AGONG ARRIVES IN ABU DHABI FOR PRIVATE VISIT

HASNAH JUSID

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah arrived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a private visit from today until Tuesday (Dec 3).

The special aircraft carrying Their Majesties and delegation landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2 pm local time (6 pm Malaysian time).

The royal couple were met on arrival by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the UAE Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Malaysian Ambassador to UAE  Mohd Tarid Sufian. 

The Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the four-day visit was on a personal invite and as special guests of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in conjunction with Formula One (F1)  Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019.

Their Majesties would begin their visit to the Arab Gulf country by attending special briefings at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence on Saturday (Nov 30), he said in a statement today.

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On Sunday (Dec 1), the royal couple were scheduled to attend the finale of F1 race for 2019 season at Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island.

The next day, Their Majesties would attend the UAE National Day celebration at Zayed Sports City, followed by Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s reunion, organised by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

The reunion would be a very meaningful occasion to Al-Sultan Abdullah as His Majesty would be meeting college friends from more than 40 years ago.

  Ahmad Fadil said the special invitation and treatment extended to His Majesty reflected close friendship between Al-Sultan Abdullah and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan which began when the two leaders met at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

“Both leaders were college friends at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1978 and 1979, and the close friendship between them remains until today. This is the third of their meeting up after Al-Sultan Abdullah appointed as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong in January this year,” he said.

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces while his siblings Sheik Mansour, Sheikh Saif, Sheikh Hazza and Sheikh Abdullah also hold highest posts in the UAE administration.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s mother is Sheikha Fatima binti Mubarak Al Ketbi, also known as  “Mother of UAE”.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Affairs Minister as well as the owner of the Premier League's football club, Manchester City.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the UAE's  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister), and  Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the UAE's Head of State for National Security Advisor.

Meanwhile, Raja Permaisuri Agong would be attending a meeting with Rym Abdulla Al Falasy,  secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, UAE on Saturday (Nov 30).

Tunku Azizah was also scheduled to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi.

During the visit, Her Majesty would spend some time at a meet-and-greet session with the Malaysian community in Abu Dhabi.

-- BERNAMA