Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed praises Jacinda Ardern and lights up Burj Khalifa to honor New Zealand

An image of Ardern appeared on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. (Twitter)
Updated 22 March 2019

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed praises Jacinda Ardern and lights up Burj Khalifa to honor New Zealand

DUBAI: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, thanked Jacinda Ardern on Friday for her ‘sincere empathy’ following the attack on two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 Muslims.

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was illuminated in a gesture of solidarity with New Zealand and its prime minister.

Ardern has received widespread praise from around the world and in particular from Muslim countries and their leaders for the way she has handled the aftermath of the terrorist attack carried out by a white supremacist.

“New Zealand today fell silent in honor of the mosque attacks' martyrs,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted. “Thank you PM Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world.”

Ardern led thousands of people in a two minute vigil on Friday as the shocked nation came together to remember those killed in the attack. 

She told those gathered in a park opposite the Al Noor mosque, where 42 people died, that: "New Zealand mourns with you. We are one.”

The prime minister’s response to the killings has been widely admired in helping the country come to terms with the atrocity. In the hours after the shootings she wore a black headscarf and visited members of the Muslim community.

She moved to reassure those caught up in the attacks and hugged survivors at a community center in Christchurch.

“We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” Ms Ardern said on the day of the attack. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.”

She did not hesitate to describe the killings as a terrorist attack and said she would refuse to say the name of the killer who carried it out.

But she has also acted quickly with legislation. Her government banned on Thursday the sales of semi-automatic weapons.

“Ardern’s performance has been extraordinary - and I believe she will be strongly lauded for it both domestically and internationally,” political commentator Bryce Edwards of Victoria University in Wellington told Reuters.

Social media has been flooded with messages of admiration for Ardern, with many using her as an example for their own politicians to follow.


UAE confirms 331 new coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

Updated 10 April 2020

UAE confirms 331 new coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

  • The UAE health ministry said 29 people have recovered, bringing the total to 268

DUBAI: A further 331 people have tested positive with the coronavirus in the UAE, bringing the total confirmed cases to 2,990, state news agency WAM reported.
The health ministry said the new patients were all in a stable condition and receiving the necessary treatment.
Meanwhile two expats have died, the ministry confirmed – both had prior chronic illnesses – bringing the number of lives lost due to COVID-19 in the UAE to 14.
But there continues to be glimmers of hope, with a further 29 people who have recovered, bringing that total to 268.
The UAE carried out more than 40,000 coronavirus tests over the past two days using latest state-of-the-art-technology as part of the country’s efforts to curb the coronavirus spread.