The Aga Khan arrived in Dubai on Monday evening as part of a series of visits globally in commemoration of his Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years of his Imamat as the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community
The Aga Khan acceded to the Ismaili Imamat on July 11, 1957, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan.
Over the last 60 years, the Aga Khan has been deeply engaged with cultural, economic and social development efforts to improve quality of life for people in countries around the world through the work of the Aga Khan Development Network, which today serves millions of people in more than 35 countries.
The Aga Khan has been a strong advocate for an improved understanding of Islam and for fostering brotherhood within the Ummah, as well as dialogue and cooperation among faith communities through the advancement of education, music and culture.
The Aga Khan Museum, one of the first museums of Islamic art in North America located in Toronto, Canada, helps deepen understanding and knowledge exchange between cultures and faiths.
Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, is the Honorary Chairman of the Gulf and South Asia Patrons Circle of the Aga Khan Museum.
Sheikh Nahayan and Ms Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for International Cooperation, welcomed the Aga Khan when he arrived in Dubai.
The Aga Khan was invited to the United Arab Emirates by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Over the past 60 years, the Aga Khan has emphasised the enhancement of knowledge and understanding of the pluralism of civilisations, cultures, values and ethics around the world by establishing institutions such as the Global Centre for Pluralism.
In 1977, the Aga Khan established the $1 million Aga Khan Award for Architecture awarded every three years to projects that are judged to set new standards of excellence while addressing the needs of communities in which Muslims or Islamic heritage have a significant presence.
Its 13th cycle was held in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, in 2016.
Last year, under the mentorship of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, a new education initiative – the Young Architects and Design Programme – was established in partnership with Alserkal Avenue.
While in the UAE, the Aga Khan is scheduled to meet with government leaders to discuss further cooperation in areas of mutual interest as well as members of the Ismaili community.