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UAE Minister visits pavilions at Expo, explores technological developments

Mohammed Bin Ahmed Al Bowardi visited the pavilions of Japan, China and Syria at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mohammed Bin Ahmed Al Bowardi visited the pavilions of Japan, China and Syria at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Mohammed Bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, visited the pavilions of Japan, China and Syria at Expo 2020 Dubai.

During his visits, he explored the contents, innovations and opportunities showcased by the three pavilions.

Al Bowardi began his tour by visiting the Japan Pavilion, where he viewed Osaka’s preparations to host the upcoming Expo in 2025. He then learnt about the pavilion’s vision, which is based on combining Japanese culture and traditions with its technological developments, to offer visitors an outstanding experience.

Afterwards, he visited the China Pavilion, which showcases China’s ancient civilisations, its ability to keep pace with the modern era, and highlights the country’s prominent international stature in the area of sustainable development.

Al Bowardi concluded his tour by visiting the Syria Pavilion, which spotlights the Syrian culture and civilisation.

Meanwhile, the Austrian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai received one million visitors from the day it opened its doors on October 1, 2021 to the third weekend of Expo’s final month. The one-millionth visitor was a member of an Emirati family and was on an exploratory trip around Expo. After his tour inside the Austrian pavilion, the visitor was pleasantly surprised to receive a gift bag from Austria.

Philipp Schramel, Director of the Austrian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “We are proud to have achieved this milestone at our pavilion. The fact that the number of visitors to the Austrian Pavilion crossed more than one million reflects the successful participation of Austria at Expo 2020 Dubai, while demonstrating the spectacular organization of this global event, which is an achievement for the United Arab Emirates. It proves, once again, the country’s mettle when it comes to defying challenges and the UAE’s ability to turn them into opportunities to impress.”

Phillip added: “The Austrian Pavilion became known among the Expo’s visitors for its rich experiences designed to awaken the senses, as well as for its many inventions that became the focal point for over a million visitors. In presenting these experiences and inventions to people visiting Expo 2020, our aim was to help the visitors experience Austria in all its authenticity and uniqueness, and not just get to know it. We hope that we have succeeded in conveying our message and that our guests know what awaits them in Austria when they visit the country.”

Located in the Opportunity District, the Austria Pavilion is famous for its unique design that is inspired by Arabian wind towers and is clearly visible from a distance. The Pavilion participated in Expo 2020 Dubai under the motto “Austria Makes Sense” and offers multiple experiences designed to simulate the five senses. For example, the Pavilion’s auditory section plays music in harmony with the movement of the visitor inside. The visual section, which has a round table containing sand and a self-propelled steel ball that draws amazing shapes. There is also an olfactory section. Its floor is made up of rocky pine wood of the Austrian Alps which gives off a special fragrance thereby transporting visitors to the pine forests of Austria.

Switzerland builds bridges: Swiss experts together with UAE partners, hosted an insightful event on the innovation and impact of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in healthcare at the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The Embassy of Switzerland in the UAE has been active in the topic of digitalization and health for over a year. The event was a great opportunity to learn about applied tools in digitalization and health and for an expert discussion, focused on building bridges between innovation and impact.

Switzerland takes a leading role in medical technology, with Geneva, Basel and Zug considered hubs of innovation in digital health. Generally known as trusted and world-leading AI-hub, Switzerland also drives digital transformation as a means to equitable access to quality health for all. In fact, new technology, better access to information, and public-private collaboration strengthen Switzerland’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The aim is overcoming the barriers to digitalisation like regulation, digital competence and access. Local strategies and existing digital expertise of partner countries like the UAE serve as an entry point for knowledge sharing and mutual learning. In that context, the Embassy of Switzerland to the UAE and Bahrain, together with Novartis, Roche and Unilab, have previously established a platform for a dialogue in the field of digital health, which will continue its activities much beyond the EXPO.

Massimo Baggi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE and Bahrain, said in his opening remarks: “Switzerland supports a global digital health governance system that can better manage risks and seize opportunities offered by digitization and AI in health. We aim to promote systemic approaches to digital health and AI and to lay emphasis on the fact that technologies are not isolated tools but part of concerted efforts and comprehensive packages to strengthen health systems and the health of the population.”

Digitalization plays an important role in public health. To support the response to COVID-19 worldwide, digital technologies have been of great benefit.

 Antoine Geissbühler, Professor of Medicine, Vice-rector of the University of Geneva, said: “Digital health and artificial intelligence hold the potential to augment the capacity of humans to take better decisions for quality healthcare and improved well-being. This applies not only to healthcare and public health professionals, but also to patients, citizens, and policy makers. Governance, coordination and careful evaluation must ensure and demonstrate that AI-based tools actually foster equitable access to health and healthcare, while taking into account diversity, safety, privacy protection, and data sovereignty issues, amongst others.”

The event is part of a broader engagement by the Embassy of Switzerland on digitalisation and health, and is in line with Switzerland’s commitment to innovation, health and sustainable development.

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