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EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS ETC. - WORLD EXPO 2020


Mohammed bin Rashid orders setting up a Dubai Expo 2020 Office


posted on 26/06/2014

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered the appointment of Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, as Managing Director of Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed also ordered the setting up of an office dedicated for EXPO 2020 and the appointment of Minister Al Hashimy as Director-General.
In the same context, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid chaired a meeting of the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020 in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Also present at the meeting were H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, and Chairman of the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Transport Department and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Khalid Al Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of Dubai Ruler's Court and Deputy Chairman of Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads & Transport Authority, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai World Central, and others.
During the meeting, Minister Al Hashemi gave a presentation on the preparations for building a headquarters for EXPO 2020 in Jebel Ali, close to Al Maktoum International Airport, which design and components will reflect U.A.E.'s outstanding and sustainable heritage.
Mr. Al Tayer and Mr. Lootah also spoke at the meeting about the preparations being made by their organisations for the EXPO 2020 headquarters, the responsibilities of Dubai government departments in the construction of the mega project which is planned to be an enduring architectural and heritage icon. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – Read more:
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Kazak Foreign Minister lauds cooperation with U.A.E. for success of Expo 2017 in Astana, Expo 2020 in Dubai.


posted on 13/06/2014

PARIS, 12th June, 2014 (WAM) -- Erlan Idrissov, Kazakhstan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, has commended the quality of the preparations made by the U.A.E. in order to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, highlighting the distinguished fraternal relations between U.A.E. and Kazakhstan at all levels.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Mr. Idrissov said that his country has deep confidence that Expo 2020, which will be held in Dubai, will be one of the most successful exhibitions in the world due to the wide, successful experience of Dubai and the U.A.E. in hosting this kind of global demonstration.
He referred to the significant cooperation relations between the two countries, especially in the field of economy and investment.
The Foreign Minister said that his country will sign an important agreement with the U.A.E., which aims to establish a large pavilion for the U.A.E. at Expo 2017, which will be hosted in the capital, Astana, and build another pavilion for his country at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Erlan Idrissov hailed the significant economic cooperation between his country and the U.A.E., emphasising that the significant and diverse investments of the U.A.E. in Kazakhstan contribute to pushing the process of development. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Dubai Expo 2020 marks first BIE Assembly engagement since winning historic bid


posted on 12/06/2014

PARIS: H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Expo 2020 Preparatory Higher Committee Chairman, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, has officially led the U.A.E. delegation to the General Assembly of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the governing body of the World Expo.
It marked the first formal address to the General Assembly by the Expo 2020 Higher Preparatory Committee-which has been broadened to ensure a greater and more cohesive U.A.E. wide delivery-since Dubai won the rights to host the mega event in November last year.
"The Dubai Expo 2020 roadmap is well progressed as we resolutely honour our commitment to create a truly transformative World Expo, that through partnerships and collaboration will seek to foster innovative, inspirational and practical solution-creation for our collective future," said Sheikh Ahmed.
Addressing the BIE s 168 member states, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State and Member of the Preparatory Higher Committee, formally presented the U.A.E. s vision and an update on developments for hosting the event.
"Together, we have all made history and planted the seeds for the future. Dubai Expo 2020 will be the platform to continue to execute on our country s visionary leadership around the need for connectivity and mobility, economic opportunity and sustainable practices as the pillars of today's interdependent world," she said.
Al Hashimy noted that the infrastructure and the progressive policies that serve this vision will continue to grow in size and quality to serve the participants and the visitors of Dubai Expo 2020. "Our goal to deliver on an Expo with seamless operations will leverage the national efforts to implement a greater vision shaping the next 50 years of our country." During the speech in Paris, she also reaffirmed the importance of staging Dubai Expo 2020, the first time the event will be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), as being a win for the region as a whole.
The tremendous support the U.A.E. received in November, she continued, marked a significant victory, not only for the U.A.E. but for all countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The support base ranged from the countries of the North as well as the South the East as well as the West.
"This recognition furthers our commitment to develop an inclusive platform that allows our partners on this global stage to truly showcase the best they have to offer, and - in that journey - create linkages and partnerships with others." The Minister also stressed the importance of Dubai Expo 2020 s strong emphasis on developing partnerships and building around the theme to create a deep-rooted and lasting legacy.
"Connecting Minds, Creating the Future is already more than a theme. It has become a design principle of our Expo: for how we hope to engage with participants, to create opportunities for the public and the private sector to work together, for how we will strive to make collaboration an essential instrument to deliver a great event with the level of quality and impact we all seek in a World Expo.
"This vision will be woven throughout our entire project: spanning all of its components, physical and intangible. Collaboration and innovation are the cornerstones of the Master Plan and of Expo Live, both designed to foster inclusion and cooperation, to bring us closer together to showcase and to inspire solutions to our critical challenges. Our journey to achieve this has already begun. Since the decision to award the United Arab Emirates the honour to host the World Expo in 2020, we have been working tirelessly, on all fronts," she said.
Work across all facets of Dubai Expo 2020's organisation, governance framework and site development are well progressed, as the Committee works towards the submission of the mandatory Registration Dossier by October 2015 to BIE a legally binding document that will include more in-depth content across key topics presented in the Bid Document such as theme, communications programmes and the detailed master plan.
Once approved, Dubai Expo 2020 can commence formal engagement with the international participants, and begin construction at the Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali site which will host the 25 million visitors expected at Dubai Expo 2020, running from 20 October 2020 10 April 2021.
Plans have been drafted with a target date for all major construction activities to be completed on site by October 2019, allowing for a full year of readiness testing across networks, systems and technologies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Expo 2020 likely to create 277,000 jobs, says CEO of Dubai Trade


