Today is an awesome day for Fijians living in the UAE – we finally have an Embassy in Abu Dhabi. After nearly 12 years in UAE and explaining to everyone we meet where Fiji is, what the country is all about etc, we can now have access to resources at the Embassy to give out to people who want to know more about our beautiful paradise.
I am particularly overjoyed that my ex-colleague from Fiji High Commission Kuala Lumpur, Emosi is part of the team in Abu Dhabi and I know from past experience he will make big things happen for Fiji in the region.
I remember a couple of years ago when the Prime Minister visited us in Dubai and the look on people’s face when he met them as they found him to be the most humble and friendliest of people ever. I recall us going shopping in DFC when the airline lost the PM’s luggage and the sales people were so overjoyed at being able to serve him. In fact, that is a trade mark of the Fijians. The warmth radiates from our soul and people pick that up so easily.
We had organised a wonderful function for him and his delegation at the Intercontinental Hotel in DFC where City 7 did an awesome programme on Fiji which was aired in UAE for the first time. I had a call from Ron who was the head of the TV station last night who was delighted to hear that PM was in UAE again and he reiterated that our PM was one of the most wonderful people he met after featuring hundreds of VIPs on his channels. Thanks to Regina, another superb islander, we had some wonderful times talking about how great it would be to have a bigger presence for Fiji in the UAE….now its come to reality.
The best thing about our PM is that he is a doer. After promising an Emirati friend who is married to a Fijian that he will make sure Emirati’s will not need a visa when they go to Fiji from then on, he kept his promise and today the Galadari family is one of the biggest advocates of Fiji Islands in the UAE and have returned to Fiji with other Emirati families in tow who continually talk about how incredibly beautiful our country is.
We may be a small nation but we certainly think big…we are proud of legends like Waisale Serevi in rugby 7s, Vijay Singh for golf and of course my friends at NTDE will tell you the many benefits of drinking FIJI water and how delighted they are to have supporting research for a product they market to show it really is the fountain of youth in its purest form.
As islanders, every Fijian is an advocate of our nation no matter which part of the world they go to…when people ask me why I don’t take a British passport after being married to one for 15 years, I don’t flinch a minute and say how proud I am to be a Fijian and how exotic and beautiful our country is that I never saw a need to.
It certainly is a celebratory time for Fijians the next few days and we welcome everyone in the UAE to get a taste of paradise when they are next thinking of taking a holiday. It will be totally worth it. 🙂