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UAE Ambassador Praises British Monarch ahead of Coronation; Kremlin: U.S. & Russia on Verge of "Open Armed Conflict"; Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Boost Tourism; B2B Solar Energy Transformation; UK Prepares for First Coronation in 70 Years. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired May 05, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour overseas guests arriving for a reception being held by King Charles III that receptions in

London and that is ahead of his coronation this weekend more on that coming up.

First, your headlines this hour Russia, rhetoric towards the United States over its war in Ukraine continues to escalate. Its Deputy Prime Minister

warning that an armed conflict is becoming more of a reality but qualified his statement by adding Moscow is working on making sure that that conflict

with Washington doesn't happen.

Meanwhile, on the frontlines, the Head of the Mercenary Wagner Group has threatened to pull his men from Bakhmut after releasing a graphic video

displaying dead bodies and asking Moscow from your more ammunition. Serbia is really off for a second mass shooting the fresh off the heels of another

at a school in Belgrade earlier this week. This time a 21-year-old killed eight after opening fire with an automatic weapon and fleeing the scene. He

has since been arrested following a massive overnight manhunt.

And later this hour where will Messi go next? I'll be asking the Saudi Tourism Authority's CEO what plans his country might have to bring the

footballing superstar there after already tempting his rival Cristiano Ronaldo more on that interview is coming up.

All Right, I come not to be served but to serve surrounded by pomp and pageantry, King Charles III will say those words just hours from now as

millions of people across Britain and around the world celebrate his coronation.

Saturday's service in Westminster Abbey will be deeply religious and behind the sacred music and holy oil you'll find centuries of ancient tradition.

Let's kick off this part of the show with CNN's Royal Correspondent Max Foster, who gives us a sense of what we can expect.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For more than thousand years, the coronation ceremony for English monarchs has remained largely

unchanged. King Charles will walk into Westminster Abbey in the footsteps of his ancestors, ancient symbols like the stone of scone.

See some Scotland by King Edward in the 13th century, and using coronations ever since brought to London for Saturday's event. The palace says he also

wants to reflect modern Britain and look to the future. The challenge will be how to do both during a cost of living crisis.

Charles will be crowned with the St. Edward's Crown the very same one placed upon previous monarchs. Crown Jewels will feature including

scepters, a golden orb and various sorts each with their own symbolism.

He'll wear robes that have been passed down through the generations, the anointing; the most sacred spiritual part of the service will be hidden

from view by a special screen. One of the only newly made pieces for the coronation, because Charles who's always been known for his environmental

campaigning has been keen to emphasize reuse.

He'll be welcomed to the Abbey first by a young chorister, to whom he'll say, I come not to be served, but to serve. Inclusivity is at the top of

his agenda. The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior member of the Church of England after the King.

JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: It looks rounded our society and seeks to reflect us as we are with joy and celebration.

FOSTER (voice over): For the first time people of multiple faiths will have a roll. Even the Pope has sent a gift fragments believed to be of

Jesus' Cross, which had been incorporated into this new one, which will lead the coronation procession symbols the new monarch hopes will be enough

to reflect his continued relevance in the modern world whilst honoring sacred tradition. Max Foster, CNN London.


ANDERSON: Well, we are live outside Westminster Abbey now with CNN's Anna Stewart. Max just explaining what we can expect from this cert ceremony on

Saturday, members of the royal family meantime have been out and about today and those gathered for these events these Royal events. They love a

bit of pomp and pageantry and a bit of a handshake from the Royal Family you didn't we say what have they been saying?


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lucky people who came out 24 hours early to get a good spot to watch the procession tomorrow actually got a much

better sight indeed, because King Charles and the Prince and Prince of Wales all came out of Buckingham Palace and shook hands with well wishes

spoke to quite a few people, actually, lots of drinks were shared.

And that's something we have seen from King Charles already actually following the death of his mother, you'll remember that he visited people

lying -- in the queue for the lying in state ceremony and he was surprising people there and shaking people's hands.

So a real personal touch a thing which people appreciate. It's a part of trying to include people we saw the prince and Prince of Wales yesterday at

the pub in Soho. They traveled there on the tube, I think including the public as much as possible in this event over this long weekend is

important to the Royal Family, not least because the ceremony as you saw there from Max's package is one that is very solemn, and it's quite


And of course, by its nature, it's elitist. It's the anointing and crowning of a King. So all the bits around it are very focused on making sure the

public feel engaged, Becky.

ANDERSON: As I understand it, if you are traveling on the tube this weekend, as it is called in the -- in London, you are likely to hear the

voice of King Charles and his wife, Camilla explain.

STEWART: I almost forgot. Of course, yes indeed. So we might not be seeing much of them in the morning as they prepare for their ceremony. But if you

are traveling on a train or a tube around the UK tomorrow, you will hear some familiar voices take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife and I wish you and your families, a wonderful coronation weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wherever you are traveling. We hope you have a safe and pleasant journey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And remember, please mind the gap.


STEWART: Please mind the gap. They have been incredibly busy. In addition to that surprise walk about there was a lunch at Buckingham Palace for

visiting Governor Generals and Prime Ministers from the Commonwealth.

There's also I'm told a glittering reception for Foreign Royals who are here for the ceremony and other heads of state tonight. So it's certainly a

busy social diary. I do hope that King Charles and Queen Camilla get some sleep because tomorrow is going to be a very long, very special day.

ANDERSON: I love that announcement by the two of them. If the Republicans ever get their way there is clearly a role two of them going forward and on

the underground or with the British Rail. Alright, thank you, Anna!

We are for these celebrations going to see several high profile attendees from this region where I am here in the Gulf and the wider Middle East

amongst them the UAE President's Brother Mansour Bin Zayed. Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly the King and Queen of Jordan, or perhaps

unsurprising given King Charles has for years fostered close relationships with leaders across the Middle East.

The new King and his Queen Consort, dipping their fingers at what is believed to be the baptismal site of Jesus Christ then add to the throne,

Charles's visit to Jordan and Egypt in 2021 was significant being the first overseas tour by a senior member of the Royal Family since before the start

of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The King's affection for Jordan like his mother's well established here, a 2015 meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II, a relationship that dates back

more than 20 years.


NASSER JURDEH, FORMER JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I have no doubt in my mind that this friendship between our two Royal Families between our

peoples will continue to flourish, prosper and get stronger by the day. Under his Majesty King Charles III whom we've had the pleasure of welcoming

in Jordan on numerous occasions he knows Jordan and he knows many friends in Jordan.


ANDERSON: Over the years he has undertaken hundreds of documented meetings with leaders from the region. The Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad

Al Khalifa Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Egypt's

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the list goes on.


DAVID ROBERT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR. KINGS COLLEGE LONDON: There are an awful lot of very senior relationships that have you know, a bit of history

to them, which I'm sure will help as it work going forward when it comes to re-establishing those relationships now that he is King I don't

particularly see you know all that much changing in the sense that the Middle East will continue I'm sure to be a key part of his portfolio.



ANDERSON: Hmm, well UAE's Ambassador to the UK Mansoor Abdullah Khalfan Juma Abulhoul has tweeted about the upcoming coronation and he writes I'm

privileged to be in London, celebrating the Royal Coronation with the UK and Commonwealth.

Like his Highness Mohamed bin Zayed in the UAE. King Charles is a monarch who is a visionary global leader, the UAE, UK bond is nurtured in these

historic relations and examples set by our royal families and a picture of the President of the UAE and the King there Mansour Abulhoul's Twitter


He joins us now. I'm delighted to say from London and we know King Charles has an affinity for the region having visited so all of the countries in

the region, I just wonder what you believe his reign will mean for ties going forward and whether much will change?

MANSOOR ABDULLAH KHALFAN JUMA ABULHOUL, UAE AMBASADOR TO UK: I think the UK Monarch is has this unifying force, you know, and it's one that's been

so important. The King His Majesty, the King has sort of built this up in his former capacity as the Prince of Wales. And this goes forward now.

And for us here to have our Vice President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed attending to reaffirm and renew those ties is as important as we go

forward. And I've in the four years I've been here, representing my country.

I've seen the relationship go from strength to strength. So it's really this moment for us, although it's sort of a historic momentous moment for

the UK is one for the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the world indeed.

ANDERSON: He's spoken about being a defender of all faiths, and about his keen interest in Islam. When you and I last spoke, we talked about this.

Have those topics come up in your conversations with him? And how important is that interest, that keen interest that he has in the Muslim world in the

Islamic faith? How important is that in fostering these ties?

ABULHOUL: For us in the Emirates so important, and his Majesty, the King, you know, interfaith relations have been one of his abiding passions. And

of course, the Emirates launched the Abraham Family House in February this year, an interfaith complex with a Synagogue Church and a Mosque.

A uniform platform that has programs you can worship go there for worship. But you know that's been a central pillar of our President's leadership and

the leadership of our founding fathers as well when I think of the visit of the Pope in 2019.

So I think these common linkages between His Majesty the King between our President between our leadership will be so important to fostering healthy

societies in both countries. So this is obviously a key pillar within the friendship within the relationship. And you know, I think it will go on

from strength to strength and it's an area where his Majesty has contributed so much work, too.

ANDERSON: I just wonder what the atmosphere is like, in London at present and what it means to be attending an event like this. I know I mean, you

obviously you live and work in London; you treat the city as your home Ambassador. For those who don't know, when the Ambassador first took the

appointment in the UK.

He actually cycled the entire country in the entire length and breadth of the British Isles. So he's not just a fan of London, but I mean, this is

clearly your home these days. Just describe the atmosphere, if you will, and what it means to you in the role that you have to be there this


ABULHOUL: It's such a great privilege Becky to be here you know, to be part of this ceremony to service the celebration. And of course United

Kingdom in this is such an important moment and I know that people will all be celebrating and rejoicing.

I just think of children you know and the streets of London children watching their TVs around the United Kingdom. This is such an important

moment for us. And on the cycling yes I must continue more of it I haven't done the whole one although maybe go around and tell people I haven't.

But I need to there's much more cycling I need to do to complete the rest of it. But this is a magical moment for the United Kingdom. The people will

feel it the Commonwealth will feel it you know so I think it's important that we celebrate alongside.

ANDERSON: Yes. I may have exaggerated somewhat but I was so impressed by what you did achieve when you first got there. That I'm just going to allow

myself some creative license with the fact their Ambassador.


Finally I do want to come back to where we started this conversation. In a -- for a post-Brexit, United Kingdom how important will it be to not just

foster or continue to look after these ties with the UAE and with other Gulf regions, but now outside of the EU?

How important are the things like the three trade agreements, the binding ties for both countries which will ensure that sort of bilateral trade as

it were, we'll go from strength to strength and what do you see the future for those ties?

ABULHOUL: So I see them going from strength to strength. But I must at this sort of juncture point out that the relationship is a deep

relationship. And although a very robust economic relationship in the United Arab Emirates stands as the United Kingdom's largest trading partner

in the region, it's much more than about economic ties.

It's much more than about investment. At the heart of it lies people connectivity, at the heart of it lies the royal connections, you know, and

that's what has really fostered this relationship and driven this relationship.

But of course, as a representative of the United Arab Emirates federal government, we will stand there to be fostering and deepening our bilateral

ties along trade and investment ties, but also in the innovation space, you know, in creativity in space.

These are all areas and particularly sustainable development. I mean, that is sort of the heart of the UAE's agenda, particularly this year with the

hosting of COP28. And, of course, His Majesty has been sort of what since inception has been ahead of us on these types of things.

So I see, you know, those rural linkages at the top being there, and that following through in the leadership cabinets governments so we really hope

that his Majesty are confident that his Majesty will have a big voice when it comes to COP28. You know, we need his unifying convene convening voice

to be heard there. He's done so much in that space as well.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you sir. Enjoy the weekend in London.

ABULHOUL: Thank you very much Becky.

ANDERSON: We will be cheering on the crowds from your ultimate home base and my base these days here in the UAE thank you sir.

Well, CNN will bring you live coverage of the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6th starting at 10 in London 5 am Eastern time 1 pm if

you are watching here in Abu Dhabi, we will be everywhere for you from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, and all along that mall with the

crowds. You will see it all here on CNN.

You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson live from our Middle East Broadcasting Headquarters here in Abu Dhabi. Still ahead, a

second mass shooting in Serbia in two days, what the Serbian President is vowing to do to confront the new surge of gun violence in his country? And

later this hour--


FAHD HAMIDADDIN, CEO, SAUDI TOURISM AUTHORITY: I can tell you that I actually met Messi and Antonella and the kids. They were blown away. I can

tell you Antonella were amazed.


ANDERSON: What we are learning about Football Superstar Lionel Messi's recent trip to Saudi Arabia, my interview with the CEO of the Saudi Tourism

Authority is just ahead, do stay with us.



ANDERSON: Police have arrested a suspect in a second mass shooting in Serbia in as many days. Well, authorities say a 21-year-old man killed at

least eight people and wounded more than a dozen others in a shooting rampage South of Belgrade.

Well, this happened just a day after police say a 13-year-old boy killed eight students and a security guard at a school in Belgrade. Scott McLean

is in Serbia for us with more on the police investigation and what was early in the hunt for the suspected case of mistaken identity.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the school shooting that we saw on Wednesday, the police response was fairly straightforward to go in and

arrest this boy who had already called police on himself.

In this case, it was a massive manhunt across a huge swath of this country involving some 600 heavily, heavily armed police and full tactical gear,

many wearing balaclavas driving vehicles that you might not immediately recognize as police vehicles, they look a lot more like they thought to

belong to the military.

And they were fanned out across the country we saw them searching in a line across or alongside a highway we saw the manning checkpoints and we saw

them in the towns and hamlets around where the shots were actually fired. They managed to apprehend this suspect, more than an hour away from where

those shots were initially fired.

And things were so tense initially, though, when this manhunt was going on. We actually met one man inside one of these villages, who in the early

hours, actually was arrested himself by police because they mistakenly believed he may have himself been the gunman. This is what he told us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, I'm feeling OK. Because it is over so we are on the one hand, I'm happy because it's over on the other hand I'm scared

about the situation.


MCLEAN (on camera): Yes, that man refused to come out of his house with his family until he had confirmation. He's actually shouting at me at the

road for confirmation that there had been an arrest made. I should also mention quickly, Becky that police did release new images of the actual

arrest itself.

It appears from the limited pictures that we have that went off without incident. What will be surprising, though, is that police found not only an

automatic weapon, but also for hand grenades in the house where they found the suspect Becky.

ANDERSON: All Russia and U.S. relations, "On the verge of an open armed conflict". Yes, according to Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, as reported

by the country's state media, the Sergei Ryabkov accused U.S. of being "A direct party to the Ukrainian conflict".

But he qualified what were these ominous comments saying that Moscow is working to make sure an armed conflict with Washington doesn't happen?

Let's find out what the U.S. is saying about this. CNN's Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon, what's been the U.S. response Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTOGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the sort of statement from Russia and from the Kremlin that fits into Russia's

narrative of the U.S. being part of the war in Ukraine, an accusation Russia has repeatedly made in fact, with that drone explosion we saw over

the Kremlin just several days ago.

It was the Kremlin saying that Russia that the U.S. dictated to Ukraine to carry out such an attack. So this fits into that narrative. More

importantly, we have seen statements like these hyperbolic statements about how bad relations are from Russia before.

In fact, several years ago, when I was reporting in Moscow, Russia came out and said that relations between the U.S. and Russia between Washington and

Moscow were the worst they've ever been. Clearly, we have seen them get far worse in the last several years, especially the last several months.

But it also fits into Russia's narrative that Russia is the one trying to uphold international law and justice throughout the world. And it's the

U.S. that's the one that's endangering this. So from Russia's perspective, this neatly fits into their narrative about how is Russia trying to uphold

the global order and the U.S. threatening it?

I haven't seen a response specifically to this from the U.S., but the U.S. likely to point out in response that it's Russia that invaded Ukraine and

Russia that's threatening the order the world order that's been sustained ever since pretty much the end of World War II.


So in this accusation from Russia that the U.S. and Russia are close to armed conflict, again, you see the narrative that Russia is trying to put

out there blaming the U.S. for the war in Ukraine, blaming the U.S. for being involved in and a direct party to that war, and Russia painting

itself as the one trying to fix the global order and fix the situation.

ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon for you, folks. Thank you. Well, we're also seeing signs of deepening cracks in Russia's war machine. The

head of what is the private military group Wagner issuing a stunning rebuke today a public rebuke against Vladimir Putin's military.

He posted a grim video showing the bodies of fighters who he says died because they are not getting the ammunition that they need to fight and

we've got to warn you, although this clip is blurred. Its content is disturbing.


YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, WAGNER GROUP CHIEF (through translator): These men here who died today are Wagner's PMC. Their blood is still fresh. Film all of



ANDERSON: Well, ahead of Wagner also drawing a line in the sand announcing that he will pull his forces out of Bakhmut in Ukraine next week. Now the

Ukrainian military is calling this a possible turning point in what is that brutal battle in Eastern Ukraine.

That battle of course has been raging for months producing heavy casualties with little progress for either side. Well, tensions over the war broke out

at a meeting of Black Sea nations earlier in Turkey. Have a look at this, Russian delegates tore down the Ukrainian flag and on the back of that

Ukrainian delegate punched him.

On social media the Ukrainian lawmaker wrote paws off our flag paws off Ukraine and well, some words. I'm not going to repeat here. Earlier

scuffles broke out when Ukrainians tried to shout over a Russian speaker.

Right you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. It is more than just makeup. Coming up, Saudi Arabia says it is spending more

than half a trillion dollars to boost its tourism as the country throws open its doors.

My interview with the Head of the Saudi Tourism Authority is coming up. The Middle East could be a powerhouse in renewable energy how? Well, we will

catch up with one company using an untapped resource more abundant here than almost anywhere else.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World with me Becky Anderson from our programming hub here in the Gulf. And in Abu Dhabi, the

time here is half past seven, the headlines for you this hour. London buzzing it's less than a day away from Crown and King Charles the third.

About 100 Heads of State are expected to be in attendance for his Saturday's ceremony.

The royal family is set to welcome their overseas guests tonight with a celebration and a reception in just a little while. Russia's Deputy Foreign

Minister says his country and the United States are on the verge of open armed conflict. Those comments reported on state media come after the

criminally accused Washington of orchestrating a drone attack on Moscow aimed at killing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. says that is ludicrous. Serbia's president is vowing to toughen his country's gun laws after a second mass shooting there in as many days.

Police arrested a 21-year-old suspect they say he killed eight people and wounded 13 others in a shooting spree south of Belgrade. Well, the day

before police say a 13-year-old boy killed eight students and a security guard at a school in the Serbian capital.

Saudi Arabia is rowing open its doors and spending big to promote itself as a travel destination. The Kingdom says it's now the biggest investor in

tourism in the world, allocating a whopping $550 billion for projects and destinations through 2030.

Well, the images that you are seeing here are from Diriyah, an historical site that was the original home of the Saudi royal family. And it is just

one of a number of wonders in the Arab country, which has in recent years opened its doors to more and more tourists.

They are visiting places like Al Ula, an ancient stone city, often compared to Petra in neighboring Jordan. Then there's the Red Sea coastline, the

religious sites of Medina and Mecca and the metropolis of Riyadh, all now attracting millions of visitors every year. One of those visitors last

weekend was football star Lionel Messi who went to the kingdom with his family.

But that trip wasn't without controversy, and it is fueling rumors that he may be looking to play there for a Saudi clobber. Source says Messi didn't

have permission to travel from his current team Paris Saint-Germain, and that is why he has been suspended. Reuters cites of source saying Saudi

team Al Hilal has already made him an offer.

Well, Messi, of course, is a Tourism Ambassador for Saudi Arabia. He's got a commercial deal to promote the country. I asked the Head of the Saudi

Tourism Authority. What do you thought about Messi's visit, his suspension? We talked to the Arab Travel Market in Dubai earlier this week. Have a


HAMIDADDIN: I can't speak to that. But I can tell you that I actually met Messi and Antonella and the kids, when receiving them in the area, they

were blown away. I can tell you Antonella was amazed by not just about the beauty and the charm of this historical site, or what they did in the farm.

It was about the people and women of Saudi.

She was telling me that it's very, very different from what she thought and I'm expecting her to come again. And we'd be more than happy to welcome not

just her family, but all families around the world.

ANDERSON: Is Lionel Messi and his family a prospect, a long term full time prospect for Saudi Arabia at this point? I know you're not the Sports

Minister. I know you're not involved in contract negotiation.

HAMIDADDIN: I really don't. I genuinely don't know.

ANDERSON: Did you like to see?

HAMIDADDIN: I'd like to see you in Saudi. I truly do.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about the growth post pandemic. The tourism growth has been all a significant clip. In your words, at the speed of light, you

had 93.5 million domestic and international visitors in 2021. You are targeting 100 million visitors annually by 2030.

The kingdom is the largest investor in tourism and has allocated some $550 billion to major projects and new destinations. So let's talk about where

that money is targeted. What's the strategy?

HAMIDADDIN: The strategy is do what is right for tourism. Do what's right for tourists. But to remember that you start with your residents and your

domestic tourism.


Because what we've learned from other countries around the world and was cemented by the drop in the sector during COVID is that you need to start

domestic. If businesses see your market sustainable and resilient, it means you have a domestic market attention that kept that business going. And

that's where that usually companies look for destinations that are safe, with local demand. Then doing what is right, doing what is authentic for


ANDERSON: Diriyah is open. Al-Ula is open. The Red Sea development project is set to open a massive Giga project much talked about over the past

couple of years. How do you leverage these projects to ensure the growth you were looking for?

HAMIDADDIN: In all honesty, I would like to take the credit for tourism. But Saudi at large is going through transformation like no other across all

sectors, even us as Saudis. See, I'm a father of two girls. What the opportunities my two little girls have today are hundreds of years versus

what they could have had just five years back before vision was announced.

So this transformation is being leveraged across all economic drivers. But going back to tourism, tourism is expected to be the new oil. So when the

world came to Saudi 19- 20s for oil, we're seeing them coming 20-20s for tourism.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about oil just for a moment because as you say tourism is the new oil. The Director for the IMF Jihad Azour says that he

expects the oil sector to slow down in 2023 following the recent OPEC cuts. And we've already seen a drop in the price this week. What's the impact on

investment in the tourism sector going forward of a lower or less stable oil price?

HAMIDADDIN: Honestly, this may be relevant to mature saturated destinations. But for us the pace of growth, I think I will look at the

great opportunity and lower price. It will have easier, lower costs for airlines and will get more people into Saudi, greater demand greater

appetite for investment.

ANDERSON: How are you positioning Saudi Arabia as compared to other significant tourism centers? And I think of where we are here, Dubai, for

example, a lot more mature as a market.

HAMIDADDIN: We are the birthplace of the Arabian language. We're the largest land in Arabia. We are the true home of Arabia where the house of

the great Arabian dunes, we have largest coasts on the great Arabian Red Sea. So we're positioning it by being Arabia that stretches from the

ancient meeting point of trade routes, where you see cultural civilizations like Al Ula, to modern and vibrant modern Arabia in Riyadh and the future

of Arabia that you see in nuance.

ANDERSON: And Saudi Arabia, of course, the custodian of the two most Holy Mosques in the Islamic world, religious tourism. Where do you see the

growth and how significant a pillar within the wider tourism story, does -- play?

HAMIDADDIN: You see Saudi has always been the land of the most profound journey for Muslim travelers with 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. And

the offering was quite limited. There were a lot of controls. Now it's easier than ever to, to arrive to come to Saudi. This year, I mean, in the

first quarter, we received 4.1 million -- travelers. Our target, our stretch target was three. So it's phenomenon.

ANDERSON: How about Mecca being available to a non-Muslim traveler, is that a vision?

HAMIDADDIN: I'll tell you, Medina, it was a vision and today it is open for non-Muslims. If you look at how many people are queuing for years to go

to Mecca and Medina, you would understand that capacity has to be managed for priority.

There is so much demand that we have to serve as custodians, the Muslim world first. And then in Medina, we had experiences out of haram that

welcomes curious spiritual and religious and cultural inquisitive travelers to come and visit. And it's already a reality today.


ANDERSON: The world does face economic and political headwinds at present tightening of monetary policy financial sector instability at present. How

concerned are you in the tourism authority about those geo political and economic headwinds at present?

HAMIDADDIN: The growth expected and witnessed in the sector goes far beyond the effects that could be assumed by the economic slowdown. I think

there is so much that so much growth expected across the world, let alone in a new destination like Saudi.

ANDERSON: The CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, speaking to me at the Arabian travel market yesterday. Well, coming up on the show, why the

Middle East's massive solar energy potential remains untapped. But let's speak to a company that is working to change that one business at a time.


ANDERSON: Right, the race towards a more sustainable future pass to pick up its pace. That is according to the COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber who

earlier this week said that delivery in renewable sectors must triple by 2030 and double again by 2040, while the Middle East is well positioned to

play a big role in that mission literally.

Six out of the top 10 countries in the world for solar potential are here in this region of the Middle East. And investment in the sector is ramping

up. Countries like Saudi Arabia launched five solar projects in September of last year. Meanwhile, the Emirates, the Emirates water and electricity

company announced in March the aim of increasing solar power generation by 600 percent before 2030.

But as significant as the government investment in renewable energy is, what role does the private sector play? Everyone knows it is it's no secret

at this point that the public sector will need support from the private sector if we're going to get this energy transition energy diversification

story, the climate crisis story nailed.

Yellow Door Energy is a UAE based company working towards the sustainable transformation of businesses through solar energy. It says its workers

avoided over 250,000 tons of carbon emissions as of December last year. Well last month, its CEO Rory McCarthy signed a deal with developer Majid

al Futtaim. That's a group of shopping malls across the UAE, Oman and Bahrain to bring solar energy to 18 of those facilities.


Rory joins me now live on -- 250,000 tons of carbon emissions, that means very little, probably to many of our viewers out there. So let's just talk

about the significance of what you've been able to achieve as one company and why that is significant in the work that you were doing at present?

RORY MCCARTHY, COO, YELLOW DOOR ENERGY: That's a really good question. So if we look at the investment in renewable energy globally, what's actually

shifting, as you mentioned about business and measured over time as a great lead into that? Sustainable agendas are part of normal business life now,

34 percent of the largest businesses in the world all have sustainable agendas now.

They're conscious that every bit of the carbon footprint reduction counts. But also you can have a sustainable energy agenda, and still save money and

control your overheads in the future. There's a huge belief in distributed energy, which is changing the way that we look at energy, how its

distributed, how your account for it, but how it can drive a positive climate change by using renewable sources. And the UAE has led that.

ANDERSON: Where do you see the trajectory of private investment into the renewable energy sector in this region?

MCCARTHY: So globally, last year, for the first time, there were 51 gigawatts of clean energy coming from corporate investment globally. That

was 60 percent up on the previous year, and 2021. So they're changing literally, a few 100 kilowatts at a time a megawatt or two at a time.

But if you do a comparative point, the UAE has about 43.5 gigawatts in terms of its capacity that it actually has that it can produce. Last year,

51 gigawatts went to a whole bunch of companies globally 200 kilowatts here, one megawatt here. So it's more than a lot of countries.

ANDERSON: It's a sort of the sum of the parts, right, I mean, once you start putting it all together. Off the top five solar producing countries

in 2021, forming over 65 percent of all solar power that year, three were not in the top 100 most suitable solar locations. And I think that will

really surprise our viewers. None were in the Middle East. What's the region missing in its solar potential?

MCCARTHY: That's an interesting question. So people often ask me, oh, you live in the Middle East, it's very hot, that must be great for solar

energy. Actually, it's not always because we have a lot of dust in our atmosphere, which affects the amount of the quality of the UV.

Every time it gets very, very hot, it's not necessarily good for generating radiation for generating UV light that allows energy to be generated

through the solar process. So you can have a very cold day and Sweden at seven degrees, but have beautiful, clear UV light and have a better yield.

ANDERSON: Your work spans across the region. And I'm sure you've seen how climate change can affect this region in really, really swinging ways. What

role do you see solar power playing in energy equality across countries such as Iraq, for example? You'll have got a real sense of this region,

Iraq holds record high temperatures, and yet suffers from power outages on a daily basis.

MCCARTHY: So with a rack, companies like Yellow Door companies like what we do, can really help Iraq, it really helped the private sector, what they

require is distributed energy. We use historically, a form of power generation that was designed over 100 years ago, where you have one

centralized utility, supplying over a large area, that doesn't work when there's a situation of war, or conflict.

So if you have distributed energy across multiple points across a geographical area, it contributes towards energy security, as well as

providing a more reliable and more stable grid.

ANDERSON: What's the forecast for your business? What's the outlook?

MCCARTHY: What we want to do is we want to become the leader in the region for Sustainable Energy choice for corporate and industrial businesses.

What's interesting is we're across the region in several countries across the GCC. We recently opened an office in South Africa.

We're keeping a close eye on what the potential is in Turkey and one or two other countries in the region as well. We want to provide solutions that

will help businesses control their overhead, hit these sustainable goals for both these stakeholders, employees, and help the planet sort of clean

itself up and become a better place.

ANDERSON: We have for a long time seen a great sort of nod and a wink to ESG haven't we. But I mean, those are -- it feels like we weren't that sort

of point at which people are actually now growing into their ESG skin and saying this is, this can actually be good for business, which of course, if

that's the case is good for your business, too. It's good to have you on, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

MCCARTHY: Thank you very much, I much appreciate it.

ANDERSON: Still ahead, the royal family the British Royal Family will soon be welcoming their guests from afar. We are looking ahead to today's

reception in London, when we come back.



ANDERSON: Well the countdown has begun to the crowning of King Charles, the third. His Majesty the King along with other working members of the

royal family will be welcoming their overseas guests today with a reception approximately 100 Heads of State are expected to be in attendance, they

should be starting to arrive relatively shortly.

Well CNN's Salma Abdelaziz isn't invited, but she does join us from Central London with an eye on all the action. And as those guests, those Royals,

mostly or mainly are thought to arrive leaders of course, as well over 100 countries get set to spend the evening together. What's the atmosphere like

where you are ahead of this event? Where are you?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm on The Mall actually, Becky. As you mentioned, those guests are steadily streaming along The Mall and they

are walking past this tent city. Essentially, you can see people have set up these tents. They decorated them with little fat cards or British flags

or whatever it may be. This gentleman right here is quite literally painting the scene.

As you can see, there's a real jovial festival like atmosphere here. Some people have been camped out for days. And one of them is someone I want to

introduce you to, Eunice you've been camped out here since Tuesday? Why?

EUNICE, CAMPING ALONG PARADE ROUTE SINCE TUESDAY: Well, you can see by the buzz from everyone around, the atmosphere is slowly built during the last

three days or three days, nearly four nights. And we had the live rehearsal Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, in the middle of the night, fabulous. And

then this morning, the best of all, we had the opportunity to shake our new Sovereign's hands.

ABDELAZIZ: For you are there for the walk about, you got to shake his hand. Tell me about that.

EUNICE: That hand is not going to be watched for a long time. No, he's absolutely marvelous. He's sincere. He's friendly. And you seem to be the

most important thing at that moment.

ABDELAZIZ: And tomorrow is the big, big day of course. What does it mean to you?

EUNICE: A great day, because at my time of life, I'm not going to see anything like that again. And I was a young girl when our queen was

crowned. But we didn't have a television at home. And we just saw things in the newspaper and on the films, but to actually have the opportunity to be

right here to get the feeling of it all is absolutely--

ABDELAZIZ: Extraordinary. Thank you so much Eunice. I wish you luck with that once in a lifetime moment. And that sentiment really Becky is echoed

all down this Mall, people just wanting to be a part of that special day.

ANDERSON: Salma, enjoy the festivities. I hope the weather halts, the forecast isn't brilliant. I'm so pleased, so many of those on the mall have

brought their tents. Thank you. CNN will bring you a special live coverage of The Coronation of King Charles, the third on Saturday May the sixth

starting at 10 a.m. in London, that's 5 a.m. Eastern time.


If you're watching here in Abu Dhabi, that is 1p.m. in the afternoon and I have to say, I know a lot of people who will be watching here in Abu Dhabi,

we're going to be everywhere for you on CNN, from Buckingham Palace, to Westminster Abbey and all along the mile with the crowd, so all of that on

CNN at the time shown on your screens.

Well, for tonight's parting shots, the sounds of pure joy. These are the scenes from Napoli. Last night after the city's football team clinched the

Italy and Syria are titled breaking what has been a 33 year dry spell since that last league victory. And to give you an idea of just how long ago that

was their last Italian title, when was with the late football legend Diego Maradona.

The team were crowned victors after a 1-1 draw against Udinese and saw 11,000 supporters rock the stands and many more on the city streets

celebrating back home. Good for them. If you're a football fan, you will know what they have been through. CNN continues after this short break.

We'll see you same time, same place on Monday.