Posted 16 April 2003
There are efforts in the United Arab Emirates to provide the Armenian Embassy (established in 2000) with its own premises. The official visit of President Kocharian to the UAE last April had brought till now only one direct result: The UAE authorities granted a plot of land in the diplomatic quarter to the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
During Kocharian's meeting with the Community leaders a Representative of the Armenians of the Gulf Countriespublicly pledged to finance the erection of the building (estimated cost about 6 million dirhams). The architectural design of the project was ready by January 2003 (undertaken by an Armenian devoted architect living for long time in the Emirates).
Now that the design is ready, it is not clear whether the Community is ready to fulfill its “promise”. Some members prefer to spend the money on internal needs. Others argue that the sum is far higher than what the Community can actually provide (especially that during the first two years of the Embassy, since year 2000, more than 1.5 million dirhams have been donated through Community means).
Another subject which is not clear, is who will pay for the running expenses of the Embassy once it is built? Does Armenia need such an Embassy in Abu Dhabi, bigger than half of the European Missions? Maybe Armenia needs a Trade Center in Dubai more than an Embassy in Abu Dhabi. 90% of holders of the Armenian passports live in Dubai. Armenia needs to improve its economic ties with the Emirates and to diversify it.