Governor General ends successful visit to the Middle East

March 23, 2022

OTTAWA, Ontario—Today, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Whit Fraser completed working visits to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait. At a time of global unrest, the visit highlighted the value and necessity of diplomacy and global co-operation.

In the UAE, the Governor General met with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and other government officials to deepen our strong bilateral relationship and to discuss our shared core values of diversity and inclusion, and tolerance.

At Expo 2020 Dubai, the Governor General met with His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Commissioner General of the United Arab Emirates for Expo and Minister of Tolerance of the United Arab Emirates. Leading the Canadian delegation, Her Excellency delivered remarks at Canada’s Official National Day Ceremony. Also at Expo, standing united with the people of Ukraine, she stopped at the Ukraine pavilion to leave a written message of hope that read, “ajuinnata, never give up.”

Her Excellency also engaged with students at Canadian University Dubai and took part in a question-and-answer session that focused on the importance of international collaboration and women’s empowerment.

In Qatar, the Governor General met with His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, and His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the State of Qatar, to strengthen the warm bilateral relationship between our countries. She had the opportunity to discuss the future of education at the Qatar Foundation. As commander-in-chief of Canada, she also engaged with Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members stationed in the region to demonstrate support for the work they do abroad.

In Kuwait, Her Excellency met with His Highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Crown Prince of the State of Kuwait, and His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait, to discuss shared values and our commitment to upholding international law and enhancing regional security. She visited Sadu House to learn about the rich and diverse woven textile heritage of Kuwait, and to discuss preservation, education and innovation with Kuwaiti women. She also visited Camp Canada to meet with CAF members engaged in Operation IMPACT, the military component of Canada’s whole-of-government approach to the Middle East.

During her visits, the Governor General took the opportunity to thank the host governments for their role last year in assisting Canada’s evacuation efforts from Afghanistan.


“Diplomacy is about making connections between individuals that can help transform or strengthen bonds between countries. This important visit to the Middle East came at a time of international uncertainty and conflict. Every word, action and intention can help build a better world.”

- Governor General Mary Simon

Quick facts

  • This was Governor General Simon’s second international visit at the request of the Prime Minister since her installation.
  • Ajuinnata is an Inuktitut word which means “never giving up” or “perseverance in the face of adversity.” This concept is an important theme for the Governor General’s mandate.

Notes for media

  • Photos of the visit can be provided to media upon request via

Related links
Governor General to visit the Middle East
Working visit to the United Arab Emirates
Working visit to Qatar
Working visit to Kuwait

Media information:
Natalie Babin Dufresne

Rideau Hall Press Office

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