The National Media Council, NMC, organised symbolic celebrations to mark the UAE’s National Day at Expo 2017 Astana, which concludes on Sunday, September 10, 2017, in the Kazakh capital.
A long-standing tradition at world expos, the "symbolic national day" allows participating countries to showcase their culture, heritage and traditions to the international audience. The festivities included a broad range of exciting cultural and artistic performances that reflect the UAE’s rich and deep-rooted heritage, including a performance by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development’s UAE National Band for Folklore Arts, as well as a flag parade to the UAE Pavilion and engaging displays of traditional henna and Arabic calligraphy, with popular Emirati dishes to sample.
The UAE’s National Day celebrations were attended by Timur Toktabayev, Vice-Minister of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Dr Mohammad Ahmed bin Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan; Mansour Al Mansouri, NMC’s Director-General; and Salem Al Amri, Commissioner General of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2017 Astana; along with a number of distinguished VIP guests including the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan and Morocco.
Mansour Al Mansouri said that the UAE’s participation in Expo 2017 under the theme of ‘Future Energy’ was a great success. He thanked the Republic of Kazakhstan for its outstanding success in hosting the event and commended the country’s warm hospitality and ongoing support. "The expo allowed us to shed light on our international efforts and accomplishments in renewable energy, including projects and initiatives integral to our leadership’s holistic development vision, which focuses on investing in its people," he added.
As the government entity in charge of representing the UAE in all large-scale international events, the NMC was responsible for handling all aspects of the country’s participation in Expo 2017 Astana, which included designing and constructing the pavilion, and taking on all organizational, logistical, and coordination responsibilities.
The NMC Director-General thanked the UAE Embassy in Kazakhstan for its ongoing support and extended his thanks to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Masdar for sponsoring the pavilion, in addition to other government entities, such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation and the General Secretariat of the Executive Council and Takatof.
In addition to the UAE’s National Day celebration, the Expo also saw the "Emirati-Kazakh Friendship Days" kick off last Monday, whereby a series of colourful performances and traditional dances are slated to take place across all areas of the Kazakh capital Astana. The "Friendship Days" are scheduled to continue until the end of the Expo on September 10.
The UAE’s participation at Expo 2017 Astana holds greater significance for the UAE than previous editions, Al Mansouri went on to say, as it signals the beginning of the countdown to the highly-anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai. As the first expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, he underscored, the 2020 event is not only a source of pride for all Emiratis and expats in the UAE, but a testament to the country’s achievements and aspirations to build a more innovative, vibrant and prosperous future.
The UAE’s pavilion was manned entirely by volunteers from the Emirates Foundation’s "Takatof" programme. Al Mansouri commended the Emirati youth, describing them as the true source of the UAE’s wealth. "This reflects the NMC’s efforts to strengthen community engagement and volunteer work," he noted, "which, in turn, resonates with the ‘Year of Giving 2017’ initiative launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan."
"The Astana event helps sharpen and develop volunteers’ skillsets ahead of the highly-anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai in three years, which is expected to draw nearly 30,000 volunteers from various nationalities and cultures."
The UAE’s pavilion drew more than half a million visitors with its interactive futuristic appeal. The displays showcased high-tech solutions and forward-thinking ideas in highly engaging and appealing installations, which offered visitors insight into the UAE’s pioneering achievements in the global energy arena.
The UAE’s pavilion achieved an impressive 91 percent visitor satisfaction rate, based on the pavilion’s content and overall guest experience, which reflects the UAE’s efforts and initiatives in the field of renewable energy. The high visitor satisfaction rate is a testament to the notable degree of organisation and attention to detail at the UAE pavilion.