Canadian Ambassador to the UAE: ‘this is a year of pivoting’

Ambassador Marcy Grossman wishes Canadians in the UAE a Happy Canada Day as they begin virtual celebrations

It is a year of adapting and progressing, the Canadian ambassador to the UAE has said to mark Canada Day.

“This is the year of the pivot,” ambassador Marcy Grossman told The National ahead of the July 1 celebrations.

“We really have been using a lot of outdated modalities to do things in the past and I think what this Covid crisis has told us is, we’ve got to do things differently.”

Looking ahead, Canada will focus on working with the Emirates as a partner in food security, which the ambassador identified as the base of the relationship.

Additionally, Canadian companies will showcase their digitisation and change how they promote themselves in the UAE.

The country’s top exports to the Emirates in 2019 were grains and cereals, machinery, nuclear energy services, vehicles and aircraft and pharmaceuticals.

“For our Canadian companies, anything that digitises anything is going to be sought after, whether it’s tele-medicine or education online or virtual trade shows, this is what we’re really promoting people to do.”

Myths about Canadians

In the interview, the ambassador tackled myths about Canadian stereotypes and their “nice guy” reputation.

“We are very friendly people and I have to say, I’m not disagreeing with that. We are friendly. We say ‘hello’, we say ‘sorry’. You step on my foot, I say ‘sorry’. That’s just very Canadian.”

But behind the friendliness is also a very fierce, competitive, innovative people, the ambassador said.

“You know, we are a population of less than 40 million, spread out across the second-largest land mass in the world,” said Ms Grossman. “We have to be creative, we have to be resilient, we have to be innovative or else we cannot exist.”

The Canadian embassy and consulate will celebrate Canada Day with a virtual celebrations. The “Love from Canada Variety Show” that can be accessed through the embassy’s social media platforms from at 10pm on July 1, 2020.

It has been “a tough year”, she said.

“You know, 2020 isn’t starting out as the year that we had all planned but it’s still Canada Day and like I always say, they can’t take away your birthday.

“So we need to celebrate regardless and this year we’re going to be having stay-at-home celebrations, just like millions of people around the world who are celebrating their birthdays. Here in the UAE, it will be the same.”