The 158th General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris has officially confirmed Dubai as Host City of the next World Exposition. The meeting ratified the Expo 2020 Registration Document, which set out detailed plans for the delivery of the event.
Members of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee led by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum travelled to Paris for the historic announcement, which marks the start of the next chapter in Dubai’s journey to 2020 and a new phase of increased activity.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed noted: “For two years we have worked tirelessly to plan and prepare for a truly exceptional World Expo in 2020. Today, the member nations of the BIE have officially endorsed these plans.”
He paid tribute to the international support that Dubai has received, saying: “On behalf of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and the people of the United Arab Emirates, I want to thank the BIE and the International Delegates for the great vote of trust they have bestowed upon our Nation.”
His Highness went on to make clear the commitment to all future visitors and participants: “There is no time to rest. Now is the time for us to translate our vision into reality, as we deliver an Expo that will inspire the world to come together and begin to solve some of our most pressing global challenges.”
The Expo 2020 Registration Document, which was officially submitted to the BIE for review in July, was the result of comprehensive research and rigorous planning, and provided detailed information about the mega-event, including the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the site Master Plan, participant and visitor engagement strategies, communications and marketing, business operations, sustainability and the post-event legacy.
To mark Dubai’s formal appointment, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed was presented with the official BIE flag by the governing body’s President, His Excellency Mr. Nagy. Also in attendance were His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of His Highness the Ruler’s Court of Dubai, CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai and Vice Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee; Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Director-General of Bureau Dubai Expo 2020; His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of ADNEC; His Excellency Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality; Major General Khamis Mutar Al Muzainah, Chief Commander of Dubai Police; His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority; His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre; and His Excellency Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation.
The members of the Higher Committee were joined by a delegation of UAE business people, who have been strong partners of Expo during the journey to becoming Host City. Their presence at the BIE ceremony demonstrated their intent to continue to support the effort to deliver the Expo, now that this major milestone has been passed.
Mr. Loscertales, the BIE Secretary-General, said, “As the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, we look forward to what we believe will be a meaningful moment in history, not only for this young nation and the BIE, but also for the wider region and indeed, the world. Dubai has presented a compelling vision, and detailed plans to ensure its realisation. We will continue to support and work alongside the Expo 2020 team over the next five years as these ideas are turned into reality.”
In moving from the planning to delivery phase, activity will increase to include formal engagement with international participants, including nations, corporations, multilateral organisations, NGOs and academic institutions. This next phase will also see the continuation and extension of existing stakeholder initiatives, both domestic and international, including the current series of BusinessConnect workshops, the annual Youth Connect event, and ongoing dialogue with young entrepreneurs, regional SMEs and global thought leaders.
Opening its gates to the world on 20 October 2020, Expo 2020 Dubai will be the most international and inclusive event in World Expo history, welcoming more than 25 million visits and over 200 participants over its six months duration. The vast majority of visitors (some 70%) are expected to come from overseas.