A delegation representing the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the inter-governmental organisation based in Paris that is responsible for World Expo, arrived on Sunday in the UAE.
The delegation will conduct a four-day enquiry mission to assess the UAE's ability to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. This global gathering is expected to attract 25 million visitors.
The enquiry mission, led by Steen Christiansen, Chairman of the BIE Executive Committee, follows the UAE's recent submission of its official expo bid dossier. The delegation will use the bid dossier as a guide during its mission and discuss the vision behind the country's bid theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, along with expected financial costs, worldwide promotion of the event, expected visitor numbers and the long-term use of the proposed expo site, Dubai Trade Centre - Jebel Ali.
In addition to meeting the country's government and business leaders, the visit will include insights into the country's heritage, its commitment to education, the art and culture scene and visits to the UAE's landmarks.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, in his capacity as Chairman of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, said, "We are honoured to welcome the BIE enquiry mission to the UAE so they can see first hand the excitement, spirit and support for Expo 2020 exhibited by our multi-cultural nation. With great pride we look forward to the mission's discovery of our capabilities to not only host the event but to make it the best expo in the event's 150 year history."
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, said, "The enquiry mission represents a critical stage in our bid to host the World Expo 2020. We have worked diligently to develop a thorough and detailed plan so I am confident that we can portray our capability to host such a mega-event. I want to leave the delegates with an understanding that the UAE's bid is not just about us, it is about an expo for the world with an unprecedented 70 per cent of the expected visitors to come from outside the host nation. We want to deliver an unforgettable event that does justice to our theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future' with enduring benefits for future generations."
To welcome the delegation, stakeholders from across the UAE have been showing their support to bring the event to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (Menasa) region for the first time.
Symbolizing the year in which the UAE plans to welcome the world to Expo, at 20:20 every night during the mission, the Burj Al Arab hotel will be lit up with the bid logo. More than 3,000 school children from across Dubai also participated in a "walkathon" event on Sunday organised by Dubai Police to raise awareness of the country's bid to host World Expo 2020.
After the visit, the enquiry mission will prepare a report detailing their recommendation to all BIE member- states as to whether Dubai and the UAE would be a feasible host for the World Expo 2020. The report will be presented at the next BIE General Assembly in Paris in June 2013.
Dubai, UAE, is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 edition of this monumental global gathering. The winner will be announced in November 2013 following a vote by the 163 member nations of the BIE.