In April this year, Luxembourg became the first nation to break ground for its pavilion at Expo 2020, the mega event at which Dubai is expecting to host 180 countries.
Tagged with the simple but powerful phrase, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Dubai Expo 2020 will bring together people from all over the world for six months, to network and share ideas.
According to official statistics, the event is expected to attract between 25-30 million visitors to the UAE between October 2020 and April 2021. As MD of the operation, the strategy Her Excellency is working to fulfil revolves around two main objectives: to stage an Expo that will inspire the world, and for the event to have a lasting legacy.
“FROM THE BEGINNING, WE WERE DETERMINED TO PUT YOUTH AT THE HEART OF OUR PLANS,”
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy said. Backing this aim, she previously described the UAE as “a young, capable and dynamic country full of enthusiasm for the future and determination to succeed”. This statement is wholeheartedly supported by the creation of programs and initiatives to encourage the nation’s youth to participate in the preparations for Expo 2020.
A dedicated team called Youth Connect has been tasked with engaging young people across the UAE in the plans for the Expo. The aim is to empower young people by encouraging the sharing of innovative ideas that will change the landscape of the country now and in years to come.
“Nearly 30 per cent of the employees of Expo 2020 are below the age of 30. We have a department dedicated to youth affairs… and to promoting Expo 2020 Dubai in schools and universities. Volunteering is another major part of Expo – and a major focus of our volunteer programme are young people,” Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy told the audience at the unveiling of the 10th ASDA’A Burson- Marsteller Arab Youth Survey in May.
The UAE is the first nation from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region to host a World Expo, and there is a strong sense among locals and residents that the event belongs to each and every one of them. The site itself was strategically chosen for its proximity to some of the country’s most important gateways, at just a stone’s throw from Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port.
Plans for the site post-2020 are as exciting as the Expo itself. While the Expo Committee has called for patience while traffic increases and construction takes place, the resulting rewards promise great things: long-term job creation, economic growth and a thriving new district in the Dubai South area are hotly anticipated.
THE FUTURE IS OURS
“We’re building for 2025…2030… and what this part of the city is going to eventually look like. A sustainable long-term approach to all of the infrastructure and built-up assets that are being put in place is really important,” Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy said.
A 438-hectare site will transform into District 2020 – a place to work, play, live
and learn. Plans show that the vibrant new destination will feature academic institutions, event spaces, iconic landmarks and a science museum. Multiple global corporations are vying for office space, and residential communities will be furnished with an enviable selection of hospitality and retail amenities.
“A SUSTAINABLE LONG TERM APPROACH TO ALL OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND BUILT-UP ASSETS IS REALLY IMPORTANT”