posted on 11/06/2014

Expo 2020 is likely to create 277,000 jobs, said Mahmood Ahmed Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade, Dubai World, while delivering the keynote address at the first-ever industry 'breakfast' series hosted by the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD recently on the challenges for the future of human capital development in the U.A.E..
Future workforce challenges, the expanding SME market, employee retention and succession and implementation of Emiratisation policies were among the many topics debated at the industry breakfast event that was attended by over 60 senior executives representing a cross-section of the U.A.E. business community.
Mr. Al Bastaki acknowledged the huge opportunities presented by Expo 2020, and added that academia would have an important role to play in its success by aligning future curricula with the vocational needs of emerging industries. Dubai can effectively leverage the interest generated by the Expo and other strategic initiatives to create a dynamic and diverse economic future, of which education would be a crucial part, he said.
Continuing the debate, Al Bastaki was joined by a panel of leading industry practitioners, including Sadiq Al Mulla, Chief Administrative and Finance Officer, Zayed University, Ms. Fareda Abdullah, Vice President, Human Resources, Majid Al Futtaim, Abdulaziz bin Karam, Manager of Excellence and Strategy, Fujairah Municipality and Ronald Uchil, Senior Vice President Corporate Excellence and HR, Gerab National Enterprises.
The panel considered the ongoing expansion of the private sector in the U.A.E., particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, and the challenges of offering employees not just a job, but a career, in such a dynamic marketplace. Al Mulla stressed the need for employee-focussed training and development to attract, retain and grow a sustainable workforce.
The policies and practices of Emiratisation were also discussed, with Mr. Karam highlighting the need for unified policies across the public and private sectors, as well as a change in mind-set amongst employers. Ms. Abdullah also underlined related challenges for female employees aiming for top positions in the commercial world, saying there was still a need for attitudinal education in some areas of business.
Commenting on the challenges for the education sector in meeting the future needs of industry, Mr. Uchil proposed career counselling at a younger age, and the panel agreed that higher education institutions had a pivotal role in developing the strategic alliances that would enable education to work hand-in-hand with industry for the benefit of economic diversification and growth.
This event was the first in a series of industry breakfasts hosted by UOWD s Faculty of Business. The series brings together prominent business men and women from across the U.A.E. to debate some of the emerging business challenges facing the country - particularly in the run-up to Expo 2020 - and to consider how the higher education sector can help to address some of these key issues. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Ahmed bin Saeed discusses U.A.E.- Italy bilateral relations with Milan delegation


posted on 04/06/2014

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group and Expo 2020 Preparatory Higher Committee Chairman, has met with delegation led by the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, to discuss strengthening U.A.E.-Italian bilateral relations.
The Italian delegation is in U.A.E. to organise a Milan Expo 2015 promotion event to coincide with Italy's national day celebration, and to U.A.E. to discuss additional avenues for cooperation.
Bilateral non-oil trade between U.A.E. and Italy reached 5.96 billion euros (Dh29.78 bn) in 2011 with Italy regarding U.A.E.as its leading trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa. More than 170 Italian companies currently operate in U.A.E. and more than 132,992 Italian visitors stayed in Dubai hotels through 2013, marking double digit year on year growth.
A number of strategic Memorandum of Understandings have also been signed recently between the two nations across key sectors include security, culture and arts, and media. The Italian government has also removed visa restrictions on U.A.E. nationals.
"U.A.E. and Italy share a long and rich relationship together which continues to develop and strengthen across a broad range of sectors and initiatives as we explore new avenues for joint trade and economic corporation as well as strategic project collaboration," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed.
As Chairman of the Expo 2020 Preparatory Higher Committee, Sheikh Ahmed also discussed Milan's hosting of the World Expo in 2015, ahead of U.A.E. staging the mega event in October 2020, the first time a World's Fair will be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asian region.
Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, and Director of Milan Expo 2015, Stefano Gatti, also presented Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed with an official invitation for the Preparatory Higher Committee to visit the city ahead of the event, which is being reviewed.
The Preparatory Higher Committee is working with the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the governing body of the World Expo, as well as previous hosts of the event, such as Shanghai, as it looks towards Dubai Expo 2020, which is expected to host 25 million visitors over its six month duration. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Youths expect bright future from Expo 2020


