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Dubai: More than 15,000 people have registered for Expo 2020 Volunteer Programme, Abeer Al Hosani, head of Volunteers for Expo 2020 told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

The programme targets all sectors of the community from students and employees in the public and private sector, to retirees, housewives and people of determination of all nationalities.

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Countdown: 720 days to Expo 2020 Dubai

Anyone over the age of 18 can register for the Expo 2020 Volunteers Programme this Saturday during the two-year count down public celebration at Burj Park in Downtown Dubai.

The event is offering the community a glimpse of what is to come at the biggest event to ever be held in the region.

A specially choreographed show of The Dubai Fountain and display on the Burj Khalifa façade at 2020 (20 minutes past 8pm) will mark the milestone moment.

The Volunteer Programme, which is set to register over 30,000 volunteers over the next two years, has already witnessed a positive response with thousands of people expressing interest on the database.

“The passion, excitement and response we have received so far is overwhelming. Everyone wants to be a apart of the Expo 2020, and the Volunteer Programme is the gate to allow everyone in the community to be a part of this great event and give back to this country that we all call home,” said Al Hosani.

She pointed out that for the first mega event happening in the region, the Expo 2020 team is investing in human capital by ensuring that all volunteers taken on board are interviewed, trained and allocated the right tasks that match their skills and interests.

“We have started inviting interested volunteers and briefing them about the event as well as engaging them in different activities that we are hosting towards the journey of Expo 2020,” said Al Hosani.

The team is spreading awareness by targeting each sector of the community starting with students in public and private universities.

Through a portable recruitment stand, staff are able to reach out to students at universities, employees at government entities, and even housewives through stands at public places.

A portable Expo 2020 van is also moving across emirates to reach out to communities across the country.

“We also have the ‘House of volunteers’- the first operational building on the expo site, which is a place where we welcome volunteers and make them feel right at home. We don’t only interview them, but we are interested in them showcasing their talents as well as their comments, feedback, suggestions and their expectations of the Expo 2020 experience,” said Al Hosnai.

Targeting more than 30,000 volunteers to help deliver the event over six months, the team has identified over 30 roles and responsibilities for volunteers so far.

“We will be holding more than 60 events per day and we will need volunteers showcasing the pavilions, supporting the delegations on site, the media centre and those with experience in technology and IT,” said Al Hosani.

“Even if you don’t have exposure or experience, we will train you – we are welcoming everyone,” she added.

Fast facts

■  Expo 2020 will host approximately 60 events per day for 173 consecutive days
■  More than 200 participants will take part in Expo 2020 Dubai, including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational institutions
■  More than 170 countries have confirmed their participation either publicly or privately
■  Expo 2020 expects to welcome approximately 150,000 visitors a day on average
■  The Expo 2020 site can accommodate up to 300,000 people per day, more than three times the capacity of London’s Wembley Stadium
■  Expo 2020 will have its own dedicated Dubai Metro station on the Route 2020 line, with carriages capable of transporting 46,000 passengers per hour to and from the site
■  The Expo site will feature 30,000 parking spaces, more than twice as many as Dubai Mall
■  Some 5,000 types of official licensed products will be sold through retail outlets across the Expo site, as well as by authorised outlets around the UAE and Expo 2020’s online store

Workforce and volunteers

■  Between 20,000 and 35,000 people will work at the Expo site each day during the six months of the event
■  More than 30,000 volunteers – both UAE nationals and expats – will carry out various roles
■  More than 600 people are directly employed by Expo 2020 Dubai
■  More than 60 nationalities are represented in the Expo 2020 team
■  Women make up 51 per cent of the Expo workforce