as the Dutch National Day celebration, marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander on 27th April.


    Ambassador of the Kingdom, Lody Embrechts, expressed his gratitude for the UAE’s friendly gesture, especially during these unprecedented times where people cannot meet and celebrate together.

    “I would like to sincerely thank the United Arab Emirates and Emaar for this heart-warming token of our friendship,” he said.

    “The Burj Khalifa symbolises the UAE’s strong ambition, the many cultures present in the UAE and the nation’s long-term vision. It is a privilege to have our national colours presented on this iconic building,” Embrechts stressed.

    The envoy continued to say, “I would also like take this opportunity to wish you all a Ramadan Kareem. I hope this holy month will build upon the spirit of dedication and collective effort that has emerged in the UAE and around the globe.

    “We will get through this and the Netherlands look forward to share an exciting future with the UAE,” the ambassador said.

    King’s Day is a national day in the Netherlands, during which the country is covered in orange and celebrations abound. For many Dutch citizens abroad the annual celebration is a festive high point.

    It is the perfect opportunity to meet and catch up with each other. King’s Day is also a unique moment for Dutch diplomatic missions to thank local authorities and businesses for the enjoyable collaboration.

    In light of the global COVID pandemic, the Netherlands’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok, had decided to cancel King’s Day at all of the more than 150 Dutch embassies and other Dutch diplomatic missions abroad.

    “Given the rapid spread of the Corona crisis around the world, it is only logical to cancel the usual festivities this year,” Blok said.

    In the Netherlands, the Dutch celebrated from home and online via a dedicated website where the King spoke and citizens were encouraged to share videos with music, poetry, theatre performances, games and other initiatives.

    The platform showed pupils singing the Dutch National Anthem, Wilhelmus, together online; international choreographer Annabelle Ochoa Lopez teaching dance moves, as well as citizens playing traditional games while respecting social distancing rules and youngsters cooking for the elderly, said the statement.

    Source: Emirates News Agency

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