Exploring new avenues - GulfToday

Exploring new avenues


Sheikh Mohammed speaks to a girl during his visit to the UAE Pavilion.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Saturday visited the pavilions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and France at Expo 2020 Dubai.

At the beginning of the visit, His Highness said Expo 2020 Dubai provides a platform to foster a united global approach to tackling the world’s critical problems and exploring new sustainable development avenues. The international mega event held in the UAE is contributing significantly to the worldwide effort to harness new technology, innovation and creativity to improve people’s lives and create a brighter global future

His Highness was accompanied  by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Held under the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 Dubai, which features the participation of 192 countries, opened its doors to the public on 1 October 2021 and will continue until 31 March 2022. The world’s biggest in-person event to take place since the start of the pandemic and the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, Expo 2020 consolidates Dubai’s role as a platform for incubating ideas that can help countries across the world realise their vision for a better future.

Sheikh Mohammed visited the pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which represents the country’s ‘Vision 2030’, a unique transformative economic and social reform blueprint that is opening Saudi Arabia up to the world. Located in the Opportunity District, the pavilion, spanning over 13,000 square metres, is the second largest pavilion in size at the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The Saudi pavilion offers a glimpse into the country’s future, taking visitors on a journey through its ambitions across four main pillars: people, nature, heritage and opportunities. Rising six stories above the ground, the pavilion was also designed to showcase the Kingdom’s ancient culture, heritage; the wonders of its natural landscape; and the rapid drive and innovation of its present and future ambitions. Aligned with global sustainability norms and a clear environmental vision, the eco-friendly structure boasts solar panels manufactured in the Kingdom by Saudi entrepreneurs. The Saudi Arabian pavilion takes visitors on a guided tour of the wonders of the country’s 13 regions through multiple immersive and interactive exhibits.

Sheikh Mohammed also visited the pavilion of the Sultanate of Oman located in the Mobility District of Expo 2020 Dubai. The educational and recreational journey offered by the pavilion pays tribute to the country’s natural heritage. The eye-catching design of the pavilion draws inspiration from the frankincense tree — one of the most important natural treasures of Oman. Visitors to the pavilion pass through five zones that illuminate how frankincense contributed to Omani advancements in transportation, knowledge, manufacturing, sustainability and exploration. The pavilion also includes a shop, in which more than 2,000 types of goods and products belonging to nearly 400 small and medium enterprises are displayed. The achievements of various Omani institutions, embodying the country’s ‘Oman 2040’ vision, are showcased at the pavilion. The pavilion also tells the history of Oman, the civilisational and human achievements of the country and its future aspirations.

French pavilion: Sheikh Mohammed met with  Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, during his visit to the French pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the French delegation participating in Expo 2020 Dubai. His Highness discussed with the French Foreign Minister ways to enhance constructive cooperation between the two countries, building on the progress made in advancing ties during the recent meeting of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

During his visit to the French pavilion located in the Mobility District, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed about the pavilion’s theme ‘France, Lightspeed Inspiration’, which expresses the country’s commitment to building a new economic, social and cultural model around three core values: boldness, optimism and community.

Expo 2020 Dubai attracted a huge number of visitors and saw the opening of various pavilions on Saturday.

Separately, The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, opened on Saturday the pavilion of Serbia at the World Exhibition Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai and Tatjana Mati, Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications.

President Vucic expressed pleasure at taking part in Expo 2020 Dubai. He praised the wise policies of the UAE, which positioned the country which led the country to solidify Its global reputation.

He also lauded his country’s strong ties of friendship with the UAE, adding that Serbia was looking forward to deepening economic cooperation and to developing joint economic programs between the two countries.

Tatjana Mati said, “By presenting at the World Exhibition, we want to open new chances for the development of Serbia through networking with key actors of the world business community,” Matic added that the Pavilion is fully digitalised and provides the possibility of a virtual journey through different realities, different time periods and different spaces, and that Serbia will present itself as an innovative and creative country by performing at the World Exhibition.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Moldova to the UAE has hailed Expo 2020 Dubai as a catalyst for change, and a window of and to a better world.

“Expo 2020 Dubai comes in the right place at the right time to rebuild safer and stronger,” Victor Haruta, who is also the Commissioner-General of the Moldovan Pavilion at the world’s Greatest Show, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“From the 1st of October 2021 to the 31st of March 2022, the world will have a new capital city at Expo 2020 Dubai. It’s the right time to celebrate, collaborate and innovate - and Moldova is here to showcase the history of the nation, rich heritage, and creativity of its people,” he said. The Moldovan Ambassador hailed the role of the UAE in the economic, social, and technological development spheres, as well as being an important economic hub, including the effort to build lasting partnerships in investment, trade, and technology advancement.

“We are extremely optimistic about the outcome from a strong international presence at Expo 2020 Dubai,” he said.

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region, with many reasons to be counted as one of the most important in exposition history, according to the Moldovan ambassador.

“The UAE’s government has decided to convene this event in a very special way, quintessential Emirati way - the biggest, the most sustainable, the best, and nowadays adding, the safest.”

“The event’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’, falls in line with the visionary vision of the UAE’s leadership that promotes education and art, tolerance and nations fraternity, equality, and inter-human contacts. Thus, as the event will gain participants and visitors from all over the world, Dubai has created the much-needed comfort for all nations regardless of cultural, religion or social views,” he added.

The Expo 2020 Dubai site was built with an emphasis on sustainability, mobility, and opportunity, and will be remembered as a masterpiece and a source of inspiration for the upcoming generations. “The results we see already today can only be admired, which highlight the efforts, dedication, and commitment of the UAE leadership in shaping a better future for the world,” the ambassador said.

Speaking about his views on holding the event during the COVID-19 pandemic, Haruta praised the UAE’s efforts in ensuring the implementation of safety protocols at Expo 2020 Dubai site and in the country in general, saying that these protocols “are highly efficient and are performing extraordinary results. With such professional approach, the UAE is seen as a safe destination for visitors.”

“Expo 2020 is also a message to the world that if managed correctly, the pandemic can remain in the past and the world can return to normalcy,” he added.

Talking about the main pillars of Moldovan participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, the ambassador summed it up into three key themes: Discover Moldova, Taste Moldova, and Invest in Moldova, which is characterised by its mild fiscal climate, stable economic growth, low costs, and excellent location at the heart of Europe.

“Our narrative and the whole theme of the pavilion is built around our main symbol - The Tree of Life. Every seed planted into our fertile soil grows into a miracle. Each branch of the tree represents an opportunity for growth and has a special significance, talking about one’s experiences and the strategic sectors of Moldova and its economy,” Haruta said.


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