King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima travel to United Arab Emirates to open Dutch pavilion at Expo 2020 – Royal Central


© RVD – Mischa Schoemaker

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

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

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima visited Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, November 2. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed greeted them when their state flight touched down in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Along with the King and Queen of the Netherlands was the Dutch Foreign Minister, Tom de Bruijn.

Their Majesties were then taken to town, where, once inside the Palace, they were given separate receptions. Queen Máxima had a meeting with Sheika Fatima bint Mubarak, where they discussed women’s education, peace and security.

Meanwhile, King Willem-Alexander was in a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince and de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. He has served as 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 travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, where they will officially inaugurate the Dutch pavilion at Expo2020. The trip was made as part of the Dutch Day at the fair, and the region of the Netherlands is all about sustainability.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be eager to return home, as their eldest daughter, Princess Catharina-Amalia, is turning 18 (the age at which you are legally of legal age in most European countries) and is enjoying a gap year after graduation from high school. Their second daughter, Princess Alexia, is currently in Wales, where she is completing her secondary education at UWC Atlantic, alongside Princess Leonor of Spain.


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