Paris and Dubai: Wednesday was a red letter day for the UAE, marking a milestone in the nation’s march to economic progress and prosperity on the international stage.
In Paris, the UAE ramped up its bid for World Expo 2020 with an impressive presentation. Dubai is competing against Turkey’s Izmir, Brazil’s Sao Paulo and Russia’s Yekaterinburg following the disqualification of Thailand’s Ayutthaya.
The UAE also announced a €150 million (Dh726 million) aid package to support the developing countries’ participation at the Expo 2020 on Wednesday, in addition to the €100 million Partnership Fund to support innovative ideas for creating opportunities, mobility and sustainability as part of Dubai’s bid.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was present at the presentation at the General Assembly of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE).
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of the UAE Higher Committee for Expo 2020, Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Expo 2020 bid, and senior officials were present.
In the presentation by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, the UAE announced a key initiative, Expo Live, which includes funds to ensure greater participation and aid innovation.
BIE officials were full of praise for Dubai’s presentation.
“It’s impressive and Dubai is a very strong contender,” Ferdinand Nagy, President of BIE, told Gulf News.
Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, Secretary General of the BIE, is keen to see that the Arab world gets its fair share of exposure in the international exposition. “The UAE’s bid is excellent,” he told Gulf News.
The final decision will be made at the next general assembly in Paris in November.
In New York, the UAE was awarded the coveted emerging market status and inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Market Index. Both the UAE and Qatar were upgraded in a move that could see in infusion of $800 million in local markets, according to estimates from HSBC in London.
UAE shares rose on Wednesday as the Abu Dhabi Securities General Index advanced the most since 2009. Dubai also ended in positive territory and Qatar’s benchmark QE Index surged to its highest level in almost five years.
With inputs from Himendra Mohan Kumar