Five minutes with.. Expo 2020 Dubai VP of commercial Gillian Hamburger
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Five minutes with.. Expo 2020 Dubai VP of commercial Gillian Hamburger

Five minutes with.. Expo 2020 Dubai VP of commercial Gillian Hamburger

Gillian Hamburger explains how partnerships will help build Expo 2020


What is Expo 2020 Dubai’s partnership programme?

Expo 2020 Dubai’s partnership programme works to build commercial connections with leading global companies across a range of fields. Our partners will support the delivery and execution of the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia (MEASA) region; something that the UAE is very proud to be hosting.

We’re looking for partners in every sense of the word – a combination of companies large and small from all over the world and across diverse sectors – to help us plan, achieve and continue into legacy a World Expo that showcases human ingenuity and that explores how we can create a better future for all.

How will partners support the event?

Given the scale and complexity of World Expos, we know that it is going to take well over the 140 employees Expo 2020 Dubai has today to help us build the event we all envision.

In the physical sense, we’re turning to our partners to provide a wide range of cutting-edge products, goods and services to make Expo 2020 Dubai possible. As an example, think about the site’s transportation needs. A mobility system will help us move visitors around the site, so we’ll need to team up with an innovative automative partner to help us make this a reality.

We are also looking for global partners to help us spread the word and convey Expo’s message and vision so that our audience of millions not only understand that Expo is taking place, but more importantly, that they’re inspired by its mission.

Do partner companies typically make product announcements at World Expos

We’re challenging our partners to showcase memorable innovations and unveil new products. Given the significant global media presence at Expos, it’s a strong opportunity to make announcements, unveil new innovations, and showcase the best of their portfolios.

Past World Expos were the first time we used the telephone and the electric socket; they were the first time we ate cotton candy, or saw the Eiffel Tower. Our hope is that companies use this as an opportunity to continue that history and unveil the innovations that they’re most proud of so that 50 years from now, people will remember the milestone creations showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai and their enduring impact.

How do partnerships play a role in Expo’s commitment to leaving an economic legacy?

Expo 2020 Dubai is a six-month long event, but our vision is that our partner companies continue to have a strong presence on the site five, ten, 50 years after the gates close by building out their operations onsite, creating jobs, and ultimately helping to build a knowledge economy in the UAE.

Expo 2020 Dubai is projected to add over EUR17bn to the UAE economy and sustain over 250,000 jobs. The partnership programme will help build this economic legacy by spurring the development of the Dubai South area. Whether it’s a self-build pavilion or representation at a thematic district, partners can contribute to legacy by maintaining a presence in the Dubai South area, maintaining their R&D centres, innovation labs and training centres and continuing to drive investment in infrastructure and human capital.

What partnership opportunities are there onsite?

Collaborating with Expo will help brands grow their international reputation and increase their global marketing exposure. Through a series of exhibitions and dedicated pavilions, partners will engage directly with the millions of expected visitors and, in the process, expand their customer relationships, corporate social responsibility efforts, and international relations among the hundreds of participating countries. Partner companies will also have the opportunity to demonstrate their cutting-edge research, display their latest products, and showcase thought leadership and expertise in their respective sectors.

Because every partner has a different set of interests and strengths, we will work with each company to curate a bespoke marketing programme with specific rights and benefits. Our marketing team will also work directly with partners to co-develop global messaging campaigns to ensure we are reaching the widest audience possible and enhancing positioning as thought leaders in their respective sectors.

How many partners are you expecting to attract and what levels of partnership opportunities are available to companies exploring ways to collaborate with Expo 2020 Dubai?

Expo 2020 Dubai will attract more than 40 companies from a cross-section of industries – everything from aviation, technology, finance, logistics, telecommunications, travel and tourism. The programme offers three tiers of partnerships: Premier Partners, Official Partners and Official Providers. Each level has its own corresponding benefits, visibility level, and representation at the venue in Dubai South.

Top tier partners will be selected through the Premier Partnership Programme, which was launched in May of this year. Since its launch, Emirates Airline, Etisalat and DP World have committed their support. These three companies connect people and help conduct trade across the world, and are all examples of best-in-class UAE companies that have grown into globally renowned brands.

Beyond these three companies, Expo 2020 Dubai aims to partner with nine more Premier Partners. While the Premier Partnership level is capped at 12 participants, the other two tiers are open to all. This includes the Official Partnerships Programme, which is set to launch in 2017, and the Official Providers Programme, which will launch in 2018.

The Premier Partners will have access to exclusive rights and benefits with Expo 2020 Dubai, including the ability to use the Expo’s official logo, licensing and merchandising rights.They will also have the chance to get involved and be represented at Expo’s events, including the BusinessConnect and YouthConnect series, our International Planning Meetings attended by more than 130 participating countries, and many other milestone events leading up to 2020.

How are the three current partners supporting the event today?

We’re essentially building a small city from the ground up that requires everything from DEWA electricity to fibre lines, to ensure we’re one of the most connected sites on the planet.

Etisalat plays a critical role in building the infrastructure to provide the 30,000 daily visitors with an immersive digital experience and onsite Wi-Fi capabilities. The company is also exploring establishing a permanent presence onsite after the event, so the Dubai South area remains a hub of innovation and connectivity.

Emirates Airline will support Expo 2020 Dubai in attracting 70 per cent of all visitors whom are expected to travel internationally to visit the World Expo. In addition, the partnership with DP World will play a vital role in streamlining the logistics capabilities as our site is in close proximity to the Jebel Ali Port.

What types of firms is Expo 2020 Dubai looking to partner with?

We are partnering with companies that value innovation, believe in social purpose, and share the commitment to addressing global challenges in the areas of opportunity, mobility, and sustainability. In the spirit of collaboration, the programme targets a wide range of stakeholders, including multinationals, local companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. We are also working closely with a range of government entities that are critical to the success of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Imagine a city of 300,000 people, where more than 180 countries are represented, who need to be feed, moved, sheltered, and entertained, all while providing culturally enriched experiences and business engagement opportunities. That is what we are building. The construction phase, the event phase, and the legacy phase will all generate a range of needs, and we’re interested in talking to diverse companies and industries to support these phases. It’s everything from pavilion equipment to restaurants, autonomous vehicles and escalators, LED displays and the latest learning technologies, as well as security systems.


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