posted on 20/05/2014

An overwhelming majority of young Arabs believe Expo 2020 will improve the international image of the Arab world, with 89 per cent agreeing that it will have a positive effect, according to the findings of a new survey.
When asked if they thought the UAE's successful bid to host the Expo 2020 would positively impact the way the international community views the Arab world, 62 per cent of respondents said 'yes it would' while 27 per cent said 'possibly'. Only a tiny minority (4 per cent) said they didn't expect it to have any impact while 7 per cent said they "didn't know", according to the 6th Annual ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey.
The company's sister agency, international polling firm PSB completed the largest survey to date for the sixth annual edition of the Arab Youth Survey. PSB conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen and, for the first time in 2014, Palestine.
"The UAE's success with Dubai becoming the first city in MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) to host Expo 2020 marked a clear turning point in its vision to become a leading global city and is a true mark of the world's confidence in Dubai to be able to host world-class events that celebrate its unique mix of cultures, its world-class infrastructure and its clear vision for the future. It is optimistic to see that the region's youth expect the global event to have a positive effect on the region and its international image," said Sunil John, Chief Executive Officer of ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller.
In November 2013, UAE won the right to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, beating off competition from the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Izmir in Turkey, to become the first city from region to host the event. The six-month world exhibition is expected to attract 25 million visitors from around the globe and will create an estimated 277,000 new jobs in the UAE
Unsurprisingly, young people in UAE are the most optimistic about the impact Expo 2020 will have on the international image of the Arab world with 85 per cent saying they expect it to be positive; but there was also great optimism about Expo 2020 among youth in Lebanon (67 per cent positive) and Morocco (66 per cent positive). Positive sentiment towards the global event is evenly split across the GCC (63 per cent) and non-GCC countries (61 per cent). – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Dubai Expo will open up unlimited opportunities


posted on 20/05/2014

A UAE paper has said that every five years, and for a period of six months, World Expos attract millions of visitors. The Expo has never been held in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia in the entire history of the event, but in six years' time, history will change.
"Expo 2020 will take place from October 2020 to April 2021 in the dazzling city of Dubai. The hosting of Expo 2020 is expected to yield Dh 89 billion in added economic activities and raise the overall GDP of the UAE in a variety of sectors," said The Gulf Today in its editorial on Monday.
"As Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Expo 2020 Executive Body, stated, Expo 2020 will provide 277,000 new job opportunities and will have a positive and comprehensive economic impact on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) since they constitute about 95 percent of all registered companies in the UAE.
"Each World Expo is a catalyst for economic, cultural and social transformation and generates important legacies for the host city and nation. For instance, Shanghai 2010 World Expo helped transform a heavily industrial city-centre area into a thriving cultural and commercial district, while also bringing its theme: "Better City, Better Life" to the attention of 73 million people.
"The next World Expo takes place in Milan, Italy, in 2015 and has the focus: 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'. The UAE will host World Expo 2020 under the theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'.
"China and India are among the UAE's biggest trading partners and the country's trade with Africa has increased 600 percent since 2000. It is forging new trade relations with Latin America in addition to its strong relations with over 220 countries," the paper added.
Embracing more than 200 nationalities and cultures, the UAE is already an important international tourism destination with more than 95,000 hotel rooms and 11 million tourists recorded in 2012. The UAE is also home to 63 business councils and a financial centre for 18 of the world's top 25 international banks, six of the top 10 law firms and six of the top 10 insurance companies.
"The awarding of Expo 2020 to Dubai reflects the confidence of the international community in the UAE's abilities. When there is clarity in vision and aspiration to achieve big, countries can take peace, progress and prosperity to new heights. In that sense, the country has repeatedly proved to be a highly progressive country serving as a model for the rest of the world," concluded the Sharjah-based English language newspaper. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Reem Al Hashimy speaks about Expo 2020 opportunities


