Prince Andrew celebrates UAE birthday

Prince Andrew is visiting Abu Dhabi to celebrate the 40th birthday of the United Arab Emirates.

The prince unveiled a painting by Abu Dhabi resident Julia Ibbini, called ‘National Pride’ which depicts the transformation of the UAE over the past 40 years on Wednesday (23.11.11).

He also met with around 500 members of The Club -a private members club which translates as Al Nadi in Arabic – from 84 different nationalities as he toured the Middle Eastern city. The ‘National Pride’ painting will hang in the reception wall of The Club.

Elaine McGrath, wife of The Club’s general manager, Mike, told the Khaleej Times: “It’s an incredible thing; it’s an incredible moment for the club specially. It is amazing that Prince Andrew chose to come here. It is really a great opportunity for us.”

Hamish Macdonald, The Club chairman, showed Prince Andrew around the garden and they viewed historical photographs of the establishment, which has been run since 1962.

He was also given a preview of Al Nadi tower, a waterfront landmark that The Club plans to erect next year – their 50th anniversary – to “serve as a commemorative and long lasting statement.”

While in the UAE, the Duke of York has also formally inaugurated the UK’s Brighton College Abu Dhabi with Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

He also opened an exhibition displaying portraits of Emirati Olympians in celebration of the success of athletes across the emirates and their aspiration for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.