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One year ahead of the opening of Expo 2020, UAE is ready to host millions of visitors to build the future

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DUBAI, 30th September 2020 (WAM) – With one year to go to the mega-event, the UAE is ready to host the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. UAE federal government and local organisations are ready to receive more than 190 countries, and are waiting to welcome millions of visitors to a site that combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge technologies – a meeting point for "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".
With 365 days until Expo 2020 Dubai opens its doors to the world, Dubai is ready to bring the world together and the excitement is building.
In October next year, the UAE will welcome the world to a global mega-event that aims to reconnect people, cultures and society following the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring a spectacular calendar of daily events and programming, a rich variety of global cuisine, and a once-in-a-lifetime showcase of arts, architecture, entertainment, culture and technology, Expo 2020 will pay tribute to the resilience of humanity, its ability to innovate, and its pursuit of optimism in the face of adversity.
Progress at Expo 2020 has continued at pace. More than 210 million work hours have been completed on the site and all permanent Expo-led construction is complete. Fit-out, landscaping, and construction of Country Pavilions will conclude at the end of the year.
Reviewing progress and preparations toward the major international event, leaders of Dubai and the UAE’s public and private sectors have confirmed the UAE’s and Dubai’s readiness to hosting this mega event and its visitors from all around the world.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: "In just one year’s time, as the UAE celebrate its Golden Jubilee and we look ahead to the next 50 years of our nation, we will be bringing the world together for an unparalleled World Expo, anchored in the values of solidarity, cooperation and creativity.
These values have been the pillars of our successful economic model, which has never stopped adapting to world changes during the past few decades. Expo 2020 Dubai will be a major milestone in our development journey and will be followed by similarly ambitious projects.
"We have adopted cooperation and collaboration as our ethos in our work with International Participants, local and federal UAE government organisations, Official Partners and all categories of the UAE community.
"We are ready to welcome the world for an exceptional event, and we plan to leave a meaningful legacy in the form of the positive impact our World Expo will have on the lives, minds and hearts of millions all over the globe."
Since work began on the Expo 2020 project, collaboration among teams across the UAE, and between the UAE and participating countries, has been key to delivering an event that befits the UAE and the ambitions of its leadership. It has also been instrumental in guaranteeing that each country’s participation reflects its visions and aspirations.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "The countdown has begun to an exceptional Expo. It is the intention of the UAE’s leadership to host an event befitting the achievements and ambitions of our nation, which will celebrate its Golden Jubilee, with the world, next year.
"Expo 2020 Dubai will stand testament to the fact that great results can be achieved when we collaborate on ambitious goals. During the event, we will demonstrate how our nation values tolerance and how it has become a pillar of our society. Tolerance gives rise to cooperation, a value instilled in us across generations. And at Expo 2020, we aim to share with the world how tolerance and cooperation form the foundation with which our nation has advanced and developed."
"The world is going through a difficult period. But here in the UAE, our history and our leadership have taught us that progress need not be halted because of obstacles in its way. This is our message and our vision for the future of humanity that we aim to share, not by words alone, but by opening our doors to the world during Expo 2020. By sharing innovation, creativity, and ideas for the good of all of humanity, Expo 2020 will be a vital moment for our region and the world."
Expo 2020 will be one of the first global, large-scale events to be held post COVID-19. It will celebrate humanity’s resilience and achievements, and its ability to innovate for a better future. More than 190 countries, plus companies, international organisations and educational institutions, will participate in the six-month event that will shed the light on the biggest challenges facing our world, and inspire a collective movement towards building a better future for all of us.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director General of His Highness The Ruler’s Court and Vice Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: "The directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and his continuous follow-up during all phases of this great national project were key drivers in inspiring the completion of preparations a year before the opening date of Expo 2020 Dubai.
"Dubai and the UAE are eagerly awaiting this global event, which will reiterate Dubai’s position as a global hub for entrepreneurship and ambition. The Expo platform will provide opportunities for everyone to explore new horizons and establish new partnerships that respond to the needs of the 21st century. The participation of more than 190 countries and the presence of organisations from around the world is a confirmation of Dubai’s effective role globally. Today, while we start our countdown of one year to go until Expo opens its doors, we tell the world that Dubai and the UAE are ready to welcome and receive you in October 2021."
As a national event, being held in the year that the country celebrates its Golden jubilee, Dubai and the UAE’s federal, local and private entities have come together to collaborate on delivering this milestone event. This includes agreements with Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, and the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority on wide-ranging initiatives to drive visitation from key international source markets.
Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Member of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: "Working with more than 190 participating countries, we have taken huge steps on our way towards hosting the world in the UAE at Expo 2020, working together to support innovation and showcase mankind’s achievements. It will provide an outstanding platform for the UAE to reflect the ambitions of its leadership in enhancing international cooperation.
