Business | Economy

Shaikh Ahmad hosts Expo 2020 gala event in Paris

The Gala was part of the run up to Dubai’s Expo 2020 presentation

  • By Scott Shuey, Deputy Business Editor
  • Published: 18:46 November 22, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: WAM
  • Shaikh Ahmad speaks to Vicente González Loscertales as Al Raeesi looks on.

Dubai: Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee on Expo 2020, hosted a gala event at the National Academia of Music in Paris on Wednesday.

The Gala was part of the run up to Dubai’s Expo 2020 presentation on Thursday.

Visitors to the gala event toured an exhibition showcasing Dubai’s bid to host the Expo, including the city’s position as a aviation hub and a tourism destination. The exhibition also showcased art work, poetry and videos about Dubai created by selected UAE residents.

Shaikh Ahmad, who is also the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, welcomed those attending and thanked them for supporting Dubai’s bid, while Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State, gave a speech in French.

Attending were local businessmen, including Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, and Rick Pudner, chief executive officer of Emirates NBD; government officials, including Sulaiman Hamid Al Mazroui, the UAE’s ambassador to Brussels and member of the International Exhibitions Bureau, which oversee the World Expos. DP World and Emirates NBD are both sponsoring the Dubai’s Expo 2020 bid.

Pudner said that Dubai is really a prime choice for an expo. “It will has the potential to generate a lot of business,” he said. “It will also be good for the banking sector, in terms of leading up the expo because of further development in Dubai. You also have all this opportunity through during expo that will create opportunities for people setting up businesses, generating employment, both locally and with joint ventures around the world.”

Helal Saeed Al Marri, head of the Dubai World Trade Centre, said the economy multiplier effect from the event would be significant.

“With this many unique visitors expected, were talking about 25 million visitors over six months, a very large amount of business is going to come.”

He said further figures would be released in a weeks time.

Vincent Gonzales Loscertales, who heads the International Exhibition Bureau selection committee, said Dubai’s bid is looking very strong.

“The UAE is a very strong contender,” he said. He named Dubai’s position as a travel hub, its expertise in hosting international events, and an excellent professional team.

Dubai was scheduled to give its third presentation to the IEB on Thursday, during which it will share details of its master plans for Expo 2020.

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