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The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima travel to the UAE to open Dutch pavilion at Expo2020


© RVD - Mischa Schoemaker

As the eyes of the world are focussed on Rome for the G20 summit and Glasgow for the COP26 Climate Conference, Dubai is hosting Expo2020. 

Expo is a global event in which each country has its own pavilion; the theme is different each year, and so is the host city. 

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima made the journey to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, 2 November. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed them when their state flight landed in the United Arab Emirates’s capital. 

Together with the Dutch King and Queen was the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tom de Bruijn.  

Their Majesties were then driven to the city, where, once inside the Palace, they were granted separate receptions. Queen Máxima entertained a meeting with Sheika Fatima bint Mubarak, during which they discussed female education, peace and security. 

Meanwhile, King Willem-Alexander was in a meeting with Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince and de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. He has been exerting the functions of the Head of State since 2014, when a stroke hit his half-brother, Khalifa, the nominal President of the Federation. 

On Wednesday, the royal couple will make the trip from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, where they will officially open the Dutch pavilion at Expo2020. The trip was made in connection with Dutch Day at the fair, and the Netherlands’s area is focused on sustainability. 

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be anxious to make the journey back home, as their eldest daughter, Princess Catharina-Amalia, is set to turn 18 (the age at which you are legally an adult in most European countries) and is enjoying a sabbatical year following her high school graduation. Their second daughter, Princess Alexia, is currently in Wales, completing her high school course at UWC Atlantic, alongside Princess Leonor of Spain.