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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 16:22 GMT
Emirates tartan is rediscovered
Al-Maktoum tartan
The tartan was designed in 1977 by a pipe major for Dubai's pipe band
An organisation which promotes links between Dubai and Scotland has adopted a forgotten tartan as its new insignia.

The Al-Maktoum Institute came across the 30-year-old design, devised for a United Arab Emirates Pipe band, while considering inventing its own tartan.

The tartan will now be the official colours of the Al-Maktoum Foundation, located at the institute's Dundee base.

Based on the colours of the Cameron tartan, it was designed in 1977 by a pipe major for Dubai's pipe band.

The band was the pride and joy of the then ruler, the late Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.

Astonishing discovery

Abd al-Fattah El-Awaisi, the institute's principal, said the tartan was discovered while searching for a symbol to represent the links between Scotland and Dubai, where Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the institute's patron, is deputy ruler.

Professor El-Awaisi said: "When we made enquiries with the Scottish Tartan Authority we were astonished to discover an Al-Maktoum tartan was already in existence.

"We were even more astonished to find they still had a sample of the material."

He added: "It was a wonderful discovery and we are delighted to have been able to bring this design back into production."

The incredible economic growth Dubai is experiencing has huge potential for Scottish businesses.
Tom McCabe

Minister for Finance

The tartan was brought back to life by Forfar-based Strathmore Woollen Co, which wove the cloth.

Scottish Finance Minister Tom McCabe, who is due to visit Dubai, said the move underlined the importance that the Scottish Executive placed on further strengthening links between the two countries.

He said: "I believe this is a win-win scenario for Scotland.

"We've much to offer Dubai, but the incredible economic growth Dubai is experiencing has huge potential for Scottish businesses."

Mr McCabe added: "This wonderful Al-Maktoum tartan perfectly symbolises the links which exist between Scotland and Dubai.

"I've been extremely impressed by the ambitious work the Al-Maktoum Institute has been undertaking."

Since being established in 2001, the Al-Maktoum Institute has been working to build educational, cultural and business links between Dubai and Scotland.

Scottish relationship

Its achievements include a sister city agreement between Dundee and Dubai and direct daily flights between Dubai and Glasgow with Emirates Airlines.

Mirza Al-Sayegh, chair of the Al-Maktoum Foundation said: "Dubai has made no secret that they want companies based in Scotland to take more advantage of the opportunities provided by Dubai's economic growth.

"Shaikh Hamdan is pleased with the institute's progress and achievements in implementing his vision.

"His Highness believes there are many more opportunities yet to be explored in the relationship between Dubai and Scotland."

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