x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Boris Johnson in UAE: I'm mayor of the eighth emirate

He causes hilarity wherever he goes and Boris Johnson made no exception for Abu Dhabi last night.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, receives Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, in the capital yesterday. Courtesy Wam
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, receives Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, in the capital yesterday. Courtesy Wam
ABU DHABI // He causes hilarity wherever he goes and Boris Johnson made no exception for Abu Dhabi last night.
Leading a British business delegation on a tour of the UAE, the mayor of London poked fun at the French, the United States, Barclays Bank, Italians, London Underground train drivers, G4S security guards and Britain's Liberal Democrat and Labour parties.
To emphasise how safe the British capital city is, he pointed out: "You're five times more likely to be murdered in New York."
And having stumbled on the pronunciation of "United Arab Emirates", the mayor declared London an honorary member of the federation.
"There are so many people from the UAE in the Knightsbridge and Mayfair areas that over the summer I have the honour to be the mayor of the eighth emirate," he said in a speech before the British Business Group.
Setting out a "vision" for 2020 that would keep London competitive with other world capitals, he said the city should seek to sustain investment from the Middle East in British business, infrastructure and property.
"Big cities by 2050 will be competing toe to toe," Mr Johnson said.
"People are seeing London as a fantastic and safe place to invest, and I hope that's because they recognise the improvements we're making to the city and its quality of life."
ghunter@thenational.ae