posted on 18/05/2014

Reem Al Hashimy UAE Minister of State and the Managing Director of the Expo 2020 Executive Body, stated during a gathering organised by Sharjah Tatweer that hosting Expo 2020 is expected to yield Dh89 billion in added economic activities and raise the overall GDP of the country in a variety of sectors.
She added that Expo 2020 will provide 277,000 new job opportunities and will have a positive and comprehensive economic impact on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) since they constitute about 95 per cent of all registered companies in the United Arab Emirates.
Al Hashimy's statements were made to a gathering of more than 300 from Sharjah Executive Council members, Directors General of government entities, dignitaries, and CEOs of private sector companies in Sharjah and other Emirates and well as funding agencies, entrepreneurs and institutions of civil society.
The gathering entitled "Opportunities Offered from Hosting Expo 2020" was organised by Sharjah Tatweer Forum and held at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah, a partner in hosting the event. The gathering was also honoured with the attendance of Sheikha Bedour bint Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi Chairwoman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). Also in attendance was Jassem Al Beloushi, Chairman of Sharjah Tatweer Forum and the Board of Directors of STF as well as the Honorary Board of Founding Members and members of STF.
Hosting a talk on Expo 2020 by Al Hashimy in line with STF's strategy aimed at empowering Emirati nationals, enhancing their role in society, and raising awareness about international trends and policies that provide economic opportunities and facilitate the implementation of creative ideas that serve the Emirate.
Al Hashimy thanked Sharjah Tatweer Forum for inviting her to Sharjah to speak about Expo 2020, adding that the UAE is the first country in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the first country outside the developed world to host the event. She noted that the vision and spirit of building and giving instilled in the national fabric by the Members of the Supreme Council and the Rulers of the country; in addition to the collaboration among government entities, the private sector and individuals ensured the success of the UAE's bid in front of fierce competition by three important countries with experience in organising international events.
Al Hashimy stated that since the first Expo in 1844 in Paris, the concept of world exhibitions revolves around a platform to showcase creativity, innovation and partnerships. "These are concepts that have been embraced in the UAE since its inception and have utilised it as an engine for development. From these concepts, we developed the theme for Expo 2020: "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" to ensure a sustainable future for coming generations" she said.
Al Hashimy also added, "We entered our bid portfolio assured that we have the required elements to host an Expo. Our unique geographic location connects us to a third of the world through a four-hour flight and two-thirds of the world through an 8 hour flight." The Minister also stated that the UAE infrastructure, including its position as the 3rd largest market for re-Export, home to 9 ports, a network of roads and public transport as well as airports that receive 70 million traveller annually. She also added that the UAE is 27th in the Global Competitiveness Report, making it a gateway to developing markets, which are expected to produce half the world's GDP by 2020. "China and India and among our biggest trading partners and our trade with Africa has increased 600 per cent since 2000. We are forging new trade relations with Latin America in addition to our relations with over 220 countries. The UAE is also home to 63-business council and a financial centre for 18 of the world's top 25 international bank, 6 of the top 10 law firms and 6 of the top 10 insurance companies.
"The UAE embraces more than 200 nationalities and cultures; more than the members of the United Nations," she said.
Concerning the tourism sector, Al Hashimy pointed out that the UAE has become an important international competitor with more than 95, 000 hotel room and 11 million tourists in 2012. The UAE has also become an important organiser of international events such as the World Bank and IMF meetings, the World Economic Forum, Dubai Air Show, the Sharjah Biennale, Dubai International Film Festival, the World Energy Summit and the Formula 1 races.
She noted that the Expo 2020 would take place from October 2020 to April 2021 to coincide with celebration of 50 years of the Federation as well as good weather.
The Minister stated, "If you want to know the extent of the opportunities available, you need only look at the requirements needed to host 25 million visitors, 70 per cent of which are from abroad. That means that about 17.5 million people will conduct about 33 million visits to the Expo site. That means that every sector in the UAE that will be involved in the project.
In her closing remarks, Al Hashimy pointed out that Expo 2020 will not end in 2021 but that there are plans to use the site as a national museum, a hub for research centres and a university and an exhibition ground.
In his opening speech, Al Beloushi stated that World Expos have been vitally important in promoting cities and enhancing their economic position. They have also left the world with historically important touristic sites such as the Eiffel Tower, which was built as the gateway to the 1889 Paris World Exhibition, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California in 1939 and the Space Needle in Seattle in 1962.
He added that the moment when the announcement was made declaring the UAE winning the honour of hosting Expo 2020 is a memory that will not be forgotten. He added that this important event taking place for the first time in the area reflects the achievements of the UAE and the confidence entrusted by the world in the country's ability to organise such a world-class event and impress visitors with its idea, message and services.
He added that winning the privilege of hosting Expo 2020 is but the first step in a six-year journey of executing projects, building monuments and planning for services that will cater to the 25 million visitors expected to attend.
Al Beloushi stressed the importance of this gathering to inform Sharjah Tatweer Forum members and society of the opportunities on hand to participate in Expo 2020 and the role each citizen and resident in the UAE has to play in ensuring the success of this important international economic and cultural event.
He also noted that every Emirati man and woman are Ambassadors for their country. Their national dress, their culture and traditions, their hospitality and their openness to different cultures and civilisations will be the first impression taken by visitors about the UAE, its achievements and its ambitions.
In his speech, STF Chairman thanked Sheikha Bedour bint Sultan Al Qasimi Chairwoman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority and the Vice Chairwoman of Sharjah Ladies Club for her attendance and her successful endeavours and projects in Sharjah.
The gathering ended with a gift presentation to the Minister by Sheikha Bedour and Al Beloushi, the Board of Directors and Hanan Al Mahmoud, JRCC Managing Director and STF's partner in this event. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Expo 2020 fuels confidence of Dubai's growth


