Dubai’s Expo 2020 Higher Committee has presented an update on developments for hosting the event, as it marks the one-year anniversary of the UAE winning the bid.
Committee chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum officially led the UAE delegation to the General Assembly of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the governing body of the World Expo.
Sheikh Ahmed pledged that Expo 2020 Dubai would be an event for all, and serve as a decisive catalyst for positive change and for regional and global collaboration, a statement said.
“Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the Expo 2020 Dubai theme and its subthemes, Opportunity Mobility and Sustainability, will drive the content and provide the prism through which we can explore, connect and address local, regional and global challenges,” he said.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, vice-chairman of Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, formally presented an update on developments to the BIE’s 168 member states in Paris, including highlighting core deliverables required for the mandatory Registration Phase, a legally binding process for the ratification of Expo 2020 Dubai, expected to be completed in November 2015.
“Over the last 12 months, we have worked to lay a solid foundation to deliver all the necessary requirements for the Registration Phase as well as to put in place mechanisms to allow for the world-class delivery of this event, and its subsequent legacy taking us well beyond 2020,” he said.
Key initiatives in the last year include the formation of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee under the supervision of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in January and the establishment of the Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau to oversee the preparation and delivery of Expo 2020 in June.
UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimy was appointed as director general for the Bureau and the managing director of the Higher Committee.
Preparations have been made for the validation process of the Expo 2020 Dubai Registration Dossier, a mandatory requirement, and the development of the necessary implementation strategies.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau has been working with partners and stakeholders to develop advisory panels for its subthemes – mobility, opportunity and sustainability. It also is developing outreach programmes to create more opportunities for public and private sector entities.
“What is important, over the next six years, is that we create an environment that will stimulate demand generated across diverse sectors, directly and indirectly, and that we link this demand to the delivery, operation and service needs of the Expo,” said Al Shaibani.
“This demand will be a catalyst for growth for businesses across the wider region – from raw materials and manufacturing, to products and services providers.
“Similarly, we expect to actively seek to engage with the private sector and solicit their participation when we launch our procurement process – for companies of various scales from start-ups, to SMEs to multinationals.”
The development of hotel and attraction infrastructure and economic and social initiatives to accommodate the large number of visitors is also underway, he added.
During the General Assembly, Al Shaibani also presented key milestones for 2015 – both domestically and internationally around Expo Milan 2015, which runs from May to October.
Expo 2020 Dubai will begin a number of public initiatives in the country next year to build more awareness and also implement initiatives to support the development and progression of the theme, subthemes, and community engagement.
Youth involvement will also be a focus in 2015 with efforts to engage volunteers for Expo Milan 2015 expected to begin in Q1, the statement said.
Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau will also launch its commercial and partnership programme in 2015 – a global outreach effort to attract corporates, investors and entrepreneurs.
It will also begin tendering processes across a number of work streams next year, including the appointment for construction works at the Expo Dubai 2020 site in Jebel Ali.
In the second half of 2015, Expo 2020 Dubai’s focus will be its participation in Expo Milan 2015, after which the Higher Committee will await the approval of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Registration Dosser in November 2015 by the BIE General Assembly.
“The 2015 strategy will focus on completing the BIE Registration, harnessing the convening power of the World Expo and of the UAE to inspire global creativity and stimulate new partnerships and dialogue,” said Al Shaibani.
Dubai, which beat rivals Ekaterinburg, Izmir and Sao Paulo to win the Expo hosting rights in November last year, will hold the six-month event from October 2020 to April 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s golden jubilee celebration.
This will be the first time that the World Expo is staged in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.
The event, expected to attract 25 million visitors, is also estimated to add $24 billion to the UAE’s economy.