The Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, is to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week (23-26 April) as part of a series of initiatives to promote Jersey throughout 2012.

Following his visit to the region a year ago to support the launch of the Jersey Finance office in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, Senator Ozouf has been invited by the British Ambassador to the UAE, Dominic Jermey, to speak at a reception to celebrate the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. While there he will present a holographic portrait of the Queen and attend a reception at the British Embassy in Dubai.

Senator Ozouf will also be attending a series of meetings aimed at boosting Jersey’s business links with the region. He will be meeting ministers, officials and representatives from a number of organisations, including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), which opened a branch in Jersey last year. One of the issues which will be discussed is the ending of Allied Irish Bank’s Jersey operation and its impact on clients of ADCB.

Senator Ozouf said “Boosting Jersey business and creating jobs is the key priority of the Council of Ministers and joint efforts to forge diplomatic and commercial relationships that support growth are our focus this year.

“The UAE is an extremely important market for Jersey’s finance industry and these invitations are an indication of the strong relationships that Jersey has built. This is a positive opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to business in the region and to support the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”

The Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for External Relations, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, commented “We have an excellent relationship with the UAE and it is essential that the Council of Ministers works hard to maintain the good contacts developed in recent years.

“The invitation for Senator Ozouf to play a significant role in these celebrations demonstrates that Jersey is considered an important partner in the Middle East. It is important that we continue to support the good work that Jersey Finance is doing in the region and this visit sends a clear signal that Jersey places great value on its relationship with the UAE.”

The portrait being presented at the embassy in Abu Dhabi is a version of ‘Equanimity’, by artist Chris Levine and holographer Rob Munday. ‘Equanimity’ was commissioned by Jersey Heritage in 2004 and will feature as the lead image in the National Portrait Gallery's touring Jubilee exhibition 'The Queen: Art and Image'.

The holographic image will also feature on a Jubilee commemorative Jersey £100 note and postage stamp.

For further information – contact Senator Ozouf on 07797 713838