posted on 12/05/2014

Businessmen are looking more bullish in Dubai as Expo 2020 is attracting more new projects that are fuelling large companies' confidence significantly.
The Dubai business community has been significantly more optimistic during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period of the previous year. Optimism is especially high among manufacturing and services firms, according to the quarterly business survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development, or DED.
The composite Business Confidence Index for Dubai stood at 135.5 points in the March quarter of 2014, an increase of 22.4 points from the same quarter in 2013. New projects expected as a result of Expo 2020 are driving positive perceptions.
Following on from the previous quarter, large companies continue to have a stronger outlook compared to small and medium firms, as indicated by their corresponding index scores of 141.6 and 126.4, respectively. Large companies are more optimistic than SMEs on all the parameters recorded in the survey.
From a sectoral perspective, optimism with respect to selling prices, volumes and new purchase orders is the highest within the manufacturing sector, while optimism on hiring plans and net profits is the highest amongst service firms.
Selling prices are largely expected to be stable, with 73 per cent of the respondents expecting "no change” while seven per cent expect a decline due to stiff competition in the market as well as the effect of seasonal downturn associated with the second quarter.
With prices largely expected to remain stable, the revenue increase estimates are largely driven by an expected increase in volumes. Respondents forecasting an increase in sales volumes during the second quarter of 2014 accounted for 63 per cent as against 54 per cent in the previous year.
In line with the expectations for sales volumes, 62 per cent of the respondents forecast an increase in new purchase orders in the second quarter of 2014. With respect to net profits, 54 per cent are expecting an increase on the back of improvement in demand for their products, whereas 10 per cent foresee a decline citing slowdown in business conditions and a decline in demand.
The businesses surveyed are more confident on hiring as compared to the same period last year but less confident compared to the previous quarter — 30 per cent intend to increase their staff count in the second quarter 2014 compared to 23 per cent in the same period in 2013 and 39 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
The manufacturing sector retains its lead with respect to expectations in terms of volumes sold, with 69 per cent firms expecting an increase in sales volumes in the next quarter.
Within the services sector, firms in the construction, architecture and real estate sub-segment are extremely confident with respect to volumes of sales in the second quarter of 2014. On the other hand, expectations are subdued in the hotels and restaurants segment, mainly due to the impact of summer on tourist inflows and events.
Transportation firms maintain a strong outlook, with 65 per cent looking forward to better volumes accentuated by a growing population, rising construction activity, increasing trade (exports and imports) and a booming economy. Within the trading sector, building and construction, food and beverages, electronics and auto spare parts firms are particularly optimistic due to new contracts expected in the coming quarter.
The DED conducts the quarterly surveys as an effective tool to measure the pulse of the business community and allow the government and the private sector to track and analyse major trends and issues that have a bearing on economic activity in Dubai.
A total of 502 companies in Dubai were covered in the survey during the first quarter of 2014. The companies were asked to indicate if they anticipated an increase, decrease or no change in key indicators such as sales revenues, selling prices, volumes sold, profits and number of employees. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2014/May/uaebusiness_May191.xml§ion=uaebusiness

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Hosting of Expo 2020 unprecedented achievement for the region, says Sultan Al Jaber


posted on 02/05/2014

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State has said the UAE's winning of the bid to host Expo 2020 "represents an unprecedented achievement to the region, and reflects the spirit of the union, as it highlights the spirit of teamwork, love and allegiance to the country by those who took part in campaigning for the UAE Expo file.
He called for stepping up efforts to feature a high-profile and qualitative expo event- comes 2020.
The remarks were made on Wednesday evening during a talk show on Expo 2020 themed: 'Connecting Minds... Creating the Future'. The event is part of cultural programmes of the 24th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Al Jaber said the success of UAE to host Expo 2020 was a result of number of factors, notably, the strategy had been outlined by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan through his keenness on communicating with all countries worldwide, adding that during his promotional tour to many countries he was met with warmth and genuine promises to unwaveringly back the UAE's Expo bid in recognition to the support of late Sheikh Zayed to those countries.
He added that the efficiency of the Expo supervisory committee had helped them to administer the work round the clock for over two years, adding that the efficiency and perseverance displayed by the team were among the success factors that highlighted the ability of Emiratis and their loyalty to the country.
Al Jaber noted that the success scored by the UAE in the energy file and IRENA have bolstered the competitive role of the UAE, and encouraged other countries to back the UAE, adding that Masdar has also played in the beginning a strategic role in support of Expo file.
For her part, Hind Al Shamsi, official spokesperson for the Dubai Expo 2020, said the Expo 2020 represents a qualitative shift to the UAE and whole region, citing that gaining 114 votes was not accidental, thanks to historic status of the UAE. She added that the UAE dreams higher to stage a cultural heritage that would resonate for long. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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EXPO 2020 master plan development update outlined


