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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Burj Khalifa lit up ahead of Xi Jinping state visit to UAE

Structures around the Emirates have lighting checks for Thursday's visit by the Chinese president

The Burj Khalifa is lit up in the colours of the Chinese flag on Tuesday morning. Leslie Pableo / The National
The Burj Khalifa is lit up in the colours of the Chinese flag on Tuesday morning. Leslie Pableo / The National

Hues of red and yellow illuminated the night sky early at Dubai's Burj Khalifa early on Tuesday morning as the UAE prepared to welcome China's president.

Some of the country's famous landmarks were testing their LED lighting systems to mark the arrival of Xi Jinping in what will be one of the largest state visits the country has hosted.

Adnoc Headquarters and Hudayriat Bridge were also expected to give night owls a sneak peek of what to expect when the Chinese delegation touches down on Thursday.

It is not the first time the Emirates has rolled out an LED marhaba to visiting dignitaries, but it will be the biggest. In February, the Burj Khalifa and Adnoc HQ adorned the Indian tricolor for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Burj Khalifa also celebrated the Lunar New Year with a spectacular light show.

Mr Xi's visit coincides with a week-long celebration of Chinese culture across the country.

On Saturday, UAE leaders hailed the visit by Beijing as beginning a new phase of long-term and mutually beneficial co-operation.

"The UAE currently hosts 200,000 Chinese citizens and 4,000 trading companies. We seek to build long-term economic, cultural, and trade and investment ties with China," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

"We are happy to celebrate China's rich and continued historical culture on an annual basis."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said China and the UAE's relationship plays a pivotal role in the stability of the region and its economic future.

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