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Dubai ready to host ‘unprecedented Expo’, says director general

Dubai ready to host ‘unprecedented Expo’, says director general

In what are “unprecedented times”, Dubai is putting the very final touches to what promises to be an “unprecedented Expo”, according to Reem Al Hashimy, director general of Expo 2020 Dubai. While parts of the world still reel from the various waves of coronavirus and others re-emerge from the global pandemic with caution, Al Hashimy

In what are “unprecedented times”, Dubai is putting the very final touches to what promises to be an “unprecedented Expo”, according to Reem Al Hashimy, director general of Expo 2020 Dubai.

While parts of the world still reel from the various waves of coronavirus and others re-emerge from the global pandemic with caution, Al Hashimy told a media briefing they “remain confident” of attracting 25 million visits to the showcase event, which is set to open its doors on October 1 and run for 182 days through to March 31.

In what will be the first world expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and the South Asia region, under the theme of “Connecting Minds Creating The Future”, and the sub-themes of ‘Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity’, Al Hashimy said: “We remain confident that we will welcome them safely so that they and their friends and family, their colleagues and their peers can enjoy themselves with the assurance that their health and peace of mind is our uncompromising commitment.

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“And we remain resolved to deliver on our promise which has never wavered. To deliver an experience with genuine purpose and meaning with the hope that our collective global presence and our spirit of earnest cooperation promotes a measurable legacy for communities across the globe.”

Awarded to Dubai back in November 2013, the event was originally scheduled to start on October 20 last year, but it was agreed to postpone for a year in light of the Covid-19 crisis after a unanimous vote from members of the World Expo governing body, Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

“In the wake of the pandemic, during which we have suffered so much, as individuals, families, communities, industries and economies and in the first cautious steps of our global recovery we are grateful for the opportunity to safely and purposefully come together in one place,” said Al Hashimy.

Reem Al Hashimy, director general of Expo 2020 Dubai.

“That’s what an Expo is, that’s what our Expo is. The whole world in one place. Our Expo, which opens its doors barely three months from today, is the right place, the right time and the right moment to come together to chart a path to a brighter future with more than 190 nations in the room and everyone afforded an equal opportunity to have their voice heard in this unprecedented global conversation.”

As previously reported by Arabian Business, there are no plans to make full vaccination mandatory for visitors to the Expo site, although Mohamed Al Ansaari, vice president of communications at Expo 2020, said immunisation against coronavirus is “highly recommended”.

All staff at the site have been vaccinated and international participants and their staff have also been offered vaccines.

Al Ansaari said: “As any responsible institution that’s trying to organise a mega-event during these times it’s essential that the health and safety of each individual is the top priority and we’re following these guidelines.”

Mohamed Al Ansaari, vice president of communications at Expo 2020.

This includes mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitising stations located throughout the venue. In terms of technology, a smart queuing system will be in place and thermal cameras will also be in operation. There will be full PCR testing on site and medical facilities to cater to any emergencies.

Sconaid McGeachin, senior vice president communications at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Should we detect someone with a high temperature we will be able to isolate them very quickly, ensure the proper testing and ensure the site is safe.”

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