posted on 29/04/2014

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and Expo Preparatory Committee member, has presented a progress update on the Dubai Expo 2020 organisation, governance framework and site development, including key milestones and timelines for delivery of the iconic event, at an Executive Committee session of the Bureau of International Expositions, BIE, the governing body of World Expo, in France.
One of the first main deliverables is the submission of the mandatory Registration Dossier by 2015 to BIE. This document is a legally binding submission that will include more in-depth content across key topics presented in the Bid Document such as theme, communications programmes and the detailed master plan. Approval, which is necessary to commence formal engagement with the international participants, is then expected to coincide with the conclusion of Milan Expo 2015.
In the early part of next year, following finalisation of the detailed master planning, site readiness activity will commence on the Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali site to prepare for fully-fledged construction immediately after BIE approval is received. The 438-hectare site that includes a dedicated gated 150-hectare Expo area, and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone, will play host to the 25 million visitors expected at Dubai Expo 2020, running from 20th October 2020 - 10th April 2021.
Plans have been drafted with a target date for all major construction activities to be completed on site by October 2019, allowing for a full year of readiness testing across networks, systems and technologies. Expo Village - a residential community development providing full-time housing facilities for staff from participating countries working on the Expo will target completion by 2018 following which pavilion construction activities will start.
"One of our strongest assets during the bid was a robust and well progressed Master Plan with a clear existing legacy, which Dubai World Trade Centre, as developer of the Expo 2020 site, has continued to evolve and drive forward rigorously to ensure that we are on track to delivering a truly exceptional World Expo in 2020," said H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Expo 2020 Preparatory Higher Committee Chairman, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group.
"We have made a commitment to the international community to make the 2020 Expo a true World Expo - one that is globally inclusive in reach, stimulating greater collaboration across the world's public and private sector players to drive advancements and innovative solutions in the fields of mobility, sustainability and economic development, leaving behind a strong transformative social and economic legacy across the region and beyond," he concluded.
Catering for close to 250 participants, Dubai Expo 2020 will be pushing forward a 'one country-one pavilion' policy for the first time in Expo history.
"Building and implementing strategic partnerships on a city wide level is already being progressed and the driving forward of potential international participant engagement across governments, private sector and institutional players is underway. Through our theme, Dubai Expo 2020 will serve as a catalyst, connecting minds from around the world and inspiring participants to mobilise themselves around shared challenges, during a World Expo of unprecedented global scope," said Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State and Expo Preparatory Committee member.
The essence of the Master Plan is to facilitate this global dialogue on-ground during the Expo, bringing to life the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and seamlessly integrating the three sub-themes Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity. The spatial organisation of the site embodies these concepts, drawing deep inspiration from local urban design, architecture and the natural environment.
At the core of the Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan for the gated expo area, are three distinct zones, each dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity, which will converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza, the figurative and literal heart of Dubai Expo 2020.
The flagship UAE Pavilion will feature prominently in addition to a Welcome Pavilion and an Innovation Pavilion near the North Entrance surrounding the central plaza, and three Souks - one at the heart of each Theme Zone - which will showcase smaller pavilions surrounded by the larger country pavilions on the outer rings ensuring maximum visibility and footfall for all participants. Additionally, each thematic zone will also have one feature Entertainment Venue and a specialised Theme Pavilion.
"The sheer level of detail that has already been developed for the Master Plan means that we are significantly advanced with the requirements for the immediate next stage of delivery and well on-track to ensuring timely and holistic implementation. It has undergone substantial review and feasibility, from optimum land usage and sustainability targets to infrastructure planning, transport forecast modelling, and the seamless incorporation of Dubai Smart City's principles for a completely integrated participant and visitor experience," said Mr. Almarri.
"We are continually assessing cutting edge ICT innovations that allow us to extend the experience of an Expo beyond the insides of any single pavilion across the entire site, delivering unique educational and entertainment experiences built around the core sub-themes.
"Dubai Expo 2020 seeks to offer the international community an opportunity to understand perspectives, share practices and develop solutions for an inclusive future. Collaboration and innovation- the cornerstones of this platform - are cornerstones of the Master Plan as well. Layering the Expo's key requirements on this base, and building on sound design principles rooted in a clear longer term legacy, is the modus operandi of a viable Expo Master Plan that will ensure Dubai Expo 2020 sets a new standard for global mega events." At its peak, the Dubai Expo 2020 exhibition site at Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali is designed to accommodate up to 300,000 visitors, with average week-day attendance expected at 153,000.
A comprehensive visitor management study has been undertaken around the Dubai Expo 2020 hosting, including city wide traffic and movement flow analysis. Sustainability lies at the heart of the Expo transportation strategy as it will seek to maximise the use of public transport systems in delivering visitors to the site. An extension to the existing Dubai Metro (Red Line) will be constructed along with a dedicated station on the Expo site to encourage maximum usage of public transport systems.
Additionally, a bespoke zero-emission bus service will transport visitors to and from the Expo from pick-up points throughout the UAE, situated in key hotel and major population areas. At these pick-up points, passengers will undergo ticket checks and security screening prior to boarding the ExpoRider buses in operation, eliminating the need for further checking when they reach the Expo Site to facilitate faster processing through the entrances.
The Dubai Expo 2020 is designed to be easily accessible, from transport to and from the site as well as whilst at the venue, for all people, regardless of age or physical ability. The centre of the Expo, Al Wasl Plaza, will be within 15 minutes' walk from any part of the site and an autonomous 'people mover' system is planned to assist visitor movement around the site.
"To determine the most effective transport policy and planning for Expo 2020, key principles have been adopted based on detailed analysis of peak demand flows, capacity of the available infrastructure, including road network, and sustainability objectives. Their readiness and connectivity to the Expo site is of course a major priority and is a widely collaborative effort between the RTA, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Airports and other key Expo stakeholders with joint planning already well progressed after a number of key meetings," added Almarri.
Sustainability is also a core facet of the Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan design. Detailed targets and overarching strategies have been developed to ensure that sustainability is achieved in the design of Dubai Expo 2020 pavilions and related buildings and infrastructure, focusing on demand reduction, use of alternative sources, re-use and recycling across energy, water, waste, materials and supply.
A key ambition of Dubai Expo 2020 is to supply at least 50% of the Expo Site's energy needs over its six-month duration with energy from renewable sources. Emphasis will be placed on integrating solar energy technologies into the Expo Site Master Plan.
Furthermore, a 25% of reduction in consumption of water across the pavilions and buildings on-site is being targeted to be achieved at Dubai Expo 2020 whilst a Resource and Waste Management Strategy (RWMS) outlines the approach to managing waste that would arise during the construction, operation and legacy transition phases of the Expo and reusing materials with the intention of maximising the opportunity of recycling waste material.
The Expo 2020 Preparatory Committee is driving forward the Dubai Expo 2020 delivery reporting directly to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai. Formed by decree in January 2014 and under the supervision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the Preparatory Higher Committee is chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, with Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Ruler's Court, as its vice-chairman.
Other Committee members include the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan; Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith; Chief Commander of Dubai Police, Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina; Director-General of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah; Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Road and Transport Authority, Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer; Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, Khalifa Suhail Al Zaffin and the Chairman of Emaar, Mohamed Ali Alabbar.
Running October 2020 through April 2021, the Expo will launch the country's Golden Jubilee celebration and serve as a springboard from which to inaugurate a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.
In the next six years, over 275,000 jobs are estimated to be created across the region to service the Expo, across several sectors linked to Expo delivery and legacy transition plans such as tourism, aviation, construction, real estate, engineering, infrastructure; logistics, transportation, hospitality and retail. Preliminary estimates indicate that the Economic Impact generated by the Expo between now and 2021 will be approximately 17.7 billion Euros. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE pavilion at Milan Expo to showcase Emirati story of survival


