Sheikh Nahyan with other dignitaries at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
The Republic of Serbia celebrated its Expo 2020 National Day with a flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza, including cultural performances and a speech focusing on its knowledge-based economy and investment opportunities.
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed Tatjana Matic, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications at the world’s greatest show, saying, “Serbia’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai presents 7,000 years of history, creativity, and achievements, while also transporting visitors to the future and pushing the boundaries of communication through the use of state-of-the-art hologram technologies and augmented and virtual reality.
“The UAE and Serbia share strong bilateral relations that have flourished over the years, and we look forward to seeing them develop further as we explore increased partnerships and exchanges at the educational, scientific, and commercial levels across an array of fields of shared interest between our two countries.”
Matic said, “Our participation in Expo 2020 Dubai allows us to not only showcase our potential, develop business networks and raise our country’s profile, but also to further foster the partnership between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. We encourage the development of Serbian companies, and provide significant support to the development of an innovative and knowledge-based economy through the engagement of numerous highly qualified experts, primarily in the spheres of information technology, medicine, engineering and higher education.
“We are delighted that our Emirati partners have recognised Serbia as a major investment destination, as well as an interesting tourist destination. These past few months, we have been strongly committed to strengthening our bilateral relations, as well as promoting overall cooperation and solidarity among different countries. I am sure all of us will treasure the motto of this Expo: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and I am certain it will motivate us to embody it in our future activities.”
The National Day ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza included a special musical performance by internationally acclaimed, multiple award-winning violinist, Stefan Milenkovich and his String Virtuoso, Team of Serbia. This was followed by an artistic representation of traditional folk music and dance, showcasing the cultural heritage of different ethnic groups, performed by the Kolo dance emsemble.
Later, a business briefing highlighted Serbia’s investment opportunities in Biotech, Agri-food and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Speaking at a media briefing for local and international press, Ana Ili?, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism and Deputy Commissioner General at Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “We had over 1,000 business people and companies here from overseas, and they were extremely happy with the way things were organised and with the impact that they had with countries around the world. Through Expo 2020 Dubai itself, we were also able to connect with countries through other general commissioners and B2B meetings. We had more than 70 countries meet with us in the past few months. Expo 2020 Dubai exceeded our expectations, and we are preparing to take advantage of every opportunity at this Expo that has been more than what we could have hoped for.”
Meanwhile, Noura Bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, visited the Cambodia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The pavilion is located in the Sustainability District and depicts the Angkor Wat temples complex. It also displays life-size models of the historical temple guards, with a brief about their legendary lives, and the eternal war between demons and gods, according to ancient beliefs.
The Cambodian team took Her Excellency on a tour of the three sections of the Cambodia Pavilion. The first section of the pavilion takes the visitors on a historical tour of the temples of Cambodia. The second section is a virtual walkway to one of Cambodia’s most famous beaches, which is supported by the roaring of the waves that hit the feet. The pavilions recreate the sights and sounds of the tourist attractions of Cambodia to give a glimpse of the beautiful country to the Expo visitors. It uses the Expo 2020 Dubai to attract tourists wishing to enjoy nature and go on a journey of leisure and meditation. The third section of the pavilion features a hall with Cambodian heritage, and displays tools used in agriculture and cooking. Visitors can also see a robe made of silk and gold threads, worth USD 10,000. The handmade robe made for the kings, their wives and wealthy people in the olden days in Cambodia is kept inside a glass box for safekeeping.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi also visited the Pavilion of the Republic of Cuba, which is located in the Sustainability district. Her Excellency walked through the pavilion that recreates the vibrant and colorful Cuban streets and listened to a description of some of the specialties on display.
The Cuba Pavilion also showcases the key industries of the South American nation, focusing on sugarcane, a raw material used in many industries.
The Expo is going to be a grand event. The whole world will have now a reason to visit Dubai. The world is now hailing the vision and courage demonstrated by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE at this special time facing all the challenges and turning the challenges as blessings. About 3 to 5 percent of people visiting Expo 2020 is expected revisiting Dubai or planning to make Dubai their residence post the Expo.
In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.
World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.
He said that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, welcomes all countries wishing to participate in the grand event, which serves to strengthen international cooperation towards securing a sustainable and prosperous future for all.
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