Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 June 2020

Coronavirus: British Middle East minister praises UAE's help tackling pandemic

Hundreds of British tourists who were in the UAE arrived home on Sunday on a flight organised by the UK embassy

Britain’s Minister for the Middle East has praised the country’s partnership with the UAE in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

James Cleverly hailed the role of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, owner of London’s ExCel conference centre, which has been turned into a coronavirus hospital for up to 4,000 patients.

“The UK and UAE have come together to tackle the global challenges posed by coronavirus," Mr Cleverly said.

"ADNEC Group offering the ExCeL London free of charge for the crucial Nightingale London hospital shows the strength of our friendship."

Hundreds of British tourists who were in the UAE arrived home on Sunday on a flight organised by the British embassy.

The 345 passengers boarded the 9.40am Emirates EK2545 flight from Dubai International Airport.

The "self-standing flight” was organised with the help of the UAE government and Dubai Airports to get stranded Brits home as quickly as possible.

And two planes chartered by UAE authorities will bring 80 Emirati nationals home from the UK on April 5 and 7. The first plane landed in the UAE on Sunday.

Mr Cleverly said that getting Britons home was the government's top priority.

“Working with the UAE and @emirates, we helped 345 passengers get home from Dubai yesterday," he said.

"I thanked my counterpart @AnwarGargash this morning for his efforts, including Saturday’s transit agreement."

Updated: April 7, 2020 10:05 AM

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