British royals visit Abu Dhabi school to rename buildings
ABU DHABI// Britain’s Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and his daughter Princess Beatrice visited the British School Al Khubairat on Monday to officially name two school buildings.
The British royals were joined by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, and the British ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham, to unveil two commemorative plaques.
The first plaque was to name Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Building in the senior school. The second was to name the building that houses the junior school as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Building, in honour of the 60th anniversary of Prince Andrew’s mother’s accession to the throne.
During the visit, the guests toured the school complex, were greeted by pupils and staff and entertained by singers and musicians.
Prince Andrew said: “It is wonderful to see the investment that has been made in the school since I last visited, ensuring its ability to give the best possible education to its pupils.
“School is about having fun, but that fun needs to be accompanied by learning through the challenges presented by teachers. Having facilities such as these will mean they can both confront and meet such challenges. I wish all the pupils of BSAK every success as they embark on an exciting future.”
Sheikh Nahyan said: “This is a wonderful day for Prince Andrew and our other distinguished guests from Great Britain to visit Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. Great Britain and the UAE have worked together in practically every field of endeavour, but none as critical as education. This school in Al Khubairat in particular symbolises our relationship and our shared vision.”
He said naming a school building after someone “is a deep sign of respect and gratitude”.
“May this school continue to prosper, not only as a major centre of learning for the young people of Abu Dhabi, but also as a model for excellent education in the region and the world,” he said.
Elaine Rawlings, the acting headmistress of the school, welcomed the distinguished guests.
“We are all thrilled that they have spared their valuable time to visit us and commemorate these new important additions to our infrastructure and we are thankful for their continued support. This is a day I am sure all our pupils will remember and I am delighted they have had this opportunity,” she said.
Representatives of the Abu Dhabi Education Council were also present for the unveiling ceremony.
Updated: November 24, 2014 04:00 AM