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The countdown begins for Expo 2020 in Dubai

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This becomes official with the imminent opening of Expo 2017 Astan

In its pursuit of human progress, the UAE has always participated in initiatives aimed at global economic development. Our country was hard-wired at its inception to forge partnerships beyond its borders; it was the legacy our founding fathers left for us.

Our commitment to fostering a range of international collaborations springs from that legacy, which values global citizenship as an integral part of nation building.

When it comes to positive economic and cultural impact, few global events can rival the International Expo. Expos bring together governments, the private sector, international organisations, civil society, and the general public. They set the scene for meaningful diplomatic encounters, business meetings and public dialogue.

They aim to shed light on the most pressing global issues. Most importantly, they can galvanise positive change, improve infrastructure, generate direct and indirect employment, and create a host of international investment opportunities.

As the world heads to the Kazakh capital for Expo 2017 Astana under the theme “Future Energy”, the Central Asian republic is poised to reaffirm its global role in sustainable energy, while expediting its development on multiple fronts. Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country to host the event since world expos began in 1851.

The Expo 2017 Astana will highlight technologies for sourcing energy from renewables — such as wind and solar power — a focus area that aligns with the UAE strategy for energy diversification. Exposure to new ideas

We have participated in Expos since the 1970s and benefited greatly from the people-to-people contacts, exposure to new ideas and opportunities that Expos bring. The UAE Pavilion at Expo 2017 Astana has been designed to illustrate the UAE lifestyle, traditions and values. It employs immersive technology to create an interactive experience that engages its visitors and explores the future of the energy sector.

It traces the history of the UAE’s energy leadership from its origins as a critical source of hydrocarbons to becoming a centre of gravity for all forms of energy, including renewables and nuclear power.

It showcases a wide range of projects in the UAE, including a variety of sustainable initiatives that address the challenges of meeting the world’s energy needs, particularly in developing countries.

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The opening of Expo 2017 Astana this month holds even greater significance for the UAE than previous editions, as it signals the beginning of the countdown to the highly anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai — the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa & South Asia, a region comprising over 3 billion people with a combined GDP of $6.5 trillion (Dh23.8 trillion).

We are building an Expo that we hope will be a springboard allowing all nations and individuals involved to progress, to flourish and to advance through exciting business ventures, innovative ideas and new partnerships.

We expect the Expo in 2020 to bring together participants from around the world, representing corporations, NGOs, academic institutions and multilateral organisations. It will be a platform for connecting the world in a unique setting to highlight achievements, share knowledge, attract investments, forge trade agreements, promote tourism, and encourage international cooperation.

Catalyst for real change

Expo 2020 Dubai will run for six months, from to October 20, 2020, but its impact will not be bound to this time frame. As a living expression of the unprecedented progress the UAE has made in just over 40 years, the Expo will be a catalyst for real and positive change. This is our objective.

Every possible element of Expo 2020 Dubai will speak to its theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. Energised by the success of the Expo in Astana, Dubai Expo 2020 looks forward to leaving a lasting impact. It will be a physical manifestation of the UAE’s principle of inclusivity and will build bridges with the world for decades into the future.

The writer is Minister of State & Chairman of the National Media Council.



Published: 17:31 June 4, 2017

By Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Special to Gulf News