Expo 2020 Dubai's volunteer programme features 30,000 volunteers occupying different roles serving visitors and participants, with allocations based on skills and interests Image Credit: Twitter/@expo2020dubai

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai honoured its 30,000 volunteers as part of International Volunteer Day events (IVD) on Sunday.

A series of events and panel discussions, held in partnership with the Ministry of Community Development and United Nations Volunteers Programme, brought together representatives of Expo and local volunteering services to highlight the role that volunteers play at Expo.

IVD is an observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985 “to recognise and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe”.

‘Cooperation-loving community’

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai volunteers are the embodiment of the UAE’s diverse and cooperation-loving community. We are proud that the volunteers – Emiratis and expatriates – demonstrate the best of our nation, and share with us the journey of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ through their dedication and commitment, providing visitors with the highest-quality service. Expo 2020 Dubai volunteers have put themselves in the service of the nation and humanity.”

‘Noble human value’

Ahmad Julfar, director-general of the Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA), said: “Volunteering is a noble human value that enhances social cohesion. Our participation in this event highlights the importance of consolidating joint efforts, honouring volunteers, and improving the services provided to volunteers, enhancing the position of the UAE as an influential charitable and humanitarian country.”

Universal celebration

Expo’s volunteer programme features 30,000 volunteers occupying different roles serving visitors and participants, with allocations based on skills and interests. On Sunday, a group of 50 volunteers representing their peers were honoured on the Jubilee Stage.

High-level attendees were present at the event, including Sheikh Nahyan; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai; and Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development.

At the event, three global ‘Volunteer Heroes’ were selected by the Ministry of Community Development, Emirates Foundation and the International Association for Volunteer Effort. They were Jonas Abujate, Provincial Youth Council of Cabo-Delgado; Kar Yeung Lam, Agency for Volunteer Service, Hong Kong; and Maja Sruk, Volunteers’ Centre in Zagreb.