Expatriates from New Zealand who are currently based within the United Arab Emirates have been delighted by news that a new embassy is to open in Abu Dhabi.
New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, announced news of the embassy in a press release on Monday. He revealed that the embassy would be placed in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi:
“The UAE and New Zealand share a diverse and growing bilateral relationship, and our commercial presence in the UAE is also developing strongly,” he said.
“Opening an embassy in Abu Dhabi will provide a step forward for New Zealand’s diplomatic presence in the Middle East, and at the same time it will help facilitate further opportunities for New Zealand businesses in the Gulf region.”
The New Zealand embassy in Abu Dhabi will open in January 2011 and is being viewed as an integral part of New Zealand’s ongoing mutual interests in the Gulf region. Discussing this, McCully said:
“The GCC is already our sixth-largest trading partner. New Zealand’s exports to the region grew by 122 per cent between 2000 and 2009, with the UAE established as our second-largest market among the Gulf States.
“Services exports, while harder to quantify, have also grown substantially, particularly in the education and professional services fields, and over 7000 students from the Gulf are now studying in New Zealand.”
The embassy, which is due to be officially opened in January 2011, will be the first New Zealand embassy in the UAE and the second in the Gulf region, with one already existing in Riyadh.
The news have been welcomed by New Zealand expatriates who feel that the new embassy will give them qualified representation in the area and somewhere to go for assistance with legal and official matters.