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UAE sustained strong growth momentum through 1H22: OPEC

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) economic activities have sustained strong growth momentum through 1H22 driven by Expo Dubai 2020…reports Asian Lite News

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) economic activities have sustained strong growth momentum through 1H22 driven by Expo Dubai 2020 and the easing of pandemic-related restrictions as well as above-average crude oil prices, according to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for July 2022.

”Confidence in the positive short-term economic outlook increased despite the current decline in the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reading amid further anticipated global as well as local demand recovery namely in the tourism sector, the MOMR noted.

”The June PMI declined to 54.8 from 55.6 in the prior month, marking the 19th-straight month of growth in non-oil private economic activities, supported by a sharp rise in new orders amid stronger domestic demand and foreign demand,” it indicated.

Earlier this month, the UAE has launched “NextGenFDI”, a major campaign to attract digitally enabled companies and highly skilled talent to the country.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, who oversees the file to attract FDI and global talent to the country, said NextGenFDI would encourage more than 300 global technology firms and software developers, data scientists and coders to relocate to the UAE.

ALSO READ: ‘UAE to run Kabul airport in deal with Taliban’

NextGenFDI aims to leverage the UAE’s unique competitive advantage and global standing as a leading business, investment, and innovation hub to support the growth of the nation’s knowledge-driven economy. The campaign was launched by Dr. Al Zeyoudi alongside senior representatives from NextGenFDI.

NextGenFDI is aimed at seeking out businesses from all over the world that are focused on applied technology within various sectors and provide them with the necessary market entry fundamentals needed to launch and scale from within the UAE. These companies have highly skilled developers, coders and consultants within AI, gaming, data science and software.​ Housing such talent within the UAE is of vital importance and this new initiative will make the market entry process for bright minds with great ideas as seamless as possible.

-Top News Dubai EXPO 2020

Expo City Dubai Opens in October

The human-centric city will be accessible only by pedestrians with no cars or heavy vehicles.

UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Tuesday announced the opening of Expo City Dubai, in October.

The new city is an ideal smart and futuristic destination for business and innovation, driven by sustainability, innovation, education and entertainment.

“After the historical success of Expo 2020 Dubai, which was visited by more than 24 million visitors, and which left an indelible mark in the 170-year history of World Expositions, today we announce the transformation of the exhibition site into Expo City Dubai, a city that represents the most beautiful ambitions of Dubai,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

“Expo City Dubai will be an environmentally-friendly city, one friendly to families, to the economy, and to future generations. A city connected to a port and two airports, and also to beautiful memories in the hearts and minds of millions of people. A city in which the magic of Expo will live on: Al Wasl will continue to shine, the waterfall will continue to delight, and the UAE, Alif and Terra pavilions will continue to fascinate visitors of all ages.”

“This new city will be home to an extraordinary new museum, a world-class exhibition centre, and the headquarters of cutting edge and fast-growing companies. It will continue to host the pavilions of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, and others. It will be a city that embodies the dreams of every city, and one which continues to bring joy to our children, our families, and all those we love,” he added.

Expo City Dubai – the legacy plan of Expo 2020 Dubai and part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan – builds on the momentum and resounding success of the six-month World Expo to create an environmentally-friendly, tech-enabled city of the future.

Opening 1st October 2022, it will feature a number of Expo 2020 Dubai’s flagship pavilions, entertainment and technology offerings, while also carrying forward the event’s magic, energy and excitement.

With an array of diverse attractions, the comprehensive city will feature offices, leisure facilities, food and entertainment venues, sports facilities and a mall. It will be reachable by the Dubai Metro and will also house the world-class Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), a sought-after venue that hosted a range of global summits, conferences and concerts during Expo 2020 Dubai, DEC will continue to host a range of conferences, events and activations.

Three of Expo 2020’s most visited attractions, the iconic Al Wasl Plaza, the Garden in the Sky observation tower and the Surreal water feature, will remain. While Alif, the Mobility Pavilion and Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion, will live on as interactive educational experiences.

Later this year, the Opportunity Pavilion will become the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum – a new addition highlighting the history and impact of World Expos and celebrating the success of the six-month event.

Other attractions set to stay include the Woman’s Pavilion, which features female change-makers across the world, and the Vision Pavilion, honouring the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

ALSO READ:Expo 2020 celebrates success after receiving 29 Global Telly Awards

Visitors will also be able to explore the falcon-inspired UAE Pavilion and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion. Details of several other Country Pavilions – including reworked versions of Luxembourg, Australia, Pakistan, India, Morocco and Egypt will be announced in the coming months.

