UAE promises 'a very special Expo 2020' in Dubai

The UAE is geared up to host a very special World Expo 2020 in Dubai, says Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State '&' Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020.

Speaking last night at a reception hosted here by the National Media Council to celebrate "UAE Day" at Expo 2012 Yeosu, Al Hashimy said: "we are very confident of our ability to host this major event. I just hope that we have the opportunity to do so and that we can welcome you to a very special Expo in Dubai in 2020." Present were Abdullah Khalfan Matar Al Rumaithi, UAE Ambassador to South Korea, Abdullah Al Aydarous, Deputy Commissioner of UAE Pavilion at Expo 2012 Yeosu, Lee Joon-hee Commissioner General of Expo 2012 Yeosu, officials, diplomats and members of Korean and international media.

Al Hashimy praised the unlimited support given by the UAE government to enable strong participation at Expo 2012 Yeosu.

"I am delighted to welcome you to join with us in celebrating "UAE Day" at this great Expo in the beautiful city of Yeosu. In doing so I am also pleased to recognize the strong support that our government has given to enable our participation in this Expo, together with a series of previous Expos over more than forty years, since before the State was even established. It is true to say that the UAE shares the values of trust, solidarity and progress that are embodied in the statutes of B.I.E. We are honoured to belong to the family of nations that have joined with us at this Expo." She added that UAE's participation in this event represented both a challenge and an opportunity.

"The challenge is to develop the guiding theme, 'Living Ocean and Coast' and to create a 'window' through which visitors can see our passion and interest in the seas and oceans that cover four-fifths of our planet," she explained.

"I wish to congratulate the organizers on selecting a theme that has such global resonance. Whilst we focus within our pavilion on our own section of the marine world - our coastline, shallow seas and bordering ocean, in all their aspects - we also recognise the connectivity that the sea creates between different continents, countries and cities. It is a very big picture and a huge challenge to do it justice.

"The opportunity to which I refer stems from what we can achieve by embracing B.I.E.'s own vision for the contribution that Expos should make on the world stage. The organization seeks to maintain the integrity and quality of Expos so that they educate the public and promote innovation in the service of human progress. The vision is that Expos must be able to not only provide a benchmark for the human progress made in a given domain but also propose a roadmap for the way forward." The wonderful aspect of this opportunity is that it is shared among all of the participating countries, providing genuine opportunities for exchange of experiences, views and knowledge in the pursuit of a grand project that is based on improved education and excellent communications. By working together in the fields covered by the Expo Theme, we not only take the opportunity to review what we have achieved, but also to consider where we are heading. And whilst doing this we reach out to all the other nations of the world, deepening

our understanding of key issues, developing closer friendships, she continued.

"And these are not just empty words. We truly believe in the power of Expos to create a better world. The UAE has a deep insight into the benefits of shared experiences, knowledge and skills. We have over two hundred nationalities living with us and we have no doubt that this has been one of the driving forces for our progress. Multicultural exchange has been a founding principle of the emirates since long before the country was formed in 1971. And just as we celebrate the mix of cultural diversity and innovation that has been our strength, so we understand how Expos can play a similar role, enabling different nations to contribute their respective knowledge in the battle to face the major challenges for humanity."

Al Hashimy said the UAE endorses and embraces Bureau International des Expositions - BIE's own vision for Expos that "foster education through experience, development through innovation and experimentation through cooperation".

"We are keen to make our own contribution to the analysis of key theme issues such as fisheries management, the blue economy, species conservation, environmental protection and reduction of marine pollution. These are all real issues that we cannot solve by ourselves, even within our own borders, but we can make a difference. I am pleased to say that the UAE Pavilion graphically portrays some of the important steps we have made in these various fields. We continue to learn from others and hope that we can also continue to play a significant role in creating a better world.

“We are confident that this Expo will make a major contribution to the achievement of its stated goals. I take the opportunity once again of congratulating all of you have participated in the event." "Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention that Dubai, one of the UAE's major cities, is a candidate city to host Expo 2020 and we are presently deeply involved in the planning for that prospect. With over sixty million visitors travelling through our six international airports each year, and with transport, social and economic infrastructures that are second to none, we are very confident of our ability to host this major event. I just hope that we have the opportunity to do so and that we can welcome you to a very special Expo in Dubai in 2020."

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the (BIE) Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales said Dubai has all what it takes to successfully host Expo 2020, including the modern and woeld-class infrastructure, as well as the unique and strategic location.

"We look forward to learning more about the UAE project, its vision and its bid campaign for hosting World Expo 2020 in Dubai. It is up to the 160 member states to select the host city for Expo 2020. There are two success factors here; the technical standards and the ability to convince the 160 voting state that the bid is worth voting for," he added.

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