Ex Burnley student’s Abu Dhabi honour

A former Burnley student has received a high accolade from the Abu Dhabi government.

Jon Paul Simpson, a former student at St Theodore’s RC High School, has been awarded a certificate of appreciation from His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal family.

Jon Paul (32), a senior policy adviser to the Abu Dhabi government, received the award for his “outstanding contribution in winning Abu Dhabi the right to host the World Road Congress in 2019.”

The congress is the highlight event for the prestigious World Road Association, which was established in 1909 and has over 120 country members.

Clarets fan Jon Paul, who prepared the Emirates’ bid, was part of a 16-man Emirates’ delegation at a convention in Chile where they were chosen as the 2019 hosts.

For the congress more than 7,000 delegates from around the world will descend on the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

With flights and accommodation alone the event will contribute about £12m. to the emirates’ economy and enhances Abu Dhabi’s ability to attract the world’s most respected events.

Jon Paul’s mum Christine lives in Extwistle Square, Burnley, and his dad, Alan, deputy editor of the Lancashire Telegraph, in Smithyfield Avenue, Worsthorne.

Jon Paul, a Manchester University law graduate, said: “Being able to create new government frameworks, regulation and policy and help an emerging country succeed on a global level is really rewarding. Too often in Europe recommendations end up gathering dust but to see your work actually implemented is very exciting.”