Hundreds of delegates from across the globe have gathered in Dubai to hear about the plans and progress of Expo 2020 Dubai and to help shape the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
More than 500 representatives from almost 180 countries will attend the International Participants Meeting (IPM) today (19th October), which will be the largest gathering of potential Expo 2020 Dubai national participants to date.
The meeting brings together representatives of the countries that have already committed to participating in Expo 2020 and those that are still considering participation.
The meeting will include updates on site delivery and Expo legacy plans; how Expo 2020 will support the participant journey, including country pavilion design and delivery; marketing and communications plans; and panel sessions involving participant nations and Expo’s Premier Partners.
A number of the nations attending are expected to publicly announce their participation in Expo 2020, while many of those who have already confirmed will sign their official participation contracts after choosing their theme, budget and pavilion plot.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau Director-General, said: "The International Participants Meeting is an important step on the road to Expo 2020 Dubai for the countries, companies and organisations that are taking part."
More than 200 participants, including countries, multilateral organisations, corporations and educational institutions, are expected to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai.
The IPM is organised with the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos. It is held at regular intervals to update BIE member nations and other countries on progress and plans for Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as the benefits of participating. The inaugural meeting was held in 2016.
Those attending include ministers, commissioners general, ambassadors, country delegates, representatives of Expo 2020 Dubai partners, other business leaders, officials from the BIE and Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee members.
Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary-General of BIE, said: "Expo 2020 Dubai is already shaping up to be a significant World Expo and we are delighted that countries from across the globe will get a chance to learn about the considerable progress that is being made in all areas, including infrastructure, participation, partnerships and legacy.
"Excitement is globally as we await the first World Expo in MEASA. This exemplifies the importance of World Expos as a platform for sharing ideas and ingenuity."
Expo 2020 Dubai will be a celebration for all, which, through its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, will provide a platform to encourage creativity, innovation and collaboration. This is underpinned by three subthemes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
The Expo runs for six months from 20 October 2020 and is expected to attract 25 million visits, with 70 percent coming from outside of the UAE, an unprecedented proportion in the 166-year history of World Expos.