Dubai: Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), opened the gate to Expo 2020 Dubai in a special ceremony today that crowned years of partnership and friendship between the UAE and WEF.
Al Gergawi stated that the gate-opening ceremony signifies the UAE government’s appreciation for the pivotal role undertaken by the WEF since its establishment, and reflects the strong partnership between the UAE and the WEF.
Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi reaffirmed the UAE Government and the WEF’s keenness to strengthen and promote this partnership in line with their aspiration to contribute actively in creating a brighter future for nations, communities and future generations.
On his part, Professor Klaus Schwab commended deep-rooted ties between the WEF and the UAE government and expressed his appreciation for celebrating the WEF’s 50th anniversary with the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai gate.
Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Professor Klaus Schwab held a meeting attended by a high-level delegation, including Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, and Mirek Dusek, Deputy Head of Centre for Regional and Geopolitical Affairs, WEF.
Al Hashimy welcomed Professor Schwab and his team to Expo 2020 Dubai, congratulating him on the 50th anniversary of establishing the WEF. Al Hashimy commended the WEF’s efforts in promoting dialogue among nations, building bridges of communication and developing solutions to major challenges facing humanity through science, dialogue and joint humanitarian action. Al Hashimy also stressed that the WEF’s directions converge with the humanitarian message of the UAE and its pivotal role in key global issues.
For his part, Professor Schwab congratulated Al Hashimy on the success of Expo 2020 Dubai and the momentum it is gaining globally. He praised the creative design of its 200 pavilions that host 192 participating countries and its one-of-a-kind activities and events. He hailed the UAE’s efforts in hosting the world’s greatest event and its distinct management of all the events and activities it features.
Professor Schwab further stated that the strong relations between the UAE government and WEF date back to the inception of the WEF and their long-standing partnership. He stressed the WEF’s keenness to promote this partnership and take it to new heights.
The meeting comes as part of Prof. Schwab’s visit to the UAE to participate in the Great Narrative Meeting, jointly organised by the UAE government and WEF on November 11-12. The meeting brings together global thought leaders, top thinkers, innovators and futurists to exchange views and develop long-term perspectives that can help guide the creation of a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future for all.
Touring Expo 2020
After his meeting with Al Hashimy, Professor Schwab visited Expo 2020 Dubai, where he explored the three main districts: Sustainability (Terra), Mobility and Opportunity. He was briefed on the latest applicable concepts of sustainability and listened to a detailed explanation on the plans to transform the vast Expo site, spanning 4.38 million square kilometres, to a sustainable, human-centred smart city — District 2020. The new city will retain more than 80 per cent of the infrastructure and facilities used in Expo 2020.
He also visited the UAE Pavilion, designed in the shape of a falcon in flight, and went through its various sections and distinguished exhibits that introduce the UAE’s rich history, culture and values.
Experience of Expo 2020 Dubai
Professor Schwab also visited the Swiss Pavilion, located in the Opportunity District, where he was briefed on the unique experience offered by the pavilion, showcasing Switzerland’s stunning nature and the captivating Swiss Alps.
Professor Schwab concluded his visit, hailing the experience of Expo 2020 Dubai, and the UAE’s leading regional and global excellence in achieving the best for its people and the world. He stressed the importance and deep meaning conveyed by the UAE’s organising and hosting of this global gathering at such an exceptional time, as countries and societies are struggling to recover, economically and socially, from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.