Dubai, Jan 14: Dubai virtually shut down as it put in place unprecedented security measures to receive visiting US President George W Bush, who is on a historic visit to the UAE.
Dubai declared a holiday for private and public enterprises as President Bush flew in from UAE capital Abu Dhabi to Dubai some 170 km away on the second day of his visit to the UAE. Part of the main Sheikh Zayed road was cordoned off and no traffic was allowed. Some parts of arterial roads were off limits even for pedestrians. Diversions were announced for those bound for the Dubai International Airport.
During his visit to Dubai, Mr Bush will get a first hand glance at the amazing development story of Dubai which is home to many firsts including the tallest tower and the Palm, a real estate project visible from space.
Mr Bush is visiting the UAE as part of his eight day broader tour to the West Asia. He was greeted upon arrival at Dubai International Airport by Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the official news agency WAM said.
A number of top officials including Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance and industry and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister were at the airport to welcome the US president.
Earlier in the day in Abu Dhabi, Bush said the UAE has invested and used its oil wealth judiciously. The US president made the statement today during a tour of the Masdar Initiative exhibition staged at the Emirates Palace Hotel where he was briefed on the multi-faceted, multi-billion dollar initiative to develop and commercialise renewable and alternative energy, and clean technology.
The initiative reflects Abu Dhabi's comprehensive investment in future energy solutions and clean technology from design to research laboratory to mass deployment.
The US president expressed his delight at visiting the UAE as part of his broader tour of West Asia.