Expo City Dubai will be free of single-use plastic and retain 80% of infrastructure and buildings that have been constructed, including 123 LEED-certified buildings, epitomising the highest levels of sustainable design, construction and operations. It will also be the first WELL-certified community in the region, demonstrating the built environment’s positive impact on health and wellness.

Offering a wealth of opportunities for businesses that meet its sustainable targets, Expo City Dubai is already attracting interest from a large number of commercial tenants. It will soon become the new headquarters of DP World, Siemens, as well as start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Arab News Dubai EXPO 2020

Expo 2020 celebrates success after receiving 29 Global Telly Awards

The Expo Dubai Explorer App also won a Gold Telly Winner for its ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality Craft-Metaverse’…reports Asian Lite News

Two months after the curtain came down on Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is still celebrating its glorious success after receiving 29 Global Telly Awards across multiple categories for its spectacular Opening Ceremony. The Expo Dubai Explorer App also won a Gold Telly Winner for its ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality Craft-Metaverse’.

The Opening Ceremony was awarded Gold for nine categories – ‘Online Craft-Videography/ Cinematography’, ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality Craft-Use of AR’, ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality Craft-Directing’, ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality General-Series/Show’, ‘Online Craft-Use of Music’, ‘Online Craft-Set Design’, ‘Online Craft-Use of 360 Audio’, ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality General-Dance & Performance’ and ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality General-Events’ – together with 12 Silver awards and eight Bronze.

In addition to its recognition by the Global Telly Awards, the Opening Ceremony also won ‘Outstanding Event Production of the Year’ for the 2022 TPMEA Awards, which recognises the achievements of the best and brightest in the industry.

Expo 2020 Dubai captured the world’s imagination by welcoming the planet’s finest minds and the most innovative ideas from around the globe, with its star-studded Opening Ceremony setting the bar for 182 days of entertainment and kickstarting a series of events at Expo that have further strengthened the UAE’s creative economy.

Honouring excellence in video and television across all screens, the 43rd annual Global Telly Awards celebrate the re-emergence of the industry that has resurfaced in a transformed world. This season’s theme, ‘A New POV’, pays tribute to the changes that have come to life through a new focus on the likes of hybrid events, immersive and mixed reality, sustainability, diversity and inclusion (D&I) and social impact.

As the world’s biggest event of its kind since the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai ensured its Opening Ceremony was broadcast to a global audience of millions across multiple channels, including Expo TV and Virtual Expo. As of 31 March 2022, it had been viewed 7.6 million times.

Showcasing the stunning Al Wasl Plaza, including the largest immersive sound installation in the world and the world’s largest blended video projection installation, the Opening Ceremony took place ‘in the round’ and featured a revolving stage, spectacular surrounds and immersive technologies. More than 3,000 lighting fixtures, 1,000 speakers, 1,300 costumes and buckets of passion and emotion from every one of the 1,000-plus participating performers also contributed to a one-of-a-kind spectacle of artistic collaboration.

Tareq Ghosheh, Chief Events and Entertainment Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai – who oversaw the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, together with the rigorous schedule of Expo 2020 Dubai’s extensive Events and Entertainment programme, including its state-of-the-art technical set-up – was thrilled with the numerous accolades bestowed upon the star-studded event.

Tareq Ghosheh said: “We are incredibly proud of the world-class entertainment we delivered at Expo 2020 Dubai – not just with our Opening Ceremony, which has been watched virtually by millions across the globe, but also with the continuous 182 days of unparalleled entertainment experiences we tirelessly delivered, with up to 200 live events staged daily across a plethora of world-class venues.

“Drawing inspiration directly from Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the Opening Ceremony took spectators on an incredible journey across its subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, showcasing the deep-rooted values of the UAE and the vision and purpose of the Expo, while welcoming the mega-event’s 192 participating countries in breath-taking fashion and celebrating the optimistic spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai.”

ALSO READ:World to gather for exponential climate action at Stockholm+50

Headlined by world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli, the glittering line-up also included Grammy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day; multi-million-selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding; Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang; and four-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo.

Highlighting the creative diversity and talent of the region, the cast also comprised the ‘Artist of Arabs’ Mohammed Abdu; much-loved Emirati singing sensation Ahlam; Emirati Artist and Expo 2020 Dubai Ambassador Hussain Al Jassmi, a trendsetter on the Khaleeji music scene in the Middle East and Internationally; rising UAE singer-songwriter Almas; and Grammy-nominated Lebanese-American singer Mayssa Karaa.

Al Wasl Plaza will remain as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy plans, which will see the site transition into a smart and sustainable city-within-a-city, an innovation-driven business ecosystem and a diverse, thriving urban community that will repurpose more than 80 per cent of Expo-built infrastructure.

