Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here for a three-day state visit, with his wife Mrs Peng Liyuan. Both were received on arrival in Abu Dhabi by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Just ahead of Xi’s arrival, the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company announced it had awarded contracts worth $1.6 billion to the China National Petroleum Company, to conduct a massive offshore and onshore seismic survey.
The UAE’s state-owned DP World also announced an agreement by the two countries to build a new trade zone in Dubai.
The deal between the global port operator and the Zhejiang China Commodities City Group will see a “traders’ market” built at Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone.
President Xi was accorded an official reception ceremony at the airport where the Chinese national anthem was played and 21 artillery rounds fired to greet the Chinese leader. A group of honour guards lined up in reception to greet the distinguished guest.
The Chinese president shook hands with the Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials who welcomed him to the UAE. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed the state guest, expressing their happiness at his visit and hoped that it would help establish a new phase of cooperation and joint action to meet the aspirations of the two countries and their friendly peoples.
The two sides exchanged cordial talks on the historically strong ties between the two countries which have witnessed continuous growth and development over the years.
The leaders also highlighted the important political and economic role played by China regionally and internationally. “The level of understanding, coordination and consultation achieved by China and the UAE has boosted security, peace and development in the region and beyond,” they said.
For his part, the Chinese president expressed his delight at visiting the UAE, with which China has had friendly relations and shares a common vision. President Xi wished the UAE further growth, progress and prosperity.
The UAE celebrated the arrival of the Chinese President in a special ceremony, with 12 F-16s and Mirage aircraft escorting his presidential plane after it entered the country’s airspace. Abu Dhabi’s sky was illuminated with fireworks to celebrate President Xi’s arrival, and flags belonging to both countries marked the state visit.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said President Xi’s visit to the UAE marked a new stage in the strategic partnership that had bound the two countries for decades, thanks to a solid foundation built on shared interest and mutual understanding and respect.wed UAE fighter jets escorting Xi’s plane as soon as it entered UAE airspace.