His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, affirmed the importance of the involvement of youth in the Expo 2020 journey.
Expo presents opportunities to inspire youth to be active contributors in shaping the future, His Highness said.
Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came during a visit to the site of Expo 2020. He was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. This is the latest of several of His Highness’s visits to the Expo 2020 site to review the progress of the project since the UAE won its bid to stage the event in 2013.
Also present was H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Higher Committee, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Sheikh Mohammed, who was visiting the Expo 2020 site a day after the UAE celebrated its 47th National Day, was briefed by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau about the progress of the Expo 2020 project and key initiatives including the Expo School Programme launched in 2016 to create initiatives and resources to enable school students to explore Expo 2020 and its global vision in an engaging way.
As the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region in the 167-year history of the event, Expo 2020 provides a unique opportunity to inspire the youth to own their future and contribute to shaping a glorious future for the nation. This is in line with the UAE’s vision of empowering youth and providing them with platforms for growth.
His Highness expressed his appreciation for the School Programme as it targets the new generation. He pointed out that building the future starts with developing the younger generation.
"The event is one of the largest global gatherings that bring together the world’s greatest minds to discuss how we can shape the future. The youth should play a key part in this mega event and get opportunities to observe, learn and contribute creative ideas so that they can develop innovative solutions for creating a better future for our region and the world," Sheikh Mohammed said. Expo 2020 Dubai plans to give every school student in the UAE a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to benefit from the event.
"Sheikh Zayed directed us that youth should be supported and motivated to participate in the process of nation building. Today, the youth represent a top priority for the UAE. This approach has enabled us to achieve a leading status among the developed nations of the world and made us a frontrunner in shaping the future," His Highness continued.
In October this year, the Expo School Programme launched the Expo 2020 Dubai Visitor Centre as part of its outreach programme, attracting students from both government and private schools across the UAE. The Centre provides an insight into the Expo and offers exciting workshops for students on the Expo themes.
The School Programme is supported by other Expo 2020 initiatives that aim to involve UAE youth including the Volunteer scheme, which has so far attracted around 25,000 expressions of interest. Expo 2020 has also launched internship and apprentice schemes, including a project that offers people of determination opportunities to work at the Expo.
Sheikh Mohammed’s visit took place in one of the anchor buildings on the site overlooking the iconic Al Wasl Plaza. The visit followed a momentous week for Expo 2020 Dubai during which it was confirmed that 190 nations will be participating in the event.
Sheikh Mohammed was given updates on the significant progress made by the Expo 2020 real estate and development team. Construction is well placed to be completed well before the event’s opening in 2020.
Eighty percent of the Expo-built structures on site will be retained as part of District 2020, an integrated community that will be a new destination in the city of Dubai. The new development is set to open in late 2021.
District 2020 has already attracted interest from leading global companies including Expo’s Premier Partners Accenture and Siemens, which will establish important bases there. District 2020 is part of the wider national development of Dubai South and will be linked by the Metro extension and connected by four major UAE highways.
It will also host an important new national business facility, the Dubai Exhibition Centre. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said, "The Expo will be a destination for all nations to share their collective visions of the future. Specifically for the UAE, it will be happening on the eve of the nation’s 50th Jubilee Anniversary when we will share with the world our vision for the future, our culture and the values we stand for as a nation. Led by our youth, we will celebrate with the world our progress."
Expo 2020 Dubai will be a celebration for all. Through its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the event will provide a platform for encouraging creativity, innovation and collaboration. This is underpinned by Expo’s three pillars seen as key to tackling humanity’s key challenges: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
Expo 2020 Dubai will open on 20th October 2020, in 686 days, and close six months later, on 10th April 2021. More than 200 participants, including nations, multilateral organisations, corporations and educational institutions, are expected to take part in the landmark event.