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K9 Unit: Enforcing law with a bite

The Dubai Police K9 Unit carried out 2,830 missions in 2021, including 879 special missions to secure the global event Expo 2020 Dubai before and after the grand opening…reports Asian Lite News

The missions consisted of 1321 security checks, 542 COVID-19 screenings, 480 guard duties, 381 security patrols, 53 anti-drug operations, 30 lead tracking, 20 raids, and 11 fire detections.

Major Salah Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Director of Dubai Police Security Inspection K9 Unit, confirmed that the unit operates with 63 professional trainers and 73 canines of six different breeds. These include German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Malinois dogs, English Springers, Labrador Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels.

Breeds-based Missions “Missions and tasks are distributed among canines based on their specialities. German and Dutch Shepherds and Malinois dogs handle guarding duties, lead tracking and detection of all kinds as they are known for being more resilient. On the other hand, English Springer, Labrador Retriever, and Cocker Spaniel specialise in recovering hidden narcotics and explosives, uncovering dead bodies, searching for missing persons, and tracking possessions and flaming materials,” Maj. Al Mazrouei stated.

Recruitment and Retirement “A specialised committee has been formed to run tests to handle canine recruitments based on their instincts to undertake policing missions and handle the workload. Canines join the Dubai Police team at ten months or 18 months of age and serve the force for seven more years,” Maj. Al Mazrouei continued.

“During their years of service, K9s undergo medical check-ups and performance tests to determine their capabilities to conduct police work. If Dubai Police veterinarians or canines’ trainers provide reasons for necessary retirement, the dogs are placed for adoption under certain conditions. We get many applications from among the public who are dog lovers,” he elaborated.

K9 Missions Capt. Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Head of the Security Missions Section, said that K9s are a vital aspect of policing operations, including search and rescue missions, lead tracking, and guarding.

“Each canine has his/her speciality based on its breed. There are ones that excel in tracking leads, others in searching for missing persons by their scent, and yet others in uncovering dead bodies and body parts despite the time of death or the depth of their burial,” Cap. Al Suwaidi explained.

“Some canines are assigned for anti-narcotics missions to detect narcotics, psychotropic substances such as weeds, opium, marijuana, hallucinations drugs, amphetamine, heroin, cocaine, etc. During the mission, K9s sniff out concealed drugs,” he continued.

“We dispatched canines to determine if a fire breakout is to be considered an arson case by sniffing out gasoline, diesel, or kerosene,” the Head of Security Missions Section added.

ALSO READ:Dubai Expo awards SMEs with Dh6.8 bn contracts

COVID-19 Sniffers Major Al Mazrouei also pointed out the Dubai Police K9 Unit’s efforts in combating COVID-19.

“K9 sniffer dogs have been stationed at airports across the country to help detect traces of the coronavirus from passenger sweat samples with 92 per cent accuracy,” Maj. Al Mazrouei added “We have trained 38 canines, including German Shepherds, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels and Border Collies, to recognise the scent of COVID-19 using samples of sweat from people with confirmed infections, collected by holding a swab in an armpit for a few minutes. But there is no direct contact between the canines and the passengers,” he explained.

7923 Training Hours Capt. Saud Sultan Al Suwaidi, Head of Technical Affairs and Training Department, attributed the success of the K9 Unit to lengthy training sessions that accumulated to 7,923 hours for both canines and their trainers over 2021.

-Top News Dubai EXPO 2020

Dubai Expo awards SMEs with Dh6.8 bn contracts

Expo 2020 Dubai awarded AED 6.8 billion of contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)…writes Krishnan Nayar

Expo 2020 Dubai awarded AED 6.8 billion of contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), providing a significant contribution to a vital sector of Dubai’s vibrant economy and exceeding a commitment made in 2016 to award at least 20 percent of all direct and indirect spend to SMEs.

The figure represents more than a quarter of all Expo 2020 Dubai contracts in terms of value. Of the 3,245 suppliers awarded Expo 2020 Dubai contracts, 66 percent (2,150) were SMEs, with 64 percent (1,390) of these comprising domestic SMEs, reflecting the calibre and diversity of UAE-based enterprises and supporting the UAE’s wider drive towards a thriving private sector and more resilient economy.

The majority of the 760 overseas SME suppliers hailed from the United Kingdom (24 percent), the United States (16 percent), France (4 percent), India (4 percent) and Australia (4 percent). Overall, suppliers from outside the UAE were sourced from 94 countries, indicative of the World Expo’s global reach and impact.

