Dubai: The Steering Committee of the College of Commissioner Generals of Expo 2020 Dubai held its third event-time meeting, reaffirming its commitment to continue hosting an exceptional and safe World Expo in a manner that is engaging, exciting and full of learning.
The meeting of the committee, which represents Expo 2020 Dubai’s 192 participating nations, was attended by Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, and Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary-General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos. It was chaired by Manuel Salchli, Chair of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee and Commissioner General for Switzerland at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Al Hashimy said: “As we approach the three-month mark, having welcomed millions of people from around the world, we are humbled by the depth of pride, learning and exploration that visitors are enjoying on site. We will continue to ensure that the health and safety of all visitors and staff alike remains our number one priority. In coordination with our partners in both the local and federal levels, we will continue to be agile, proactive and factual to ensure an unforgettable and safe Expo 2020 experience for all.”
‘Delighted and reassured’
Kerkentzes commented: “The UAE, Expo 2020 Dubai and all international participants remain united in our commitment to continue delivering an exceptional experience for each and every visitor, from all corners of the world. Buoyed by Expo’s latest visitation numbers, I am delighted and reassured by the way in which this World Expo has been hosted and managed so far, with the site’s ongoing health and safety measures set to ensure the coming weeks and months hold as much promise as those since October 1.”
Chaired by Manuel Salchli, the committee, which comprises commissioner-generals from 34 countries, praised the UAE and event organisers for a successful opening, particularly in light of the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic — noting the millions of visitors that have safely passed through Expo’s doors as 2022 approaches.
Committee members recognised the success of the cultural events of countries celebrating their National Days at Expo, as well as Expo’s spectacular UAE Golden Jubilee celebrations on December 2, marking 50 years since the founding of the nation.
‘Approaching the halfway mark’
Salchli said: “During the near-three months of Expo, the outstanding commitment of international participants and organisers to offer a unique visitor experience has been on full display for the world to see. As we approach the halfway mark, heralding the new year with renewed optimism, I am confident such embedded international collaboration will continue to support International Participants’ national objectives, which includes addressing the global challenges shared by all.”
The largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai’s latest COVID-19 measures include the expansion of the number of onsite PCR testing facilities to four and free testing for all Country Pavilion staff. While all frontline workers and entertainers continue to be tested on a regular basis, Dubai Expo 2020 is committed to applying the learnings of the past 18 months and move forward with partners and stakeholders to ensure a balanced and comprehensive approach forward.
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Mandatory vaccination and boosters
With more than 90 per cent of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination and boosters of all Expo and international participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers.
Visitors aged 18 and above are required to present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains onsite sanitisation stations and mandatory face masks both in indoor and outdoor spaces.