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Prince William in UAE trip

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DUBAI, Feb 10: Britain’s Prince William on Thursday made his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates, where the future monarch highlighted his passionate work around wildlife conservation and climate change. The prince delivered an urgent warning on those issues before an audience at the World’s Fair in Dubai, known as Expo 2020. He spoke at an event to showcase The Earthshot Prize, a global award the prince founded to highlight and scale solutions to repair the planet. “This is the decisive decade,” he said. “If we do nothing, by 2030 we’ll be speeding toward increasingly devastating planetary and humanitarian crises as a result of our changing climate.”

Royal guard march in front of the UK pavilion during Britain national day ceremony at the Dubai Expo in Dubai, Thursday, Feb. 10. (AP)

“We are still in a race against time,” he said. The one-day visit by the Duke of Cambridge marks a significant milestone in relations between the United Kingdom and the UAE, a Western-allied Gulf Arab nation ruled by hereditary leaders. The prince is expected to meet with Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the son of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Queen Elizabeth II first visited the UAE as monarch in 1979, while Prince Charles’ last visit was in 2016. Once an informal British protectorate, the UAE has long been a magnet for British nationals.

There are more than 100,000 British citizens living in the UAE and more than 6,000 British companies operating in the country, according to the British Business Group in Dubai and Northern Emirates. The Duke of Cambridge’s visit coincides with the U.K.’s national day at Expo 2020. Prince William visited the U.K. pavilion and toured the $7 billion grounds of the Expo site, as well as the United Arab Emirates’ falcon-shaped pavilion. (AP)

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