Sekiguchi Noboru, Consul-General of Japan to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, recently hosted the conferment ceremony of the 'Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star' to Ahmad Ali Al Mualla, the former Ambassador of the UAE to Japan at the Consulate-General of Japan in Dubai. This decoration was announced by the Government of Japan in November, in recognition of his contributions to strengthening the friendly bilateral relationship between Japan and the UAE. In the ceremony, Consul-General No-boru expressed his gratitude for Al Mualla's countless contributions to enhancing the interaction of people and deepening mutual understanding between Japan and the UAE. Al Mualla has devoted himself to enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields since he had assumed the position of the Ambassador of the UAE to Japan in 2000 and even after the completion of duty in Japan. The realisation of a direct flight by Emirates airline between the two countries in 2002 and the ease of visa procedures in 2004 by the Government of Japan for UAE citizens, were two key achievements. In addition to this, he has contributed to the expansion of Japanese enterprises' investments in the UAE, not only through giving advice to Japanese companies but also through introducing high-quality Japanese products to the people in the UAE.