News Release

Filipinos make Emiratis feel at home in PH, UAE foreign minister tells PBBM, FL

The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has identified the Filipinos’ hospitality as one of the reasons for the middle eastern nation to strengthen its relationship with the Philippines.

In his visit to Malacañan on Tuesday, UAE Foreign Minister H.H Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan told President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza A. Marcos that Filipinos make Emiratis feel at home in the Philippines.

“I would say Sir, the Emiratis when they come to the Philippines, they never feel leaving. You really make them feel at home,” Nahyan said.

The Chief Executive was visited by Nahyan who expressed his country’s immense interest to grow and nourish ties with the Filipino nation.

“Our relationship is growing, but not enough. We could do much better,” the UAE official said.

“We could do much better because I think we have an interest to further enhance it. Also the Philippines has shown that it’s been welcoming investors, would like do more trade. And we are on the path to finalize with the Philippines,” Al Nahyan said.

Al Nahyan expressed gratitude to the Philippines for its continuing support to the UAE, noting “how the Filipino people have considered the UAE their second home and have shown throughout those years not only dedication but love.”

The relationship between the Philippines and UAE is growing, Al Nahyan said, stressing both sides have an interest to further enhance it.

On the other hand, President Marcos is aiming to boost Philippines-UAE ties by building on the existing close relationship between the two nations.

With many of its citizens residing or working in the UAE, the Philippines is optimistic about improving ties with UAE through the help of Filipinos.

“We have built a very close relationship with the UAE. And we hope that we will continue in that pattern and continue to make it better,” President Marcos said as he welcomed Nahyan in the Palace.

President Marcos also extended his gratitude to the UAE for all the assistance and the kindness it has extended to the Philippines and to its people. He hoped to reciprocate UAE’s kindness especially during crisis in the Philippines.

“And so, I hope that we will be able to extend that relationship further and make it deeper … it is with great, great pleasure and certainly an honor to the Philippines…We’re very happy to see you here and we thank you for finding the time to visit us,” the President said.

The diplomatic relations between the Philippines and UAE were established on August 19, 1974, with the Philippine government opening its diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi on June 17, 1980.

The UAE government established its diplomatic mission in the Philippines in November 1989.

The two countries will mark their 50th year of diplomatic relations this year. The Philippines and UAE have strong people-to-people relations. In 1971, Filipino engineers, architects, medical professionals and workers flocked to the UAE to help build the country’s foundations, with the UAE government recognizing their contributions to the Gulf state’s development.

Per latest estimates, Filipinos are the third largest expatriate group in the UAE after Indians and Pakistanis, according to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2021, 575,622 Filipinos were given residence visas, while 462,632 received short-term/tourist visas, putting the number of Filipinos in the UAE to approximately at one million. | PND