Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashemi speaks with more than 7,000 volunteers who have registered so far at the House of Volunteers at the Expo 2020 site in Jebel Ali. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: In a major push to hire tens of thousands of residents for the Expo 2020 Dubai, officials unveiled a ‘House of Volunteers’ in Jebel Ali on Monday.

Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, unveiled the initiative at the Expo site, welcoming more than 7,000 volunteers who have registered so far.

The Expo Bureau is targeting 30,000 volunteers for the event, and doors are open for all UAE citizens and residents to join the team that will be the face of the region’s biggest event.

“It is hard to overstate just how important volunteers will be to the success of Expo 2020 Dubai. The volunteers will help welcome the world to the UAE, introducing millions of people to the immersive experience, exciting events and engaging discussions that will take place at the Expo 2020 Dubai site,” said Al Hashemi in her opening remarks at the unveiling of the House of Volunteers.

Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashemi with officials and volunteers outside the House of Volunteers at the Expo 2020 site.

The House of Volunteers is a dedicated space from which the cadre of volunteers will operate and it will also be the place where they will get interviewed, train, bond together and hang out.

“The House of Volunteers will enable Expo 2020’s volunteer community to learn, network and engage as a group of like-minded people striving towards the same goal,” said Abeer Al Hosani, Head of Volunteers Expo 2020 Dubai.

Though there is no financial compensation for the volunteers, Al Hosani says a reward scheme will be in place to recognise the contributions of volunteers. However, they will be trained and their catering and transportation needs will be taken care of.

The programme welcomes anyone interested in being part of the Expo team and doesn’t require any previous volunteering experience or specific skill sets.

“We are welcoming anyone who is interested in volunteering with us. People from all nationalities are welcome and we are not looking for any specific skills. The programme is inclusive, we are targeting everyone who lives in the UAE,” said Al Hosani.

She said that the Expo team is reaching out to students in universities, private sector and public sector employees, homemakers as well as local communities across the emirates.

Though, there is no set criteria for selection, Al Hosani said that volunteers will be selected based on their respect for Emirati values and their enthusiasm to serve the community.

Abeer Al Hosani, Head of Volunteers Program, Expo 2020 Dubai, speaking with Gulf News

“We will interview the candidates keeping in mind the values and charactistics we are looking at, if the candidates show that they respect our values and they are committed and enthusiastic about the Expo, they are in,” said Al Hosani.

She added that anyone who is above 18 years of age can join and there is no maximum age limit, so senior citizens or retired residents can also register.

Those interested in joining the team can register on www.expo2020dubai.com/volunteers. The registered members will be called in for a short 15-minute interview at the House of Volunteers.

“We have a dedicated page where people can express their interest in joining the Expo. The page will be active till 2021, so there is no deadline,” she said.

With 15 dedicated interview hubs at the House of Volunteers, more than 260 people are expected to be interviewed daily.

“The interviews will be a very casual 15 minute conversation to get to know the candidates more and to identify the right talent to assign them the right roles. So far we have defined more than 30 different roles,” Al Hosani said.

Ensuring that volunteers will be able to balance between their work and volunteering duties, the Expo’s volunteering department is working closely with different government entities and HR departments of various firms to work out a policy.

How to Join?

  1. Log on to www.expo2020dubai.com/volunteers
  2. Click on the Expo2020 Volunteers icon
  3. Fill out the form with personal details and submit
  4. You are officially registered
  5. Next, the Expo team will call you for an interview
  6. The interview is done at the House of Volunteers

Who can join?

■  Any UAE citizen or resident above 18
■  No maximum age limit
■  No previous volunteering experience required
■  No specific skill-set required

Volunteers speak

Mohammad Al Aydaroos, a 24 year old Emirati person of determination who joined the Expo 2020 Dubai team of volunteers recently, said:

“To be part of the Expo 2020 Dubai team is a matter great honour and responsibility. I am so excited to be accepted. Expo is empowering the youth and the people of determination and I thank the Expo team for giving me this opportunity. I have done 400 hours of volunteering so far and I would like to take this opportunity to serve the community and be of any help I can.”

Majedah Hakim, 56 year old businesswoman was one of the first people to join the Expo 2020 Dubai team of volunteers.

“I have been with the team since the beginning and it has been an incredible journey so far. All my life I have been wanting to volunteering and when I found out about this opportunity through a friend way back in 2013 I immediately approached the Expo team and joined them. I am willing to work in any role that I am offered. I have lived in this country for 35 years and this is an opportunity for me to give back to the UAE.”

Musab Al Beloushi, 25, is an Emirati business student who is keen to make the most of this opportunity.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so when I got to know about this I grabbed it with both hands. I am so grateful to get selected. Working with the Expo team has been a great experience so far. I have been volunteering for sometime now, but volunteering with the Expo team is 360 degrees different for other experiences, I am looking forward to learning more and giving my best.”