Dubai's Princess Haya receives France's highest honour
Awarded to her by Laurent Fabius
On Monday, addressing international media and over 100 guests at a special ceremony in the opulent setting at the Prefecture of Caen, the main host city of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development awarded Princess Haya – who is also president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) – with the Legion of Honour insignia.
In the presence of Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, advisor to the UAE President and President of the UAE Equestrian Federation, Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, Charge d'affaires of UAE in France, Fabius cited Princess Haya's career as an Olympic athlete, her contribution to equestrian sport as FEI President and her success in bringing the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 to Normandy.
He also discussed Princess Haya's extensive and well-documented humanitarian efforts in some of the most hostile parts of the world.
"You are a remarkable person," Fabius said. "Due to the inspiration you have given to many people over the years, through your sporting and humanitarian efforts, France is extremely happy to pronounce you Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour."
In her gracious acceptance speech, Princess Haya stressed that the bulk of her achievements were inspired by the vision of Sheikh Mohammed, and the commitment of His Highness to support ongoing humanitarian work, and the quest to help those in need wherever they are.
"I accept this honour knowing that I have done so little to earn it, but inspired to do more in my limited capacity to advocate for a more equitable, more compassionate and a more peaceful future. I am deeply grateful," she concluded.