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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Reem Al Hashimi at the World Cities Day event at Al Wasl Plaza in Dubai on Monday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

DUBAI: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Monday welcomed more than 160 ambassadors, high commissioners and other high-ranking officials to Al Wasl Plaza for an event honouring the international diplomatic community’s contribution to the success of Expo 2020 Dubai.

In the presence of Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman, Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of Expo City Dubai Authority, and His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the discussion addressed opportunities to build on the extraordinary collective progress catalysed throughout the World Expo, with 130 countries represented.

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More than 160 ambassadors, high commissioners and other high-ranking officials were invited to Al Wasl Plaza for an event honouring the international diplomatic community’s contribution to the success of Expo 2020 Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Coinciding with World Cities Day, which aims to raise awareness of global urbanisation and drive cooperation in sustainable urban development, the event reflected the convening power and international spirit of Expo 2020, carried forward into Expo City Dubai – a city founded on a deep-rooted belief that a broad coalition of people working together can help create a more sustainable, dignified and inclusive world for the next generation.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said: “In bringing the world together, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, Expo 2020 was a reflection – and a recognition – of everything that the UAE has achieved in the last 50 years. Much more than just an event, it highlighted that countries and communities not only believed in our nation as hosts, but see it as a model of good and of hope, where people can succeed and thrive. The legacy that Expo 2020 will leave behind is not just an achievement of a few, but of everyone who is proud to call the UAE home.”

Sheikh Nahayan said: “As Commissioner General of the host nation, the UAE, I was proud to welcome my brothers and sisters of every nation, as we celebrated your National Days together, and with the world. That spirit of friendship has only strengthened in the weeks and months since our Expo came to an end.

Shared legacy

“Our shared legacy is a living one, rooted in the past but built for the future. The bonds between the UAE – a land of tolerance, coexistence and peace – and all the nations represented here today, have been created over the last half-century and reinforced during the challenges of the global pandemic.”

Sheikh Ahmed said: “The UAE has always served as a meeting point, a crossroads of cultures and trade, with a community that rallied around our leadership’s ambitions for a brighter future. We have seen the power of collaboration through the UAE’s achievements, mirrored in the success of Expo 2020 Dubai – and with Expo City Dubai, we will continue to forge a path together, building a physical, social and business environment where innovation can lead to prosperity for generations to come.”

Fruits of cooperation

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO, Expo City Dubai Authority, said: “Where we stand today, physically, here in the heart of Expo City Dubai, the fruits of true international cooperation are starkly apparent, incalculable in number and immeasurable in worth. As a global community, your years of collective effort made possible not just the largest ever event to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, but the most inclusive World Exposition in history.

“As always, we will lead by example from a city that is not just designed and built on sustainable principles, but that is operated and programmed in a way that seeds best practice not just in city limits, but in the limitless agency of every one of us. We can all make a difference: as individuals, families, businesses and communities of all shape and stripe, and Expo City will empower us to do so.”

Expo City Dubai, a clean, green, innovation-driven and human-centric city of the future, and the recently established Expo Dubai Group, a new entity charged with preserving, managing and taking forward the vast intangible legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai, are empowered by the insight and experience gained in the delivery of the most inclusive and sustainable World Expo in history. Together, they aim to drive progress across education, social issues and sustainable thinking, and inspire new ways of collaboration at all levels of society.