Their Royal Highnesses spend a final day in the United Arab Emirates


The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began a final day in the United Arab Emirates with a visit to the International Humanitarian City, Dubai’s hub for international aid.

HRH speaks to guests at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai
HRH speaks to guests at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai

The Prince and The Duchess walked through one of the main roads leading through the International Humanitarian City (IHC) on the outskirts of the sprawling city, where warehouses used by individual humanitarian organisations are located.

Accompanied by Princess Haya, Their Royal Highnesses met frontline aid workers from charities and viewed stands showcasing innovation and best practice in humanitarian aid delivery.

The IHC helps Dubai support aid agencies as they reach out to help the victims of crises and families who live in hunger and poverty.

Its location - within eight hours by air to two thirds of the world's population - has helped them to deliver assistance in some of the worst humanitarian crises of the past decade.

One of the organisations present at the IHC was Shelter Box, of which The Duchess is President. The charity’s representative showed her inflatable solar lights and many of the other essentials they distribute on the ground.

Aid worker Sarah-Jane More said: "It's fantastic that The Duchess has got the chance to see what we do in the ground after all our meetings and visits in the UK.”

The Prince of Wales said during a speech: "The United Arab Emirates, and the broad spectrum of support that they offer, could not be more needed in these complicated times.

"At a time when 39 million children of conflict are out of school, the importance of ensuring that the long-term stability and prosperity of the countries from which refugees have fled are not jeopardised by a generation raised without education cannot be overstated.

"We owe it to ourselves to do this, but also to our children for, as Tony Lake, the executive director of Unicef, said: 'In the midst of violence and instability, school is a place of learning and opportunity, a haven of normalcy and hope for the future.'" 

The Duchess of Cornwall meets patients during a visit to Al Jalila Children's Speciality Hospital in Dubai
The Duchess of Cornwall meets patients during a visit to Al Jalila Children's Speciality Hospital in Dubai

The Duchess of Cornwall then met patients and staff at the first dedicated children's hospital in the United Arab Emirates.

Her Royal Highness visited the newly opened Al Jalila Children's Speciality Hospital in Dubai, which treats up to 60 patients per day from birth to the age of 16.

The hospital has partnerships with Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

During the visit, The Duchess viewed an imaging room which glows in the dark to create a fun environment for children while they are having scans. She also saw a rehabilitation centre with gym equipment for children as well as the media centre which allows patients to communicate remotely with their friends and families from their ward beds.

The Duchess was shown round the hospital by Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein.

During the tour, Her Royal Highness met Noora Fahad Fayez Mubarak, 13, from the UAE, who has kidney failure.

After hearing that Noora was due a kidney transplant, The Duchess told her parents: "I hope she will be able to have it soon."

Her Royal Highness then visited the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, a shelter that supports women fleeing from domestic violence and helps families strengthen ties.

The Duchess toured the foundation, visited the children's accommodation, the care and rehabilitation centre, child therapy rooms and the call centre and heard about the different services the foundation provides. Her Royal Highness also met women living at the centre, who called it a “safe and peaceful place” to live.

The Prince of Wales meanwhile visited the site of Expo 2020, a global event that aims to share innovation, promote progress and foster cooperation. It is organised by a host country that invites other countries, companies, international organisations, the private sector, the civil society and the general public to participate.

His Royal Highness joined young people including Emiratis and other nationalities who introduced Expo, its themes and its youth engagement.

The Prince also viewed a model of what the finished site will look like in 2020. 

To end the visit to the United Arab Emirates, His Royal Highness attended cultural events in Sharjah to learn about the regional efforts to protect cultural heritage.

His Royal Highness visited the offices of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region (ATHAR).

Here The Prince viewed an exhibition on Best Practices in Cultural Heritage displaying conservation, restoration and protection projects from across the Middle East, and watched a display of traditional arts. 

Shortly afterwards, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall departed the United Arab Emirates for Bahrain, the last leg on their Royal tour. 

Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to the country by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

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