Dubai: In the presence of high-ranking officials and Expo 2020 Dubai’s leaders and stakeholders, Expo 2020 Dubai hosted an end of event celebration for its Expo Heroes on 27 March. Held at Jubilee Park, it was a show of appreciation to all Expo 2020 Dubai volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
Honouring the accomplishments of each volunteer who has selflessly committed their time and indefatigable energy to the first event of its type in the Middle East region, and the most distinguished international assembly since the COVID-19 epidemic, volunteers were treated to an afternoon of fun and entertainment. Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, commenced the celebration with a warm welcome to the volunteers and a speech of gratitude.
The ceremony also served as a recognition of all of Expo 2020 stakeholders that were part of the programme, from government entities and universities, including the four main stakeholders of the Volunteers Programme: Etisalat — Premier Partner, who collaborated on two nationwide campaigns; Dubai Police, who acted as Expo 2020s support training partner; National Service and Reserve, who provided 1,400 cadets for the whole six months; and the Emirates Foundation, who served as a strategy partner overseeing the volunteers registration platform.
As part of the legacy plan, Expo 2020 Dubai signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Tolerance, who will continue the legacy of Expo 2020s Volunteers programme.
Sheikh Nahayan said: “In the United Arab Emirates we continue to exhibit a strong national conviction that voluntarism is a moral virtue that expresses the love of humankind by bringing people together for a common cause, supporting one another for the benefit of all, building a spirit of community and helping individuals to become better human beings.”
Highlights of the day’s celebration included music from Al-Razfa Emirati Drummers and Brazilian Drummers, videos encompassing Expo 2020 Dubai’s main themes, the Dubai Police Marching Band, a performance by Voices of Tolerance — a 200-person choir singing the UAE National anthem and Together we Are — and a screening of an Expo 2020 Dubai volunteer’s success story.
Basma Sahi, Expo 2020 Volunteer from Government Entity said: “It’s been a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience which has afforded me the opportunity to meet different people from all around the world, and to work with many talented volunteers. I am very grateful to be part of this team at Expo 2020 and cannot wait to continue to give back to the UAE in future volunteering opportunities.”
Mohammed Banaaman, Expo 2020 Volunteer from National Service said: “What I gained from Expo 2020 Dubai is the ability to understand different cultures and backgrounds which has opened my mind. I took what is best from different nationalities and implanted these traits into my lifestyle, and I now see a different — better — version of myself!”
Through this skills-enriching experience, Expo 2020 Dubai’s volunteers have given back to the community and helped to create a meaningful legacy for the UAE and the world.