Mukhtar Safi, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO, Expo 2020 Dubai: “Our commitment to SMEs has been embedded into our planning since the very beginning of our World Expo journey, honouring the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to support and empower SMEs – the lifeblood of economies across the world, including the UAE, where they are an important driver of economic growth and a vital source of job creation. The integration of SMEs into the delivery of what has been a truly exceptional World Expo will be an important part of Expo’s legacy for the UAE and wider region, stimulating employment, strengthening existing industries, enhancing SME competitiveness and ultimately contributing to sustainable economic growth.”

From construction firms to event organisers, retail stores to food and beverage outlets, SMEs played a key role in the success of Expo 2020 Dubai, which awarded AED 1.06 billion to UAE-based SMEs in 2021 alone.

ALSO READ: Expo 2020 boosts biz growth for Dubai firms

Of this, AED 161.7 million (US$44 million) in contracts were awarded to Dubai SMEs, strengthening Dubai’s Government Procurement Programme, which requires UAE Government entities and establishments where the government holds equity of 25 percent or more to allocate 10 percent of their purchasing to Emirati firms that are members of Dubai SME – part of the Department of Economic Development that provides support, information and outreach for the growing SME sector.

The Expo 2020 Dubai procurement process itself was based on three principles: Simplicity, Transparency and Inclusivity, allowing business of all sizes to do business with Expo 2020 Dubai as easily and competitively as possible. In 2018, Expo 2020 Dubai became the first World Expo and only the second ever mega-event to secure an Excellence in Procurement Award from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

-Top News Dubai EXPO 2020

BIE lauds UAE leadership for Expo 2020

Expo 2020 Dubai became a beacon of unity and hope, one that reminded us of the importance of human solidarity and international cooperation in navigating common challenges, Kerkentzes said in an interview with Ahmed Elneimy

UAE’s hosting of the Expo 2020 Dubai was “a truly remarkable World Expo” thanks to the vision of the UAE, and the joint efforts of the organisers and all participants, who worked hard to offer a historic event for the region and the world, said Dimitri S Kerkentzes, Secretary-General of the Bureau international des Expositions (BIE).

In an interview, Kerkentzes said, “Expo 2020 Dubai became a beacon of unity and hope, one that reminded us of the importance of human solidarity and international cooperation in navigating common challenges.

“After a period of being apart, Expo 2020 Dubai was the perfect opportunity for the 192 participating countries to meet and connect, join together in search of solutions to global challenges, and engage in dialogue for a better tomorrow. Expo 2020 Dubai has been the ideal platform to launch a new dynamic, where countries were able to foster reflection and debate on where we need to go from here.”

BIE lauds UAE leadership for Expo 2020

Legacy of Dubai Expo

Regarding the effects of Expo 2020 Dubai on the various sectors, especially the economic, social and humanitarian ones, he said, “The legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai will be measured in years and even decades, with its lasting impact extending into a wide array of intangible areas such as education, social progress, sustainable thinking and international cooperation.

“I am nevertheless certain that, for each visitor, the Expo has already played a defining role in changing their behaviour, making new connections, expanding their horizons, and shaping their future. In addition, the Expo, of course, leaves behind an important physical legacy steeped in innovation, including the incredible site, which will continue to generate new ideas and ambitious solutions as a beautiful new neighbourhood for Dubai.

Role of youth

Asked about the evaluation of the youth efforts in hosting Expo, Kerkentzes said, “It is not enough to thank the young people of the UAE for the immense efforts they have put into making Expo 2020 Dubai the success that it was and for the warm welcome they gave to the world.”

About the UAE model in organising Expo 2020 Dubai, he noted, “One of the intangible legacies of Expo 2020 Dubai that will certainly inspire future Expos is the role of young people. Expos have always been about the education of the public. Yet, in Dubai, we have seen a whole new level of youth engagement in addressing the Expo theme and pushing for new solutions adapted to future generations.

“The way that younger generations have shaped the Expo 2020 Dubai experience will without a doubt influence all upcoming Expos, not only in the theme development, but also in the way content and pavilions are conceived and curated, and in the manner in which the Expo’s reach is extended beyond the site itself.”

BIE lauds UAE leadership for Expo 2020 (WAM)

Serving humanity

On the achievements of Expo 2020 Dubai in serving humanity, Kerkentzes said that the humanity faced many challenges whether in terms of environmental protection, biodiversity, education or health, and confronted with the multiple inequalities that the pandemic has exacerbated even further, Expo 2020 Dubai has shown that cooperation based on solidarity is not only possible but essential.

“It has shown that by connecting the world, we can explore the realm of infinite possibilities for the benefit of humanity and that, together, we can dare to innovate and move forward. I truly believe that Expo 2020 Dubai is a beautiful symbol of resilience and optimism that has helped show the way forward to a better tomorrow. This undeniable celebration of human progress demonstrates that hope and cooperation together have the power to unleash the best of humanity.

