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Reem Al Hashemi and Maj Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri present the first Expo 2020 establishment card to Aldwin Dekkers, deputy commissioner general of Belgium. Image Credit: Courtesy: GDRFA

DUBAI: Countries participating in Expo 2020 are now getting their establishment cards.

The first such card was issued to Belgium with Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo Dubai 2020 Bureau and Maj Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), handing it over to Aldwin Dekkers, Deputy Commissioner General — Kingdome of Belgium.

A total of 192 countries have confirmed their participation in the upcoming event so far.

Al Merri said GDRFA Dubai is working to facilitate the entry and exit procedures of Expo 2020 Dubai participants with smart systems. The exhibition is expected to attract almost 25 million visitors from different nationalities. He pointed out that the Expo 2020 office will offer a smart platform that includes the services of various stakeholders, including GDRFA Dubai services.

Expo 2020 participants can obtain various types of visas through this smart platform within seconds of completing all documentation.

Al Merri said the establishment cards for the pavilions of participating countries can be issued electronically within a few minutes of the submission of an application. Workers participating in the country pavilions can also apply for visas. The electronic facility card will enable the representative of each pavilion to obtain services through a unified office without having to go to multiple parties to complete procedures.

Al Merri said GDRFA Dubai is gearing up to process 45,000 transactions per day. All applications will be processed through artificial intelligence systems.

The establishment card was issued in the presence of Najeeb Al Ali, Executive Director of Expo Dubai 2020 Bureau; Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of GDRFA; Colonel Dr Omar Al Shamsi, Assistant Director General of Entry and Residency Permits Sector in GDRFA Dubai; Major Salam Bin Ali, General Coordinator of Expo 2020 in GDRFA Dubai and a number of officials from both parties.

Al Hashemi praised GDRFA Dubai’s efforts to facilitate the participation of various countries in Expo 2020 in line with its slogan in ‘Connecting the Minds, Creating the Future’.

Expo 2020 expects to attract 25 million visitors to Dubai between October 2020 and April 2021, with more than 70 per cent of them coming from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 170-year history of World Expo.