"We are working hard to help Expo 2020 Dubai foster innovation through its partnerships, partners and participants, to serve humanity’s ambitions, help achieve sustainable development and establish partnerships that will continue beyond 2022, in the region and across the whole world."
Expo 2020 Dubai will focus on finding solutions for challenges through innovation, technology and cooperation – sharing and inspiring ideas and driving human progress in all fields.
And with the world on the edge of unprecedented transformation owing to the fourth industrial revolution, Expo 2020 will shed a strong light on the promise of innovation and technology in solving the world’s most pressing challenges. In addition to site-wide 5G connectivity provided by Premier Partner Etisalat, robotics across the site, as well as other next generation marvels for visitors to experience, Expo will highlight how innovators backed by its global innovation and impact grant programme, Expo Live, and novel ideas selected for the Global Best Practice Programme, are coming to the aid of millions in marginalised communities around the world.
Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Member of the Expo Dubai Higher Committee, added: "As we begin the countdown towards the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai taking place on October 1 2021, I am confident that it will have a tangible and lasting impact on participating countries from around the world across multiple areas, including industry, commerce, culture, tourism and more.
"At a time when the world needs to unite as never before, the UAE looks forward to bringing together people of all cultures, creeds and religions, by connecting minds in order to create a better future for all. Thanks to our leadership's sound vision, there is no doubt that Expo will play a strategic role as a critical convening platform for empowering joint action for a new global vision of the post-Covid-19 era, with a focus on leveraging the innovations and technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; building a brighter, economically and socially sustainable future for this generation and generations to come."
Expo will also strengthen the position of Dubai and UAE on the global tourism map. To support this objective, Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) was built on the Expo 2020 site at the heart of Dubai South, providing an excellent space for conferences and exhibitions that will drive the business services sector and attract visitors from the UAE and abroad, contributing to a sustainable diverse economy.
Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South, said: "Our wise leadership looks upon Expo 2020 as a platform to consolidate Dubai’s position as one of the world’s most preferred destinations across multiple fields. We are, therefore, joining forces with a number of its institutions to present an exceptional version that would reflect our pride. Dubai South has worked to embody these visions and strategies by providing an inspiring experience for individuals and the business community that are based within it, enhancing the productivity, prosperity of all.
"We are confident that the event will play a prominent role in achieving our ambitions of highlighting the attractiveness of the Emirate as a promising destination for foreign direct investment. This will positively reflect upon all our key sectors that are being developed, including real estate, logistics and aviation. Expo 2020 will highlight the success of our vision being realised thanks to our strategic location in proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport, our reliance on our promising human potential, our stimulating of creativity and innovation, and our fulfilment of its slogan ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future."
With the aim of moving millions of visitors to and from the site in an accessible, safe and smooth manner, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has built an advanced transport infrastructure, adding Route 2020, capable of transporting 46,000 people every hour to and from the Expo site, to the Dubai Metro Red Line, and developing a vast road network.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) said: "RTA has completed construction on the majority of the roads and transport projects within the integrated plan in order for Dubai to host Expo 2020. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai inaugurated Route 2020, the extension of the Dubai Metro red line from the Jebel Ali station to the Expo 2020 site.
"The route spans a length of 15 kilometers at a cost of more than AED 11 billion. Additionally, in the first quarter of 2020, RTA completed all phases of roads project leading to the Expo site project, costing more than AED 3 billion. The project works included the interchange of Expo Road; the interchange of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road with the Expo Road; the entrances to the Expo 2020 site from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road; the interchange of Expo Road with Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road; the interchange of Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road in the Dubai Investment Park with Al Yalayis Street; the interchange of Emirates Road with Expo Road; as well as the completion of the Airport Road development project to accommodate the anticipated increase in passengers that will use Dubai International Airport.
"RTA is currently developing 14 stations and bus stops that will serve Expo 2020, and will allocate buses to transport passengers from specific stations in Dubai and the rest of the Emirates. In Dubai, stations will offer a service every 15 minutes during peak hours. The buses designated to transport Expo visitors adhere to the European specifications for low carbon emissions (Euro 6), feature interactive touch screens that display live information about the bus journey, offer comfortable seats, and have high safety standards with seat belts that are adjustable for all ages in the family area."
Many government bodies have a major role in the preparation for a successful Expo that reflects the UAE’s vision. For example, DEWA will provide Expo with clean energy from the new Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest solar energy park in the world. DEWA will also build three substations and a number of charging stations for electric vehicles.
Dubai Municipality has also helped develop Expo’s infrastructure and to enhance the visitor experience by developing nurseries and providing trees.
Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality and Member of the Expo Dubai Higher Committee said: "With preparations under way on a faster pace toward Expo 2020, various establishments in the country are joining forces to make this huge event a success, to announce their full readiness by completing their qualitative projects to receive this global event.
"Dubai Municipality has implemented irrigation and agriculture projects on the roads leading to and surrounding the Expo on a site of 2.45 square kilometres. The total number of plants supplied by the Municipality to the Expo site is 613,389. Dubai Municipality is also working on implementing a number of strategic projects to meet the future needs of the Emirate of Dubai in preparation for hosting the event, the most important of which is the Deep Tunnel Project, a first of its kind in the region, which covers large areas of the emirate, including the Al Maktoum Airport area and the Expo 2020 area. We are also working on everything related to the logistical matters to host this great event, so that Dubai becomes the meeting place of the world, which is welcomed on the land of future and the boundless achievements."
Emaar Properties is also playing a key role towards delivering Expo 2020, lending its expertise in construction and development towards delivering the Thematic Pavilions and Districts on time and on budget, and via its subsidiary, Emaar Hospitality, which is Expo’s Official Hotel and Hospitality Partner.
Mohamed Alabbar, Founder of Emaar Properties and Member of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: "Expo 2020 will be the largest event to be hosted in the region, and will give strength to the UAE, including real estate, which is already gaining momentum. This is highlighted by the quick recovery of the real estate sector following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted all sectors. Expo 2020 will be fully supported with all required resources, as we are confident of the event’s positive impact across all sectors, and we believe it will significantly bolster the national economy."
Dubai Tourism, through a variety of activities, will play a vital role in attracting tourists, businesses, MICE and other sectors, helping Expo to achieve its goal of 25 million visits.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee Member, said: "Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we are in prime position to successfully navigate the current global challenges and help define a reinvigorated narrative on pioneering the future of global tourism and business. Expo 2020 Dubai is the personification of this journey, and through the solidarity of all public and private sector stakeholders as well as the commitment of our international partner networks, we are readying to welcome back millions of travelers from every corner of the world."
"The one year to go milestone of Expo 2020 also coincides with Dubai being the first major global destination to fully open up its MICE sector internationally, critically spearheading the re-ignition of imperative networking events and face to face engagement, which are vital factors in accelerating the revival of all major sectors. This is testament to the city’s handling of the pandemic and its ability to adapt rapidly, which will be key drivers in the delivery of a world-class and highly relevant World Expo and further fast-tracks Dubai’s growth trajectory as a top five global tourism hub for both business and leisure."
And when those millions of visitor arrive in the city, Dubai Police will help to ensure that Dubai maintains its position as one of the world’s leading cities for recreation, business and safety.
Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police and Chairman of the Expo Security Committee, said: "World Expos are where civilisations meet to exchange knowledge and explore opportunities. And Dubai Police is harnessing all its capabilities to serve this global event, which is an economic, tourism and cultural addition to the Emirate in particular and the country in general.
"Dubai has a flexible infrastructure and an integrated work system that kept pace with all global requirements and standards. Dubai is also distinguished for its implementation of the highest specifications and standards that qualify it to host this historic event. Its leading position is reassured by its possession of experience, advanced means of communication, latest artificial intelligence technologies, and world class services.
"Our work is specifically concerned with the security aspect, so periodic meetings are held under the umbrella of the Security Council to review the workflow and evaluate the work done by concerned teams. The force also provides innovative technology-based training methods, facilitates the process of training volunteers, provides various training halls, and contributes to designing training programmes in coordination with the volunteer work team. We also support the programme with qualified trainers who contribute to providing innovative training content for volunteers."
For the six months of the Expo, a spectacular calendar of events covering architecture, arts, entertainment and technology will inspire millions of people to discover connections to cultures, business opportunities, and solutions towards a better future for everyone on the planet.
As Expo marks this key milestone, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: "Our leadership has spared no effort, guided us, and provided all resources to ensure that our World Expo will be a true expression of the UAE’s values, reflecting its ambition to build a better future for us, the region and the world – a future of which coming generations will be proud."
"Our World Expo has a mission to inspire hope, and in the coming weeks we will begin to share new details and ideas about space, health and wellness, travel and connectivity and other subjects that sit at the heart of this Expo. We hope that people will join us to achieve our objectives to bring the world together and put humanity and the planet on the right path towards dignity for all.
"As we mark a year to go until we open, I want to thank all those who work so hard and so passionately to deliver an exceptional Expo. From international participants, to government entities to the Expo tribe that has worked diligently and remained committed to bringing the event to fruition. The journey has been worth it, and in 365 days we will share our excitement and our passion with millions."