Donna Massie, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Middle East

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Middle East, Donna Massie

Is the festive season celebrated in the Middle East?
The festive season is in full swing in the UAE. Christmas carols are playing on the radio stations and every hotel foyer has a huge Christmas tree. Santa’s grottos are everywhere and they even host an annual Christmas market in town.

We are receiving happy Christmas wishes from Muslim friends and colleagues on a daily basis – we all embrace a celebration in the Middle East, regardless of religious beliefs. Christmas lights adorn shopping centres and residences. Hotels are offering special deals for Christmas lunch, and turkeys and mince pies are abundant in the supermarkets.

What was one standout achievement for TIQ Middle East in 2019?
We’ve had many successes this year, but one real highlight was the partnership between James Cook University and the Sheik Khalifa Marine Research Centre. JCU will provide expert assistance to help establish a new Marine Innovation Park. We introduced JCU representatives to the UAE Ministry of Food Security and advised JCU in the lead-up to them signing an agreement. It was a great outcome.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
We are looking forward to working on the build-up to Expo2020 in Dubai and to finalising several strategic projects at Dubai South.

Any end-of-year message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters?
Please watch the Expo2020 portal for export opportunities and don’t hesitate to contact TIQ’s Middle East office for support.