The UAE rolled out the red carpet for Russian President Vladimir Putin during his landmark visit to the country on Tuesday. The Aurus Senat, the presidential state car of Russia, was escorted to Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi by a cavalry mounted on Arabian horses.

Putin and his accompanying delegation drove through streets that were lined with the flags of the two countries. Overhead traffic signs displayed messages in the Russian language.

A 21-gun salute was accorded to the special guest, who is visiting the UAE after a period of 12 years. The UAE Air Force aerobatic display team, Al Fursan, flew over the palace, painting the sky in Russian national colours. As he reached the palace, Emiratis carrying the Russian flag put up a traditional music performance.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received the Russian president. The two leaders – who are known to share a close bond – walked through the palace, where students cheered them on by waving the flags of both countries.

The two sides exchanged views on regional and international developments, focusing on the Gulf and Middle East region, as well as discussions of a political, security, and economic nature of interest to both parties.

Sheikh Mohamed conveyed the greetings of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to President Putin. He affirmed that the UAE-Russia ties have “strong foundations based on mutual trust and respect, further bolstered by various exchange visits”.

He added that the UAE is keen on further developing relations with Russia across multiple sectors.