On october 31, 2023, ‘The National Day reception of the Republic of Korea’ celebrating Korea’s historic first national foundation day was held at the St. Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Mudhaif Ballroom. This year marks the 4356th anniversary of the founding of Korea according to folktales, and every year, the Korean Embassy welcomes guests by holding a national holiday event to commemorate this. The event was attended by 26 ambassadors including the EU, Germany and the Vatican and a number of representatives. Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh and Director of East Asia and Pacific in United Arab Emirates MoFA, Nooh Al Hammadi were also present at the occasion.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in the UAE, Yoo Jeh-sung, expressed expectations for continued strengthening of relations between the UAE and Korea through speeches during the event. The ambassador described the relationship between the two countries as “blessed brothers” by the name of the ‘Barakah’ Nuclear Power Plant project and the deployment of the Korean ‘Akh’ Unit, which are the springboard for cooperation between the two countries. Ambassador Lee also said,”The two countries are expanding cooperation in four key areas including energy, nuclear power, defense and investment with various area, and the conclusion of the CEPA deal on Oct. 14 will further expand trade and investment”.
There were four special booths set up.
First, the Busan Expo booth, for representing the WORLD EXPO 2030 BUSAN KOREA. Gives an echo bag with the Busan Expo logo to guests to promote Korea’s bid for the Busan Expo. The host country of World Expo 2030 will be elected in November 2023
Second, booth of the Peaceful Unification Advisory Council’s booth which is established for constitutional, advises by request and makes proposals to the president of the Republic of Korea regarding policy development and implementation for a democratic and peaceful inter-Korean unification. Hosts prepared a map of a unified Korea, and participants wrote letters wishing for unification of Korea
Third, In Cloisonne artist Lee Soo Kyung’s Booth, Wine glasses, gold axes, and accessories set made by an authority in the production of Korean cloisonne showed off the traditional Korean style and entertained the eyes of guests.
Lastly, The K-Food Booth
At the booth hosted by the aT Center (Korea Agro-Trade Center), The rapidly growing K-FOOD was brought to welcome guests. They enjoyed the taste and aroma of Korean food by cooking traditional K-FOOD, Bibimbap, and Kimchi Jeon. And Korean meal kits were also provided to continue the impression even after returning home.
Meanwhile, Korean fruits such as shine muscats, pears, and Tomango appeared right next to them with a lot of expectation. The parade of fruits made Abu Dhabi’s night much more sweet. There were 3 fruits offered, Shine Musket, Tomango and Halal Pear.
Shine muscat, Korea’s Most Loved Grape Variety has yellowish green and the grains are short and oval. It has a high sugar and a low acid. The whole skin can be eaten without seeds.
And Tomango, a combination of tomatoes and mangoes, means a tomato Which is as sweet as a mango. Tomango is made by injecting natural herb ‘stevia’, which is known to be 300 times sweeter than sugar, through osmotic pressure, and has a great sweetness while having fewer calories.
Korean pears, which feature overflowing juices, are also ready. In particular, the pears served to guests got Halal certified by ESMA so this served as more reliable flavors.
Guests who tasted Korean fruits commented that Korean fruits have superior sugar and superior taste compared to other fruits. Korean fruits are rapidly spreading to local retail stores recently, and the event is expected to further amplify interest in K-fruit.
In addition, the Korean traditional rice wine ‘Makgeolli’ has been prepared as an appetizer and attracted a great response. Makgeolli was loved for its savory and pungent taste to be marriage with K-FOOD. Various options such as banana and strawberry flavors entertained participants too.
K-FOOD is emerging as a new powerhouse of K-CULTURE beyond music and media. Through the recent trade agreement(CEPA) between Korea and the UAE, UAE consumers will be able to meet more often.
The Ambassador, Yoo Jeh-sung, explained Korea’s direction to lead its role in the international community as a cultural powerhouse, claiming, “No country can come with a global leader with economic power or military might alone. To be expected by people around the world, a country should come with a culturally aggressive nation.”
In addition, Ambassador Lee said, “We will expand cooperation with the United Arab Emirates in various fields such as health care, science and technology, space, AI, digital transformation, agriculture, tourism, and culture,” and expressed Korea’s commitment to filling a responsible role in safekeeping international peace and security as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2024-2025 term.