Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Image Credit: WAM/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has expressed his pride in welcoming the entire world to the land of tolerance for Expo 2020 Dubai.

In exclusive statements to Al Bayan Arabic daily a day before the opening of the world’s biggest cultural gathering, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We take pride in welcoming representatives of 192 countries to the land of tolerance, as we invest in this global gathering to find solutions to global challenges on the grounds of international cooperation that humanity is in need of.”

He added: “With one day to go before the official launch of the global event in the UAE, the 10- year journey of dedication and hard work to organise the world’s biggest event that lasts for six months, is a source of national pride to us, a journey that reflects the global confidence in the UAE.”

Sheikh Mohammed praised national cadres for their excellence and exceptional capacity. “Emiratis have proved again and again an exceptional ability to excel in any mission and position they undertake to serve humanity, proving to the world that the UAE is a fruitful tree whose shadow can absorb all dreamers of a better tomorrow for this planet.”

Recalling the legacy of the late founding fathers, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Today, we reap the fruits of your forward-looking strategies. This is your fruit… the world’s confidence is the fruit of your vision and determination to overcome challenges and difficulties.

The world today is inspired by your vision that a civilisation cannot rise or grow without going through difficulties and overcoming challenges. This was the first lesson that we had learned from you and we will pass it on to the future generations. Today, we are proud of this great achievement made by Emiratis.”

Sheikh Mohammed paid homage to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

“The approach, embraced by Sheikh Khalifa and followed by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, has raised the UAE’s aspirations to no limit, because the Emirati people’s determination, resolve and will aim to resume the region’s role in leading civilisations and joining humanity in progress and development, and prove that the region’s peoples are able to make the impossible possible,”he said.

“Over the past decade, the UAE has worked tirelessly to fulfil its promise of organising a historic and unprecedented Expo. The promise is fulfilled. As we promised, Expo Dubai will be an exceptional event to be engraved in mankind’s memory,” Sheikh Mohammed stressed.

Welcoming participants, Sheikh Mohammed said: “You are at home, and our development experience is at your service. Today, Dubai brings us all together at Expo, so we join hands in shaping a better future for generations to come.”

Addressing visitors, Sheikh Mohammed said: “The UAE is your country, a bridge to peace and tolerance for all people. It is an opportunity for everyone to connect at the largest human gathering of expertise, ideas, cultures and achievements. This is our chance to explore our similarities. During the event, we will have the opportunity to realise that diversity is an advantage that will encourage human interactions and promote the values of giving and cooperation, as well as confirm the fact that human solidarity will overcome all challenges. This is our chance to establish an international cooperation system that will benefit everyone, and this gathering is an ideal platform for highlighting the importance of human solidarity and cooperation. This is the unprecedented experience that our world needs."

To the team that managed the expo’s 10-year preparations, Sheikh Mohammed said, "We are proud of you and your innovation, and the entire world is thanking you. I salute every one of you. You have the right to be proud, you are stars in the sky and role models of organisation and giving. You are national assets and global icons. You, the 50,000 employees and 30,000 volunteers, are trustworthy and believed in the nation’s visions, whose results we are seeing today and are impressing the world. You have raised the name of the country high; you have fulfilled our expectations; you are the team of possibilities that the Emirati people are proud of."