posted on 19/04/2014

Work will begin this month to turn a sprawling site in the Italian city of Milan into the UAE Expo pavilion, complete with the towering dunes and shaded pathways of a desert city.
Organisers said building on the 4,386-square-metre site will be completed by February next year, with testing due to begin in April.
"The UAE plot is one of the biggest and it's in the heart of the Expo site,” said Peter Vine, director of the UAE Pavilion Project in Milan.
"The UAE is one of the first countries to get approval of its design for construction. We're working with prefabricated systems, so a lot will be built off site and brought in.”
Passing through a canyon-like entrance way, visitors will walk along winding streets and narrow passages evoking wadis or ravines. They will be guided to a cylindrical theatre, stroll under palm trees in an oasis and relax in a roof-top garden.
To mirror the ripple-effect of desert sand, dunes near Al Ain were photographed by a remote-controlled drone helicopter. A similar visual effect will be reproduced on 12-metre-high walls of glass reinforced with concrete to cover the main steel demountable structure.
The Emirati story of survival in harsh conditions will be tied in to the Milan Expo's theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.
The pavilion will show how the UAE can be part of a global solution by highlighting how its citizens overcame the scarcities of water, food and cultivable land.
"It needs to be a story that inspires,” Mr Vine said.
"Our main film, that will tell the story about one Emirati family, is very compelling. It looks at past and present challenges through the eyes of that family. The challenge is to create a unique Emirati presence so that when Emiratis come to the pavilion, they feel proud.”
The Milan Expo runs from May until October. After the world's fair ends, the pavilion will be dismantled and shipped back to its permanent home in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
Architects have used material suitable for the cooler Milan climate and the heat of Abu Dhabi in the design as they strive to create an architectural legacy.
"The tall, narrow spaces between the walls echo the self-shaded streets of Masdar City and the thermal mass of the panels helps to regulate the temperatures in Milan and the Emirates,” said Gerard Evenden, the project's leading architect, from Norman Foster + Partners.
Low-maintenance glass-reinforced concrete walls and glazed facades will suit both a city and a dusty desert environment, he said. Additional solar shading may be added later in the UAE.
"As a national pavilion, the design expresses the landscape and architecture of the UAE in Milan, creating a unique and instantly recognisable structure – the colours of the sand and the forms and textures of historic structures are evocative of the desert,” he said.
"The landscaping around the pavilion is designed to echo the UAE's terrain and flora.”
The team has been busy testing mock-ups before construction.
"The geometry of the form is complex and we are using mock-ups of the envelope to test the dimensions, structure, materials and experience of the spaces for visitors,” Mr Evenden said.
"We are using computer algorithms to control the degrees of complexity that enable efficient production.”
The UAE's past strong performances in world fairs include a maritime-themed pavilion that won a silver medal in the 2012 Yeosu Expo, a dune-shaped pavilion that won the popular vote in Shanghai in 2010 while the country was among the top 10 pavilions at the Hannover Expo 2000.
First shown at Yeosu, the UAE's National Media Council's film The Turtle also won medals in international film festivals for plotting the journey of a turtle-rehabilitation programme through the voice of a young Emirati boy. – The National - Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/tourism/uae-pavilion-at-milan-expo-to-showcase-emirati-story-of-survival#ixzz2zImEja5L
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Emirati student hopes to become volunteer at Milan Expo and tell her country’s story


