Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.


Duterte coming to UAE in May, source says


DUBAI – Fresh from his three-country swing in the Middle East, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to visit the UAE in May, a source familiar with the plans told

The source said that Duterte will be in the UAE from May 22 to 23. The Philippine president is expected to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi to meet Filipinos here.

Last week, Duterte was in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar where he signed $175 million in deals and more than $925 million possible new investments.

The deals include two projects from UAE-based companies worth $11 million, which will generate more than 1,000 jobs for Filipinos.

The investment pledges, on the other hand, could create at least 26,000 new jobs for Filipinos, said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a press conference in Qatar. The deals cover construction of retirement villages, tourism, hospitals, and other facilities.

Duterte’s expected UAE visit is relative to the excitement of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the country following the warm welcome that the Philippine leader received in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar where he was met by thousands of OFWs, the source said.

Duterte won by a large margin in the overseas absentee voting in the UAE, securing 51,879 of the total 61,103 votes, or 83.5 percent.

The firebrand president continues to enjoy a high popularity and trust rate among Filipinos, with nearly eight in ten Filipinos or 76 percent trusting and approving of his performance after nearly a year in office, according to independent poll Pulse Asia.

On Sunday, Duterte was voted the world’s most influential person in the 2017 Time 100 readers’ poll, beating Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.


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