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Prince & Princess of WalesUAE

Environment takes centre stage during Prince William’s first UAE visit

The Duke of Cambridge made his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates where the future King highlighted the environment and his passionate work surrounding wildlife conservation and climate change.

Speaking to an audience at the World’s Fair in Dubai, also known as Expo 2020, the Duke showcased The Earthshot Prize, a global award the Duke founded to highlight and scale solutions to repair the planet. In late 2021, the Prize held its first-ever award ceremony offering five, £1 million prizes to innovators and entrepreneurs seeking solutions to some of the world’s greatest environmental problems. During his speech, the Duke said: “This is the decisive decade. If we do nothing, by 2030 we’ll be speeding toward increasingly devastating planetary and humanitarian crises as a result of our changing climate. We are still in a race against time.”

The one-day visit marks a significant milestone in relations between the United Kingdom and the UAE, a Western-allied Gulf Arab nation ruled by hereditary leaders. The visit also coincides with the U.K.’s national day at Expo 2020. While visiting the UK pavilion, the Duke toured the $7 billion grounds of the Expo site, as well as the United Arab Emirates pavilion.

During the stop, William also visited DP World’s massive Jebel Ali Port, where he observed cargo being inspected and scanned by customs, highlighting efforts tackling illegal wildlife trade. DP World is a principal partner of William’s United for Wildlife, an initiative established in 2014 by the Prince to counter trade in illegal wildlife.

Like his father, the Prince of Wales, William has long used his platform to advocate for environmental awareness, warning the Earth is at its tipping point, and it is at the point where there can be irreparable damage unless action is taken.

Her Majesty The Queen first visited the UAE as monarch in 1979. The Prince of Wales made his last visit to the country in 2016.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.