Workers’ welfare

Regarding Expo’s efforts in supporting the workers’ welfare, he said that working conditions and worker welfare have been the highest priority for Expo 2020 Dubai’s organisers, the BIE and International Participants. This was translated into the stringent measures adopted, which went above and beyond the standard requirements for the UAE and the region.

With innovation in mind, from the planning of the Expo to its management, Expo 2020 Dubai implemented, voluntarily, a programme using cutting-edge technologies to monitor the health and well-being of workers. Through the use of innovative wearable technologies, Expo 2020 Dubai helped improve the safety of workers on-site and contributed to the development of predictive models that are capable of changing the whole industry for the better.

ALSO READ: Ramadan Nights 2022 kicks off at Expo Centre Sharjah

Historic occasion for Middle East, UAE

Regarding the impact of Expo being held for the first time in the Middle East, he noted, “Having opened its gates in the year of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, Expo 2020 Dubai beckoned a new chapter in the country’s history. I believe that this was the right time to host the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. It has been a great opportunity for Dubai, the UAE as a nation, and the wider Middle East to showcase to the world that the ideals, values, and vision for a better tomorrow are all here.

“The UAE has put tremendous efforts into delivering a World Expo that gathers the best and brightest ideas from around the world and will have a transformational impact. I am certain that this momentum will play a lasting role in rebalancing the economy towards fairer, more sustainable, and more inclusive growth. Considering the interest sparked by Expo 2020 Dubai and the demonstrable benefits of organising an Expo for the host city and host country, I am certain that Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as a shining example that will inspire others, in the region and further afield.”

-Top News Dubai EXPO 2020

Women’s Pavilion leaves a thought-provoking message

The Women’s Pavilion has left a thought and action-provoking message that transcends gender and age…reports Asian Lite News

The Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020 Dubai, in collaboration with Cartier, brought together government and institutional leaders and change-makers – men and women – to discuss women’s leadership and tackle barriers that remain in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. It has left a thought and action-provoking message that transcends gender and age.

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to receive the event-specific Gender Equality European and International Standard for workplace equality, and the first in more than 50 years to host a standalone pavilion dedicated to women – a pavilion that inspired the 340,000-plus visitors who entered its doors, including more than 3,500 school students.

Hind Alowais, Senior Vice President, Participant Management, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is a real-life example of the limitless possibilities achievable when gender equality and women’s empowerment are embedded into the ethos of an organisation, resulting in the conceptualisation and delivery of a dedicated pavilion to raise awareness and advance collective action on Sustainable Development Goal 5. Together with Cartier, we challenged misconceptions about the roles women have played throughout history until today and built a community of advocates who will help women rise – because as we demonstrated throughout the six months of our World Expo, when women thrive, humanity thrives.”

Sophie Doireau, CEO for Middle East India and Africa, Cartier, said: “We are extremely proud of the impact we have had throughout the past six months, showcasing to millions of people that when women thrive, humanity thrives. This has been a truly meaningful and impactful journey, taking Cartier’s commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality to the next level, sharing new perspectives that challenge the status quo and demonstrating the potential of meaningful collaborations. Looking ahead, we will build on this legacy and continue to develop unique alliances, coalitions and initiatives that contribute to a better world.”

Trailblazers and thought-leaders took to the stage physically and virtually to share their visions, strategies, and policies for a gender-equal future while providing insights into their personal journeys across more than 170 events.

Speakers included Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and The Future; Epsy Campbell Barr, First Vice President of Costa Rica; Sonja Hyland, Deputy Secretary-General Global Issues, Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland; Ambassador Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General, Head of Social Affairs, League of Arab States; Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Executive Director, UN Women; Kampeta Sayinzoga, CEO, Development Bank of Rwanda; Academy Award-winning actor Rami Malek; and Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, and former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

ALSO READ: Al Zeyoudi hails Dubai Expo for boosting economy

Across the 182 days of Expo 2020 Dubai, the message “when women thrive, humanity thrives” was amplified among visitors, who also shared their thoughts and aspirations for the future in the pavilion itself. Among the messages on the pavilion’s walls was a visitor quoting late US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made” – as well as assertions that “Gender equality is at the heart of all the global goals” and “Letting little girls dream, learn and achieve helps ALL. Everyone benefits when girls and women grow”.

The Women’s Pavilion celebrated International Women’s Day under the theme of ‘Break the Bias’ and brought together representatives from governments, corporations and change-makers from around the world. In partnership with Dignified Storytelling, the pavilion also hosted the Middle East’s first female-led music festival as part of its International Women’s Day celebrations, with incredible performers from every corner of the globe reinforcing the ‘Break the Bias’ message. It called on the world to recognise the invisible barriers women face and dismantle harmful biases that hold them back to enable them to reach their full potential in the workplace and in society.

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Legacy of ‘Vision Pavilion’ will live on

The Vision Pavilion will continue to welcome visitors and will now live on as part of District 2020, the human-centric smart city that will repurpose more than 80 percent of the Expo 2020 Dubai site’s built environment, reports Asian Lite News

The Vision Pavilion, celebrating the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will continue to delight and enthral as part of the legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The pavilion – one of the undeniable highlights of more than 200 pavilions across Expo 2020 Dubai’s vast site – welcomed almost 200,000 visitors between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022.

The pavilion is inspired by the book My Story: 50 Memories from 50 years of Service by Sheikh Mohammed, whose vision has shaped Dubai, one of the world’s most dynamic and successful cities, and host of the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Over the course of the six month, the pavilion recorded a visitor satisfaction figure of 96 percent, the highest across all of Expo 2020 Dubai’s pavilions, and received the award for Best Small Pavilion at Exhibitor Magazine’s World Expo Awards.

Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “The Vision Pavilion tells a relatable human story: we all had childhood wonders; we all have passions and pastimes; we all have ambition and a vision. We are all shaped by our environment and have the power to change it, too – Sheikh Mohammed was shaped by his father and grandfather’s values and by Dubai, and, in turn, has shaped Dubai and continues to do so.

“The pavilion personified His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s unparalleled influence on a city that more than 200 nationalities today fondly call home. It is perfectly fitting that this window into the life of a man who shaped the future – much like Expo 2020 Dubai itself has strived to do – will continue to amaze and captivate visitors as part of Expo’s legacy.”

During event-time, the pavilion was staffed by the highest percentage of Emirati workforce of any Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion, with 100 percent of the hosting team comprising UAE Nationals, offering bilingual tours or tours in Arabic or English as standard for visitors.

The 27-strong hosting team included 24 Expo Generation Programme participants. The programme represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for UAE youth to gain experience in leading, operating and delivering a major global event, as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s far-reaching legacy plans, preparing future generations and making a long-term contribution to the UAE and regional economy.

The modest size of the pavilion, at 360 square metres, coupled with the in-depth guided tour experience, meant that event-time capacities were strictly limited for tour groups, as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s safe and responsible response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guided through a multisensory experience, visitors learn about Sheikh Mohammed’s childhood and passions, and the traditional Emirati values instilled in him by his father, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and his grandfather, the late Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, as well as the experiences that influenced his bold vision for Dubai and the UAE.

The Vision Pavilion’s façade was created from materials that illustrate His Highness’s passion for nature, and the magnificent city that rose from Dubai’s challenging natural environment – a symbol of hope for the world over.

The sands of the desert are symbolised by stone emerging from the ground in an attempt to cover the building, with visible carved lines that reflect Sheikh Mohammed’s future-focused plans to develop a regional port-city into a modern metropolis. The adjacent foamy aluminium resembles the waves of the Arabian Gulf breaking against the sands of Dubai’s shores.

Rising between the foamy aluminium and the stone, immaculate solid aluminium plates bind desert sand and sea, from which the city of Dubai is born. This key element is the representation of the fulfilment of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision: desert and sea working together and complementing one another to create a success story that reverberates in every corner of the globe.

The journey begins through a door replicating that of the home in Shindagha of Sheikh Mohammed’s grandfather. Arriving in the first gallery, A Place of Discovery and Learning, a room aptly fitted out with sandstone, visitors learn about the teachings of Sheikh Mohammed’s family, the tenets of the Bedouin lifestyle and traditions of the Bani Yas tribe. The walls transform into a large, black-and-white photo album, while a cinematic experience projects across three different graphic surfaces to tell the tale of Sheikh Mohammed’s trials and tribulations as a young child in the desert.

Next, a transition room titled “Exploring His Surroundings” reimagines Sheikh Mohammed’s special childhood room at Zabeel Palace – a physical manifestation of the first explorations and discoveries of youth. Alongside notebooks with reimagined drawings, visitors encounter man-made and natural objects collected and studied by Sheikh Mohammed’s as a child, ranging from insects and feathers to shells and toys.

Walking into Passions and Values, visitors are engulfed in grey sandstone, which rises from the ground into a striking 5.5-metre, 52-tonne sculpture replicating the neck and head of Dubai Millennium, HH Sheikh Mohammed’s most beloved racehorse. Sound and pictures begin moving and rising from inside the horse’s heart and intensify across the room, while HH Sheikh Mohammed’s poetry emerges on the walls. On the opposite wall, a multi-layered exhibit depicts horses in their moment of glory as they compete to the finish line, illustrating how one must make sacrifices on the path to victory – given an extra dimension by horseshoes lined up in the foreground to match the exact position of the horses’ hooves when viewed from the correct angle.

En route to the final gallery, visitors find themselves submerged underwater in Living Among the Pearl Divers, offering insight into life in Dubai before oil, and the harsh conditions that prompted Sheikh Mohammed’s to pursue economic diversification for the benefit of his country and its people.

ALSO READ: RTA serves 37 million riders during Expo 2020

In The Journey Continues, Sheikh Mohammed’s legacy is reinforced as a kaleidoscope of people who live in Dubai, young and old, from the UAE and around the world, share their stories of their relationship with the city and how HH Sheikh Mohammed’s commitment to a better future has impacted their lives. As they tell their stories, a model in the centre, with pin-powered tiles that rise and change shape, synchronise mesmerisingly with the stories being told to depict Dubai’s growth and evolution.

The Vision Pavilion will continue to welcome visitors and will now live on as part of District 2020, the human-centric smart city that will repurpose more than 80 percent of the Expo 2020 Dubai site’s built environment.

It will remain as a significant cultural asset within District 2020, with the intention to relaunch the exhibition in the same format as was seen during Expo 2020 Dubai, but featuring a visitor experience further augmented with different programmes, alongside enhanced visitor services.

Dubai EXPO 2020 UAE News

Mastercard leaves powerful legacy at Expo 2020 Dubai

When Mastercard became the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, it opened up exhilarating new possibilities to collaborate and innovate…reports Asian Lite News

Mastercard has concluded its role as Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Payment Technology Partner after showcasing the innovations defining tomorrow’s digital economy, the sustainable growth it can unlock for future generations and the critical importance of building an inclusive digital economy.

Expo 2020 Dubai represented the beginning of the next era of innovation, sustainability, and inclusion. When Mastercard became the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, it opened up exhilarating new possibilities to collaborate and innovate. The exposition presented Mastercard with a historic opportunity to unleash the potential of innovative technologies as a force for social, environmental and economic good to millions of visitors.

Pioneering the digital economy

Mastercard unveiled the Mastercard Cube at the Expo 2020 Site, which brought to life a world where frictionless connections, seamless technology, user-friendly interfaces, and sustainable consumer choices merge into intuitive, next-generation payment experiences. The Mastercard Cube ranked among the Top 20 innovations at Expo 2020 Dubai.

As the Official Banking Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Emirates NBD Group joined hands with Mastercard to create two exclusive new card programs: the Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card and the Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card. The limited-edition cards enhanced the Expo 2020 Dubai experience for both residents and visitors from across the globe.

Throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, Mastercard further pioneered technologies and led change through its innovation and the exponential power of strategic partnerships. One such example is a collaboration with PepsiCo to launch the Pepsi Go Store on-site, an unmanned refreshment store powered by artificial intelligence and contactless payment technologies.

Mastercard embedded Click to Pay, the next generation of eCommerce technology, to ease the visitor journey as they made their ticket purchases. This made it seamless and safe for UAE consumers to instantly check out without entering their card credentials at Expo Click to Pay-enabled sites.  The deployment of Click to Pay as the default payment offering at Expo 2020 Dubai was a world-first, and it was fitting that Expo 2020 was the first merchant to launch this new embedded experience.

Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Mastercard: “Expo 2020 Dubai took place at a moment in history when, more than ever, the world needed to come together. Joining forces with Expo and its partners, Mastercard has showcased our vision for a better connected, greener and more inclusive world – and in doing so, opened the eyes of millions of people to the limitless potential of the digital economy. As Expo 2020 Dubai drew to a close, it left behind an enduring legacy that everybody at Mastercard is proud to have been a part of.”

Leaving a Legacy

Expo 2020 Dubai joined Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition as a strategic partner at the event’s outset. This global partnership initiative activates the efforts of private organizations, public institutions, and consumers to address climate change with the pledge to restore 100 million trees by 2025.

At the Expo 2020 Dubai site, Mastercard built a Priceless Planet installation to bring sustainability to life and offer visitors a chance to contribute to a more sustainable future, aiming to get everyone involved, educated and committed to a greener tomorrow.

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Mastercard also teamed up with the region’s largest network for women-owned businesses, Female Fusion, which boasts over 20,000 members, to unlock opportunities for women entrepreneurs at the world’s largest cultural gathering. The series of activities, designed to accelerate women’s impact in creating a better world, kicked off at the Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020 in collaboration with Cartier. Through this collaboration, Mastercard brought together the region’s women-led SME community with a series of on-ground and virtual workshops to empower, enable and connect thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs.

Mastercard also committed to reaching 2,020 girls across the country through its Girls4Tech program, which was designed to inspire girls across the globe to explore the possibilities of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through a series of in-person and virtual workshops conducted in English and Arabic, the goal was exceeded through a partnership with the Expo Schools Programme.

Priceless Experiences

Mastercard hosted a series of #PricelessSurprises to connect guests to their passions. Among its hero activities, Mastercard presented football fans with a unique opportunity to meet football legend and Mastercard brand ambassador Luis Figo – and a chance to see the UEFA Champions League Trophy.

Legendary Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram was also invited to the Mastercard Cube. The Wasim Akram Priceless Surprise took place at the Sports, Fitness and Well-Being Centre at the Expo 2020 Dubai, bringing cricket fans and players closer to the sports icon.

-Top News Dubai EXPO 2020

Al Zeyoudi hails Dubai Expo for boosting economy

Expo 2020 Dubai created an unprecedented opportunity for government institutions, private sector companies and academia to raise future agendas and benefit from the momentum it created, to establish sustainable partnerships, Al Zeyoudi said, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said the UAE values leadership and aims to foresee the future, affirming the key role of Expo 2020 Dubai in accelerating the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving growth in all economic sectors.

In an exclusive interview with WAM, Al Zeyoudi highlighted the recent achievements of the UAE, which is progressing steadily towards the post-pandemic era, due to the support and directives of its leadership.

“We witnessed the importance of Expo 2020 Dubai, based on the values of dialogue and partnership and connecting minds and cultures, and positively impacted the UAE’s global stature, especially in the areas of the economy, development and prosperity,” he said.

He also stressed that the distinguished outcomes of the major international event were underscored by its total number of visitors, amounting to 24 million.

Al Zeyoudi explained the fact that Expo 2020 Dubai created an unprecedented opportunity for government institutions, private sector companies and academia to raise future agendas and benefit from the momentum it created, to establish sustainable partnerships.

He then pointed out that the UAE plans to keep the site of Expo 2020 Dubai and turn it into the city of the future, amongst other initiatives that will help the country benefit from the facilities of the international event, which addressed common issues that concern the entire world, such as education, climate change, health, food and cultural openness.

Speaking about the benefits gained by the foreign trade sector from the success of Expo 2020 Dubai, he explained that it is a success for the UAE, which has strengthened its stature as a preferred business destination, established partnerships with other countries and opened up to international markets.

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade stood at AED1.9 trillion in 2021, a growth of 27 percent compared to 2020, with non-oil exports increasing by 33 percent and surpassing a value of AED354 billion for the first time in the country’s history, he said in conclusion.

Meanwhile, according to a report commissioned by Dubai Chamber of Commerce, around 76.5% of companies in Dubai registered growth in their businesses during Expo 2020, while 73.5% managed to build new business relations during the world’s greatest show.

In terms of services provided by Dubai Chamber during the event, 70.6% of respondents to the survey conducted as part of the report said they benefitted from networking, 47% benefitted from the Global Business Forum series and 47% benefitted from B2B meetings.

Titled, ‘Business Integration for Growth, Digital Transformation and Global Partnerships’ the report was developed by the Chamber in collaboration with Oxford Business Group.

In total, Dubai Chamber of Commerce organised 98 events during Expo 2020 Dubai, which were attended by more than 25,000 participants from over 130 countries. The Global Business Forums on Africa, ASEAN and Latin America saw the most participation, as the high-level forums were joined by government and business leaders, who attended in person and virtually.

ALSO READ: Expo 2020 boosts biz growth for Dubai firms

The 12th edition of the World Chambers Congress and a series of Thematic Business Forums were also hosted by the Chamber, which were attended by chamber and industry leaders. The events identified global challenges and highlighted innovative solutions to drive sustainable economic growth.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce facilitated 1,500 bilateral business meetings between UAE investors and their global counterparts, and received 1,746 visiting delegations from over 60 countries during the mega event, which were joined by 3,350 government and business leaders.

Seven new economic and professional bodies were licensed by the Dubai Association Centre, which was established in collaboration with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce (one of the three chambers under Dubai Chambers alongside Dubai International Chamber and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy), the Dubai Economy and Tourism and Dubai World Trade Centre.

The report reveals that revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Dubai in January 2022 increased to AED460 ($125) compared to AED293 ($80) in January 2021, marking an increase of 56.3% and outperforming Milan, the host city for Expo 2015, which recorded RevPAR of 54.5% in 2015.