Reem Al Hashimy
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Fifty years ago, the UAE was founded on principles that would transform our fledgling nation from humble beginnings to the global hub that it has become today. We hold those values proudly and firmly: it is in their spirit that we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, that we welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai, and that we will design and deliver another half-century of extraordinary acheivement.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations are a unique opportunity to celebrate the UAE’s remarkable progress and the continuous efforts of our leadership to invest in our nation’s future growth and development. At Expo 2020, our month-long celebrations of 50 years of the UAE are already underway and are undoubtedly among our many unforgettable highlights.

Expo 2020 Dubai, the first such event to be held in the Arab region, is all about bringing the world together, so the synergy between this extraordinary event and the UAE’s Golden Jubilee could not be stronger. Since our opening on 1 October, we have already welcomed to our amazing site millions of people from countless countries, and we cannot wait to welcome millions more. From now until the end of March 2022, we will continue to host the best of what the UAE — and the planet — has to offer.

We are showcasing Dubai as a city of the future, a city located in one of the world’s most inclusive, ambitious and future-focused nations; one that is marking a momentous 50 years and looking forward to the next five decades of exceptional accomplishment.

Even the awe-inspiring venues that are hosting our Golden Jubilee celebrations at Expo 2020 — for example, the iconic Al Wasl Plaza — are themselves becoming part of the very fabric of Dubai and the UAE, as landmarks that will illuminate the city’s skyline long after Expo closes its doors. From 1 April 2022 the site will transition into District 2020, a people-centred smart city that will support the UAE’s advances towards an innovation-driven economy, and an inspiring, instructive blueprint for the smart and sustainable cities of tomorrow.

The outcomes of our efforts on this platform have the potential to shape the next half-century of life on Earth. The capacity to bring people together to collaborate and cooperate in the pursuit of positive change is at the very heart of Expo 2020’s ethos. Indeed that principle, which is intrinsic to the Emirati people, and Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, could not be more relevant or critical today. The pandemic has reminded us of the power and necessity of global cooperation, and underscored the urgency with which we need to act to solve many of the most pressing challenges facing the world today and in the future.

In order to do so, we have gathered — and continue to gather — a diverse array of expertise and perspectives to help address these universal challenges, from climate change, to the future of education and work, to healthcare and food and water security. And as the UAE demonstrated in its globally acclaimed response to Covid-19, acting swiftly and determinedly to limit the virus’s spread and ensure laudably high vaccination levels, we will continue to lead by example: for ourselves, and for the world. We have come so far since our Founding Fathers met in 1971 to create the UAE, yet we cannot stop here. This is still merely the beginning of our journey, one that will take us deep into the second half of the 21st century and beyond, creating the future in ways that could never have seemed possible five short decades ago.