Nadine Dorries speech at World Expo Dubai 2020 UK National Day

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, delivered this keynote speech to attendees of the World Expo Dubai 2020 on UK National Day

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP

Your Excellency Noura Al Kaabi and your distinguished guests, good morning.

It’s fantastic to be here - and firstly, can I thank the UAE for hosting this wonderful event.

I’ve never been to anything quite like this before and I’m very proud that we’ve been able to bring you just a little bit of Britain and our UK Pavilion.

The UK and the UAE share a deep and historic bond.

We’re committed to tackling global issues together, and we’ve strengthened that relationship through our new and ambitious “Partnership for the Future” - which alongside our expanded UAE UK sovereign investment partnership, we’ll use to create new trade, and collaborate on a number of areas including life sciences, education, climate and security.

I’m here to strengthen that partnership even further and, on UK National Day, to celebrate everything that makes Britain great.

I might be biased, but there’s quite a list.

We’re the home of Shakespeare and Fleabag; Potter and Bond.

Adele and Ed Sheeran.

Isaac Newton and, as mentioned, Stephen Hawking.

The birthplace of the man who invented the world wide web - changing life as we all know it.

And the country where the greatest game on earth, football, was invented.

It’s hard to condense thousands of years of literature and innovation, science and creativity into one single space - and so I’d recommend that people come and see it with their own eyes with a visit to the UK.

Our doors are wide open.

Thanks to our phenomenal vaccine and booster rollout, we’re one of the most open countries in Europe, with one of the strongest economies, too.

Just as the UAE has an excellent record on covid vaccination and it’s economy has remained strong throughout this pandemic, as has ours.

And we’re ready to give a very warm welcome to visitors in every single corner of the country - in what is set to be an incredibly exciting and historic year for the UK.

Firstly, we’re hosting one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar, the Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham.

And you might have spotted it, but today, on UK National Day, the Baton for the Commonwealth Games is taking a very special journey around the Expo site - carried by a number of inspiring Batonears.

It’s travelled all over the world before it makes its way to Birmingham for 11 days of incredible sport.

And after two years of hunkering down in our own countries to shelter from COVID, that little baton is a powerful physical symbol of the renewed ties between us - connecting us all, country by country.

Alongside Birmingham Commonwealth Games, in 2022, we’re also celebrating a festival of creativity, Unboxed, which will be enjoyed across the entire UK.

But most importantly, this year is the year, the UK is marking one very special occasion - the jewel in our crown of what is going to be an incredible year.

Now, I know the UAE has been celebrating its own Golden Jubilee.

But without one upmanship taking place here, this year our Queen will make history with her own Platinum Jubilee: marking the 70th year of her reign.

No other British monarch has ever reached that milestone. Not Victoria, not Elizabeth I.

We’re going to put on a celebration to remember Her Majesty’s honour, with four days of parades and street parties, and all the very best of British pomp and pageantry the kind that I know we Brits do really well.

The UK will be absolutely buzzing this summer, the way it was when we hosted the Olympic Games in 2012.

And I cannot wait to welcome as many visitors there as possible for this once-in-a-lifetime moment in our history.

So consider this my invitation to everyone, to the entire Expo, to come and celebrate our Queen in this very special year.

Thank you.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP