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  • Formal diplomatic relations were established between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, when Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan visited South Africa in 1994 for the inauguration of former South African President Nelson Mandela. 
  • The first UAE Ambassador arrived in South Africa on 12 November 1995; South Africa is represented in the UAE by an Embassy as well as a Consulate. 
  • The Embassy was opened in Abu Dhabi on 17 January 1995, while the Consulate was opened in Dubai in August 1999.
  • Relationships between the two countries are characterized by several high-level visits; both former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki visited the UAE as well as the current president of South Africa Jacob Zuma.
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