The platform “is open to everyone, whether it’s an investor or an SME looking to connect with an investor and present their ideas or innovations,” said Ayesha Shahin, Manager - Expo Business Programme at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It’s the business world that will help drive the next wave of innovations when it comes to heading into outer space - and the Expo 2020 will drive this further through the Space Business Forum.

“We are bringing CEOs of global space agencies to discuss the future of the space industry and what that means for businesses in general,” said Ayesha Shahin, Manager - Expo Business Programme at Expo 2020 Dubai. “These events are hosted in partnership with Dubai Chamber of Commerce - they’re also hosted in collaboration with international participants as well as our commercial partners. We have the whole world basically coming together to discuss one thematic area and that is space.”

The event, which opened on today (October 19) is part of Space Week, which will revolve around topics such as UAE’s space vision, international cooperation through new coalitions, and partnerships in the space industry. The upcoming space forum will include a session where SMEs and startups can present their latest innovations.

A place for business

With this being Asia’s first world fair, entrepreneurs and investors from the region want to make the most of it by striking deals and building stronger economic ties, overall. The Expo Business Programme has been a key enabler on that front. Last week, it hosted the Global Business Forum Africa where more than 1,700 attendees showed up, mainly from Africa, along with UAE government representatives. There’s more planned – a forum for Southeast Asian countries will take place in December, followed by one for Latin American nations in March.

“We want to cater to the business community - although we have a lot of entertainment that is happening at the Expo side, it is also a place for businesses to come and connect,” said Shahin.


The Expo has set up a business-to-business networking app that allows participants to connect with each other. “The app is built on AI (artificial intelligence) technology that will match a business profile with someone else who has a similar profile,” said Shahin. “They can even schedule their meetings on the app itself and have the meetings on site here at Expo.”

Live feedback

Even after the event is over, Expo checks in on the participants to see if they met their desired goals. “We’re reaching out to these companies following the event with some kind of a survey to see whether they were able to make quality connections during these forums,” said Shahin. “So far, the responses we received are very positive.”