Monday Dec 02, 2019
It was back in 2009 when the Burj Khalifa project was completed in the United Arab Emirates’ Dubai — the tallest skyscraper of the world standing proud and on top of that stood a Pakistani worker, waving, unable to contain his glee.
The moment was fondly narrated by of one of the people associated with Emaar Properties, the builder of the project, recalled the Ambassador of the UAE in Islamabad Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Alzaabi in a recent statement.
The UAE envoy said the instance is a testimony to the pivotal role played by Pakistani workers in the UAE’s structural and economic development and boom witnessed in the last five decades.
“The shores on both sides of Arabian Sea its deserts, dunes and weather conditions shaped a similar culture and common destiny for both nations, the ancient history reveals many intra cultural and trade exchanges and travels, in new history the founding father of UAE Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan always preferred Pakistan as his second home, and even before the establishment of UAE he has visited Pakistan many times along with other Sheikhs and companions,” he said.
Alzaabi said the historical and cultural bond between the two brotherly nations has roots in history.
Acknowledging that Pakistan was the first country to recognise the UAE in 1971, he said that the Pakistani diaspora has played an important role in establishing and building many institutions of the UAE.
“Emirates which became now one of the world leading Airlines is an evident example of above role, as PIA provided technical and administrative assistance to the new carrier and leased a new Boeing 737–300 and an Airbus A300B4-200, and I was delighted to receive Capt. Rtd. Fazl Ghani Mian, the Pilot who led the Emirates first and launching flight from Dubai to Karachi on 25th October 1985, in my office last month,” recounted the envoy.
He further said that 1.6 million Pakistanis constitute the second largest foreigner community in the emirates and also the second largest source of remittances to Pakistan for the past several years.
“These contributions helped in evolving the close friendship between United Arab Emirates and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, consequently the UAE once became the largest foreign direct investment country with its huge investments in the fields of oil refinery, telecommunication, banking, aviation and property development, meanwhile UAE remain committed to assist the Pakistan in its economic stability and human development,” Alzaabi added.
The envoy said that last January, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, where the latter reminisced about his childhood in Pakistan.
“When he (Nahyan) was 5-year-old (in 1966 approximately) he was accompanying Late Sheikh Zayed in his private visit to Pakistan and he was of the believe that there are only two countries in world, UAE and Pakistan, this reveals that Pakistan was only preferred destination for the Late Sheikh Zayed as family visit station,” said Alzaabi, quoting the UAE leader.