Addressing the gathering, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations (UN) and other International Organisations in Geneva, said the renovation had shown the seriousness of the UAE professionals, their accuracy and speed of achievement and their full respect for stakeholders – traits that the UAE leadership under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has long been working to instil through promotion of the culture of excellence, innovation and creativity.

”We have been very keen to create the suitable environment to achieve this work. Though financing was a meagre part of the mission, we have strived to ensure that all those involved in the project including architects, engineers and construction labourers work in a framework characterised with confidence so as to be able to innovate and excel,” he said.

According to him, the hall will represent a qualitative addition to the work of the UN.

Mohammed Al Muaini, Head of Engineering and Technical Projects, Ministry of Presidential Affairs, said this project would not have been achieved if it had not been for the deep conviction of the UAE leadership of the vital role the UN is playing in advancing international co-operation, and addressing international challenges. It also reflects the UAE’s solid will to effectively contribute to efforts aimed at providing the UN with proper and effective work mechanisms to support international multilateral work.

”We have been keen to draw and inspire the architectural design of the project from the UAE emblem – the circle in the gold falcon that is surrounded by seven stars representing the seven emirates of the Union,” he explained.

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the Emirates Hall will be a source of inspiration for those who meet under its dome to find solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges in our modern time.

Facilities and services, he noted, will enable delegates to conduct open, comprehensive discussions.

He expressed his gratitude to the UAE for this remarkable achievement given its rich experience in blending innovative architecture with cultural legacy and sustainability.

He said the UN thanked the UAE for this support and was looking forward to further their joint close co-operation.

Michael Moller, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, expressed thanks on behalf of the UN to the UAE for its generous and valuable gift.

He said the hall, which has state-of-the-art conferencing and communication technology, will help delegates to focus on finding solutions to the world problems under the blue sky of the Emirates.

He affirmed that the project not only underscored the UAE’s commitment towards the UN but also proved the possibility of delivering mega projects on record time.

Earlier, Al Zaabi met with Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss Foreign Minister, who visited the hall to express thanks on behalf of the Swiss government to the UAE for the generous gift.

WAM/tfaham/bashir