Voice of Diplomatic Influence

Dušan HORNIAK, MSc., Ambassador of the Slovak Republic

By Shereen Shabnam

We recently ventured into Abu Dhabi to meet with His Excellency Dusan Horniak, the dynamic Ambassador of Slovakia to the UAE to talk about his career in Diplomacy and his journey to represent his nation in the region. His strength lies in his solid career in the Foreign service and being able to speak Arabic, English, French, Russian and Slovak.

Born October 23rd, 1959 in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, His Excellency Dusan graduated from the Faculty of International Economic Relations, Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1984 and in 2003, he did a Course “Government service in Luxemburg and coordination of decision making in the European Union member states“ in Luxemburg. To enhance his position in his career, between 2003 and 2004, His Excellency Dusan studied ‘Effective participation of Slovak Republic representatives at institutions of the European Union’, organised by the European Institute of Public Administration of Bratislava.

His Excellency Dusan is not new to UAE as between 1998 and 2003, he was the Managing Director, Slovak Trade Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and between 1993-1998, he was Head of Diplomatic Mission – Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Abu Dhabi. Before that he was Head of the Commercial Department, Embassy of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, in Abu Dhabi so he has had a long history with the country.

His Excellency Dusan became Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the UAE in November 2014. In December 2015, he re-opened the Embassy in the UAE in the presence of Prime Minister of Slovakia. Prior to his current role, he was the Senior State Counsellor, Economic Diplomacy Department, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

For more International experience, His Excellency Dusan was also the Head of the Commercial Department, Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Canberra, Australia and served as Commissioner General for Slovak Republic Participation at EXPO Saragossa 2008 and Head of the Commercial Department, Embassy of the Slovak Republic in London.

Speaking of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Dusan commends the leadership of the country as an example for others globally in terms of progress and innovative strategies in the areas of architecture, healthcare, diversification of industries, clean energy and putting the country on the world stage via events like Expo 2020 while supporting regional stability and security.

On the unique aspects of his country, His Excellency Dusan mentions that the European geographical focal point is said to be in the centre of Slovakia, making it an important trade and cultural connection to other neighboring EU countries. In 2004, Slovakia became part of the EU and started using Euros in 2009, strengthening cooperation with member countries in different industries.

His Excellency Dusan believes the ties between UAE and Slovakia increased more after 2014 with direct flights between Bratislava and Dubai plus other nearby connections through Vienna international Airport.

Talking of milestones, His Excellency Dusan mentions the first time official visit by the Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Robert Fico to the UAE and the fact that H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai has visited Slovakia and cemented relationships further.

Slovakia is the world’s largest producer of cars per capita with manufacturing of more than one million cars per year in a country with 5 million people. Slovak engineering company AeroMobil is successfully developing a sophisticated flying car. Country is attracting Medical Tourism due to available natural hot springs and tradition of high quality spa treatment.

As an interconnected country, Slovakia is safe, hospitable and attracts investors in different industries. For the Expo 2020, Slovakia is preparing for a bigger presence for the country in the areas of aerospace, innovation and mobility. The country also boasts many attractions including monuments, chateaus, castles, museums and numerous festivals, fairs and cultural events to keep the visitors entertained.

On the personal front, His Excellency Dusan tells he loves his job and is also the Author of two monographies, “States of Arabian Peninsula” – issued in Bratislava 2001 and  “United Arab Emirates” – issued in Bratislava 1996.

He hopes to see more bilateral relations between the UAE and Slovakia. We wish him all the best in his career and hope to visit Slovakia to witness the beauty and charm of the country.

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