Qatari dignitaries, including HE Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali al-Nuaimi and HE Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed al-Mannai, joined the Secretary British State for Education Nadhim Zahawi MP, UK Defense Senior Middle East Adviser Air Marshal Martin Sampson, British Ambassador to Qatar Jon Wilks graced the occasion.
Guests included the British community, the diplomatic corps, representatives of the international business community as well as media, educational, cultural and sporting personalities, including British Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave.
UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi MP addressing the event.
The event celebrated the strong partnership between Qatar and the UK and the ongoing progress in the relationship between the two countries, their governments and their peoples, the British Embassy said in a statement. Guests were entertained by the talents of the Qatar Armed Forces Band and Doha Jazz.
Gulf Times Editor Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka with UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi MP at the event.
UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “I am so proud to be here with you today and hope that the mutual affection and respect that exists between our two countries will not will only deepen over time.
“In 1979, Queen Elizabeth II was the first female head of state to visit Qatar. In doing so, she initiated a solid friendship between our two countries that has just been celebrated by a memorandum of understanding.
British Ambassador to Qatar Jon Wilks greeting a guest
“Britain is a diverse, outward-looking nation and we have always valued international collaboration – it is more crucial than ever. If we share our experiences, we can learn from each other and create a better future through education.
British Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi MP and British Ambassador to Qatar Jon Wilks with a group of guests.
In his speech, Ambassador Wilks said: “Throughout decades of tremendous change in international affairs and in the country, The Queen has been a source of continuity and stability. With a power to transcend politics and geography, it has touched the lives of millions beyond our shores. She was our first diplomat. No one has done more to strengthen the bonds of friendship, understanding and respect between the UK and the rest of the world.
The Qatar Armed Forces Marching Band performing at the event
Reflecting on his two years in Doha, Wilks said: “Since my arrival in March 2020, the relationship between our two countries has seen significant growth with positive results that benefit both our peoples. Last week’s visit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the United Kingdom was a welcome opportunity to celebrate our great historic relationship and plan to take it to the next level in the future. Agreements on increased cooperation on investment, energy and support for WC22 have all been very positive. Perhaps nothing was more welcome in Qatar than Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of the planned lifting of visas for Qatari citizens visiting the UK from 2023.
Doha Jazz on stage during the celebrations
We are historical partners who recognize that we become more important to each other in the face of common challenges and great opportunities. It is an honor and a chance for me to serve as UK Ambassador to Qatar at such an auspicious time.”
The British Embassy thanked platinum sponsors of the event Alfardan Automotive and BAE Systems, gold sponsors HSBC, Gleeds, Deloitte and LuLu. The mission also thanked the Edge picture team and Marsa Malaz Kempinski for their support.
Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to celebrate 70 years on the throne. His great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was the longest-serving former monarch, reigning for 63 years before her death in 1901.