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Mayor Hancock Leads Trade Mission to United Arab Emirates

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and a delegation of city and state officials today will embark on an economic development, air service and educational mission to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The mission will provide the Mayor and local officials a firsthand look at current efforts underway to drive economic development around the UAE’s two main airports, as well as promote Denver as a potential market for expanded foreign direct investment and international air service.

The mission will include meetings with UAE officials and cultural and business leaders in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The delegation will focus on increasing Colorado-made exports to the UAE, attracting foreign direct investment into Colorado, improving tourism both in Colorado and in the UAE, and strengthening the recruitment of UAE students to Colorado. The mission also will include a tour of Dubai Smart City and presentations touting the new National Western Center, which Denver envisions as a global hub of innovation to solve agriculture and food-production challenges worldwide.

Representatives from five colleges and universities in Colorado and one English Language School – the University of Denver, Colorado State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Colorado-Denver, Fort Lewis College and Spring International Language Center – will also be part of the delegation. The higher education group is organized by StudyColorado, an initiative of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, to support the internationalization of Colorado’s colleges and universities.


Saturday, October 22
The delegation will attend an exhibit at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding to learn about the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates.

Sunday, October 23
The delegation will receive a briefing from U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Barbara Leaf and other officials on the history and evolution of growth in Dubai and international relations between the United States and United Arab Emirates.

Following the briefing session, members of the delegation will receive a presentation on Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, expected to be the largest airport in the world when complete. The airport is the hub of a greater project called Dubai South. Mayor Hancock and city officials will view the multiphase development of six clustered zones that includes the Dubai Logistics City (DLC), Commercial City, Residential City, Aviation City and the Golf City. The development is the region’s first integrated, multi-modal transportation platform connecting air, sea, and land. The visit will help inform Denver’s own efforts to spur development around Denver International Airport.

In addition, the delegation will learn more about Dubai’s plans for Expo 2020. This World’s Fair is currently the focal point of massive development within the event site and in the country as it will be bringing together more than 180 nations and an international audience of more than 25 million visitors.

Monday, October 24
The delegation will travel to Abu Dhabi to tour Masdar City, designed to be the world’s most sustainable eco-city. Masdar City is pioneering a “greenprint” for how cities can accommodate rapid urbanization and reduce energy, water and waste. The delegation will also visit twofour54, a tax-free media zone designed to ensure the growth and sustainability of the region’s media industry.

The aviation delegation members will receive a tour of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Midfield Terminal Program, a reconstruction of the airport’s main terminal that will help inform Denver’s own efforts to redesign Denver International Airport’s main terminal.

Following the tour, Mayor Hancock and Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day will meet with Etihad Airways officials in Abu Dhabi.

Mayor Hancock will also be meeting with H.E. Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Saleh, UAE Deputy Minister of Economy, to discuss economic diversification and investment strategies.

The day will finish with a reception hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Abu Dhabi to promote increased commercial ties between Denver and Abu Dhabi.

Tuesday, October 25
Aviation-focused members of the delegation will receive a briefing from Emirates Airline. The carrier, in its short 31-year history, has become one of the largest in the world. Mayor Hancock and Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day will also hold meetings with leadership from Emirates Airline.

Economic development-focused members of the delegation will attend the second annual Dubai Investment Forum.  The Forum is focused on highlighting strategic investment opportunities in Dubai and will provide Denver delegation members the opportunity to learn best practices.

Mayor Hancock will meet with officials from the Government of Dubai to discuss economic development and trade issues. This is a follow up to a Government of Dubai delegation that visited Denver in March, 2016.

The delegation will receive a presentation on Dubai’s efforts around implementing and utilizing smart city programs and technology. After the presentation, Mayor Hancock will meet with U.S. Consul General in Dubai Paul Malik before a reception for the local business community hosted by the U.S. Consulate to discuss increased commercial ties between Denver and the UAE.

Wednesday, October 26
The delegation will attend an event hosted by the American Business Council of Dubai and Dubai Tourism and Commerce to promote Denver as a travel and tourism destination. Mayor Hancock will host an “Invest in Denver” roundtable discussion to present investment opportunities to local businesses and investors.


Travel and accommodations will be paid for by Denver International Airport, and in part, through the city General Fund. Sponsors of the trip include the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, University of Denver, World Trade Center Denver and the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI).