Expo lead
With Expo 2020 bringing together 192 countries and millions of visitors from across the world, the business community in the UAE is looking to drive collaboration, spur innovation and explore avenues for robust trade and investments. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Kjetil Urheim, General Manager, Jotun Paints UAE

Kjetil Urheim

Expo 2020 will be an event to remember for generations to come. I would like to congratulate the leaders of the UAE for hosting an event of this scale and stature, which will bring the world together to witness state-of-the-art technologies, innovations and cultures, and address global issues.

As a market leader, Jotun Paints UAE has aimed to align its vision with the overall vision of the UAE and we are proud to be able to associate with many milestones of the country.

With Expo 2020 starting tomorrow, we take this opportunity to express our gratitude in being able to provide painting and coating solutions to beautify and protect the Expo infrastructure and pavilions, and look forward to being part of an event which will act as a catalyst in the growth of a global and sustainable economy.

Saleh Lootah, Chairman, UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group

Saleh Lootah

Expo 2020 Dubai is a significant initiative that positions Dubai on the global map, and creates enormous economic growth opportunities for all. For UAE food & beverage manufacturers, the event presents a compelling platform to showcase the current and future trends in the industry, especially as we pivot to support the leadership’s vision to deliver in-country value through localised research, innovation and manufacturing.

Under the theme, ‘Transforming the future of food and beverage manufacturing,’ we are putting the spotlight on how digitisation drives the transformation of the sector. It is important for the industry to realign its processes for the new reality, and ensure that together, we create a dynamic ecosystem for the F&B manufacturing sector to thrive in the UAE. Expo 2020 Dubai will have a significant impact in driving industrial growth with a focus on sustainability and innovation — and these two themes are central to the dialogue we build around Future Food 2021. Through the event, we will showcase the UAE’s capabilities in F&B manufacturing and create new opportunities for global partnerships and sustained growth.

Sherif Beshara, Group CEO, Mohamed and Obaid Almulla Group, the holding group of American Hospital Dubai

Sherif Beshara

Expo 2020 will be a groundbreaking event redefining the perspectives for our collective future. Its impact on healthcare will be transformational, accelerating its pace in the region. American Hospital Dubai’s mission and vision to create healthier tomorrows for humanity by exploring new frontiers in medicine are in synergy with Expo 2020 Connecting Minds, Creating the Future theme.

The largest show on earth will be a global platform for exchanging ideas and technology transfers across the spectrum, boosting sustainability and innovation worldwide. Expo 2020 will accelerate UAE’s National Agenda goals, including the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) and New Inflow of Foreign Direct Investment, helping regional growth.

In tandem with the UAE’s head start in healthcare progress with medical tourism, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), AI, robotics, and genomics — which will receive a boost at Expo — American Hospital Dubai is setting milestones in these fields to stay ahead of the curve.

Mohammad Meraj Hoda, Vice president of Business Development – Middle East Africa, Ring

Mohammad Meraj Hoda

Expo 2020 is one of the first major events to be held since the pandemic began, and it is an unprecedented opportunity to showcase ideas and innovations from around the world. It provides us with a powerful platform to connect and collaborate with people and businesses, form new partnerships and explore fresh opportunities. Ring believes in building strong communities, and Expo 2020 underlines the fact that the world is but a community. We believe that together we can make not just neighbourhoods safer, but the entire world.

Dubai has been described as the new melting pot of the world, and we believe Expo 2020 will cement its position not only as a regional powerhouse, but a global one. It will emerge as a fertile ground for solutions that address worldwide challenges. Expo 2020 will also amply highlight the resilience and optimism of a world emerging from a pandemic. It will ring in exuberance.

Shoaib Iqbal Ahmed, Founder and Director, Lattafa Perfumes

Shoaib Iqbal Ahmed

Expo 2020 is a golden opportunity for the ‘Made in UAE’ products. Lattafa is wearing the ‘Made in UAE’ label with pride and honour. Lattafa has been a partner in the UAE economic diversification mandate and growth. For the last three decades, Lattafa has been patiently working towards this vision, which also contributes to the nation’s heritage and the spirit of connecting the world through culture and entrepreneurship.

Lattafa has planned to distribute 100,000 complimentary Lattafa perfumes in the UAE during the Expo 2020 season. The company aims to reach more than 80 countries and connect with

more than one billion people in the world. The progressive vision and efforts of the rulers of the country have made the UAE the great nation that it is today.

Andre Daoud, Group CEO, Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres

Andre Daoud

Expo 2020 is a defining moment in the UAE’s history. Not only will this highly-anticipated event make a positive impact on the UAE’s thriving economy, but it will also send waves of positive change across the region. I’m particularly excited to see that Expo 2020 has evolved into fruition, following the uncertainties that the pandemic posed.

I admire the UAE government’s forward-thinking, and its dedicated effort to positioning Dubai at the Expo as a highly sought-after medical destination. Expo 2020 has arrived at a time when the healthcare sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation across the world. At Medcare, we remain aligned with this transformation, and we look forward to providing exceptional medical care to our global visitors. Expo 2020 is a reminder that life goes on, things return to normal with strategy and resilience, and that compassion conquers all.

Tamara Machavariani, CEO, Rush Global


Tamara Machavariani

Expo 2020 will most definitely open up great opportunities not only for my business but for all other industries. Expo 2020 is a chance to show the world what the UAE is

capable of, and we, at Rush Global, are given a chance to show our achievements and prove our place.

Expo 2020 will benefit everyone living in the UAE, whether they are participating in the event or not. Huge investments have been made to make this a success as it is the biggest event that Dubai has ever hosted. UAE aims to exceed its past successes and prove its worth as a global powerhouse of innovation and investment. Experts are expecting an influx of local and international visitors,.Business opportunities are going to be in every corner — all we have to do is to grab the opportunities because in the end, Dubai is the future.

Ma Yongsheng, Director and President, Sinopec

Ma Yongsheng

Congratulations to the grand opening of Expo 2020 Dubai. As the first Expo in the Arab world, Expo 2020 Dubai will have significant influence in the sustainable development and innovation in the UAE, MENA region and globally, and will bring tremendous opportunities across sectors. I am especially impressed by the green hydrogen used in the Expo Park.

Sinopec is one of the leading energy companies in the world and also the largest hydrogen producer in China. At present, Sinopec is unswervingly moving towards net zero emission, making every effort to build a world leading clean energy and chemical company, comprehensively promoting the construction of the whole hydrogen industrial chain, and has made breakthroughs in many fields such as hydrogen refueling stations, hydrogen production technology, hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen storage materials. Sinopec looks forward to forging further cooperation in the UAE and the MENA region in clean energy and creating continued contributions to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Chris Peters, CEO, Maritime Logistics division, Tristar Group

Chris Peters

The Expo has given us the opportunity to move our third Safety at Sea conference to the venue, at the Indian Pavilion, which has been widely appreciated by the maritime community. We launched this annual conference in 2019 to draw industry and global attention to the importance of the physical and mental health of workers at sea.

Expo is a major event influencing the region. Dubai is showcasing itself as a business hub and as a regional leader. This will ultimately lead to growth in the region and especially in the UAE for future business opportunities.

On the maritime side, we have been expanding our business in the region, with a new vessel in Qatar and an additional capacity in Fujairah where we are expanding our ship agency business. We expect to see an increase in all types of cargo business in the UAE as a maritime hub following the Expo and capitalise internally on this growth.

Kamal Vachani, Group Director and Partner, Al Maya Group

Kamal Vachani

It’s a great event to showcase how open the UAE is as more than 200 nationalities live together as a family and call it their second home.

Expo 2020 constitutes an ideal platform to introduce millions of visitors and residents to the city’s rich culture and creative economy. It would enrich their experience through various interactive events and activities and strengthen Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, a thriving hub for talent, and

as the global capital of the creative economy. It will also bring more investment and millions of tourists.

Manish Kumar, CEO, Geo Chem Middle East CPS

Manish Kumar

Geo Chem Middle East is into testing, inspection and certification (TIC) industry for the past few decades. Our presence in MENA region is extending our services to all retailers, brands, manufacturers and traders ensuring the quality and safety of the products. Expo 2020 is very significant for us, as we are directly and indirectly connected to all who are visiting the event. We will be supporting the regional economy by supporting the quality and safety industry, which will in return support economy with our service of testing, inspection and certification.

Dr Jamil Ahmed, Managing Director, Prime Healthcare Group

Dr Jamil Ahmed

Every transformative event in history is a legacy helping humanity shape a more sustainable future, and Expo 2020 will be the shared heritage for our planet and its people. Prime Healthcare, too, is committed to building a legacy of improved well-being and happiness in communities through excellent, personalised healthcare.

The largest global influencer on the fraternity of nations, Expo 2020 will shift our collective awareness, enterprise, and ideas to new levels of possibility and potential. It will inspire countries, businesses, organisations, industries, and individuals to impact positively, from the community level to the national, regional, and global.

Expo 2020 will showcase UAE’s vision and keen pursuit of its National Agenda goals, which have placed it at the forefront of an all-sector growth, including a trailblazing evolution in healthcare. Prime Healthcare is a partner in this evolution in the service of humanity, contributing to UAE’s status as a benchmark in medical excellence.

Yusuffali M.A., Second Vice Chamber, Abu Dhabi Chamber & Chairman & Managing Director, LuLu Group

Yusuffali M.A

Undoubtedly, Expo 2020 marks a brand-new chapter in global progress, thanks to the visionary move of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the leadership of the UAE. After the pandemic, we are all eager to win back our prosperity and progress and countries are putting their best foot forward at Expo 2020 by showcasing their technological and cultural prowess. I am confident that many sectors will successfully open up to thrive and develop new networks of business during the six months of Expo 2020.

What is especially admirable is that this is the first global economic and cultural event after the pandemic and by enabling this large-scale, ambitious programme, Dubai and the UAE have taken the lead in supporting the world’s efforts to overcome the setbacks of the pandemic. The whole process has been made possible through the excellent efforts of our visionary leaders, from rolling out vaccination drives to providing world-class health care services to combat the Covid-19 virus.

How the education sector is planning to make the most of this opportunity

Karen McCord, Executive Principal, Australian International School (AIS) — Dubai

Karen McCord

We are thrilled that our students will visit Expo 2020 four times with classmates, each experience will have them witness the curriculum coming to life. Children learn with all five senses, so being able to see, touch, smell, taste and hear wonders from each participating Expo country is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Our families understand Expo is a unique opportunity for them and Dubai. Not being able to travel so easily right now, Expo allows us a mini educational world tour in our own backyard. Thank you Dubai Government!

Shadi Hassan, Head of Academic Support, BEAM

Shadi Hassan

At BEAM, we are positive that the traction generated by this stellar event will generate various networking opportunities for all our diverse business interests, and for education.

The ripples of Expo 2020 are bound to be felt over the next decade. The technological innovations alone will influence the education industry, but the personal interactions and exchanges with a global society are bound to enhance the entire experience.

For students, the exposure to latest technology, witnessing the efforts of increasing sustainability, and the cumulative wisdom shared, are bound to motivate and inspire their young minds.

Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the world and in particular, the way our students learn. BEAM commits itself to strengthen its educational programmes by increasing overall educator collaboration, implementing enhanced innovative strategies, and mitigating the learning loss gaps via the recovery curriculum plans.

Furthermore, BEAM has enhanced the availability of technology to teachers and students and introduced scientific and digital literacy within our curriculum.

BEAM learners develop a wider global perspective as all educators see the need for global connections, moving forward.

Steven John Mcluckie, Executive Principal, Australian International School (AIS) — Sharjah

Steven John Mcluckie

EXPO 2020 means a great deal to AIS. Similarly to Expo 2020, which prides itself on growth, innovation, and community connectedness, the AIS also believes in and practises these values. We are extremely proud of our partnership with Expo 2020 as associates with the Australian pavilion. The inevitable growth, recognition, and economic development that the EXPO 2020 will bring to this region will help accelerate our school and community’s success and allow our students to continue to make a difference to the world on an international scale.

Expo 2020: Redefining entrepreneurship

Martin G. Pedersen, Chairman, IFZA, one of the UAE’s most dynamic free zone entites, explains why the global fair is helping the nation’s entrepreneurial quotient evolve

Martin G. Pedersen

It is our pride and joy at IFZA to be a part of this historic event that comes at an important point in humanity’s history.

We would like to send our warmest congratulations and deepest gratitude to the Leadership of Dubai and the UAE for this great accomplishment and commit ourselves to be ambassadors of global excellence that this great city is known for.

Expo 2020 is ready to welcome the world’s best entrepreneurial talent. As the Chairman of one of the leading free zone bodies in the region, how do you see this global spectacle changing the dynamics of entrepreneurship for the UAE in the months and years to come?

The Expo 2020 Dubai is a game changer for the UAE. It provides a once-in-a-lifetime event for us to immerse millions of international visitors in a powerful experience of how we live and do business here in this city. We look forward to building relationships with global partners and entrepreneurs, and inspire them to start their business journey particularly inside Free Zones, because of the supportive business ecosystem our Free Zones provide.

What are the incentives IFZA has lined up to attract global investors visiting Expo and who hope to set up shop in the Emirate?

The Leadership of the UAE have provided us this powerful platform to make the world aware of the limitless opportunities that Dubai offers. We at IFZA take this mandate seriously. In the coming months, we will carry this message through events and campaigns inside and around the Expo.

Dubai offers an unrivaled combination of a high quality of life and global business opportunities in a safe, diverse and harmonious society. It is our duty to focus on promoting Dubai to entrepreneurs from around the world based on its premium value – which it rightfully deserves.

How important is Expo 2020 to the growth narrative for UAE free zones?

This is an exciting time for UAE Free Zones. Over the past year, we have shown that the UAE offers opportunities to thrive regardless of the global challenges and the Expo is an important testament to this.

Across the six months of the Expo, IFZA will take part in business-to-business events, networking and matchmaking platforms that encourage tangible prospects in trade and investment. This will definitely accelerate growth across many segments in the UAE, including the Free Zone industry, as the opportunities bear fruit.