posted on 19/04/2014

Stories of yesteryear and a people's struggle for survival can be part of an Emirati narrative at the Milan Expo, says a university student Sara Al Boom.
Aiming to be among a core group of 300 Emirati volunteers at the UAE pavilion in Italy next year, she said volunteers would also have personal accounts for visitors.
"The UAE is just four decades old and people tend to forget that. It's important for people to realise how far we have come and how we started out,” said Ms Al Boom, 21, a student at the American University of Dubai. "My grandfather was a pearl diver and I have heard so many stories about how he dedicated his life to searching for fish and pearls.
"He did this because he wanted his children and his family to survive. We hear the older generation speak about their experiences, how people relied on dates and palm trees.
"There is also the Emirati hospitality – when you enter someone's home you are offered food, beverage and even a place to stay. Stories like this connect to our culture.”
The Milan Expo expects to draw about 21 million visitors with more than 120 countries participating.
Emiratis can apply to be part of the UAE pavilion via the website www.expo2015uae.com.
Applications will be sent to Takatof, the voluntary social programme that aims to encourage public service among the nation's youth.
Absorbing new cultures and spreading the word about the Emirates at the Milan Expo is Ms Al Boom's dream. She will also encourage her friends to sign up.
"I would be privileged to be a volunteer,” said Ms Al Boom, who was chosen in 2012 as one of a select band of eight ambassadors to promote awareness about the UAE's Expo 2020 bid among the public and in the corporate world.
She filmed a video capturing the diverse languages spoken by nearly 200 nationalities in the Emirates and it won her a spot as an Expo 2020 ambassador. Ms Al Boom's film showed residents writing out the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” in languages including Urdu, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish and Sinhalese.
"The whole notion of travelling, engaging with people, exchanging cultural information, helping people understand how the UAE and Dubai are moving forward is a passion of mine,” she said.
"I will also be very excited to liaise with visitors in our pavilion in Italy. Young people can learn a lot by being exposed to different groups of people and gaining knowledge of other countries. It will also be good preparation for the young when we host the Expo in 2020.”
Italy and the UAE have a lot in common, said Ms Al Boom. "We share a lot with the Italians, like their love for family, religion and food,” she said. – The National - Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/tourism/emirati-student-hopes-to-become-volunteer-at-milan-expo-and-tell-her-countrys-story#ixzz2zInoTt8F
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Expo 2020 impact will spread beyond UAE borders


posted on 16/04/2014

The hosting of Expo 2020 in Dubai will reshape the way business is being done in the UAE and the region and the spillover of the event will positively impact the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and wider Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region (Menasa), according to experts from global professional services firm Deloitte.
As the first-ever World Expo to be held in the Menasa region, Deloitte analysts say Dubai Expo 2020 will undoubtedly have an impact beyond the borders of Dubai and the UAE.
"While close to US$7 billion [Dh25.7 billion] has reportedly been earmarked for development and infrastructure projects in Dubai so far, and tens of millions of visitors are expected in the first six months, the fact that Dubai is itself strategically located within four hours of a third of the world's population this Expo has potential for wider impact leading up to the event and afterwards for years to come,” said Mutasem Dajani, Deloitte's UAE regional managing partner.
Experts say beyond commerce there is also a real human development dimension to the Expo, with investment and job creation expected to benefit the regional economies.
The construction, tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors have obvious potential to benefit from development spending and job creation. Technological innovators in conventional and alternative energy as well as engineering, urban planning and logistics will also likely see a host of in-region opportunities.
In a city where hotel occupancies are already high, Expo 2020 is estimated to require an additional 50,000 rooms in more than 200 properties of all categories from budget through to luxury, which is expected to create 100,000 new jobs in tourism and hospitality (out of 277,000 employment opportunities in total). The impact is therefore bound to be felt in neighbouring cities, particularly Abu Dhabi, as they absorb part of this demand.
Pundits are expecting a significant boost in the previously predicted growth rates of 4 per cent in the economy (Shanghai achieved 13 per cent GDP growth in the five years leading up to the 2010 Expo). Bank of Americal Merrill Lynch estimates a boost to the Dubai economy of US$23 billion between now and 2020 and Arabia Monitor predicts that total receipts from visitors to Expo 2020 could reach US$60 billion.
"There is no doubt that Expo 2020 will have a significant impact on Dubai and act as a catalyst, further energising the hospitality, leisure, retail and consumer businesses here,” said Anis Sadek, Deloitte's Dubai managing partner. "It only takes a quick analysis of the impact of an expected additional 20 million international visitors over a six-month period to see that significant investment in hospitality and retail infrastructure will be required.”
Experts say there are likely to be a number of secondary and indirect effects to the financial advisory services, in addition to the direct opportunities to advise on the capital for projects to build new infrastructure.
Hosting Expo 2020 in Dubai is likely to boost the attractiveness of Dubai as a base for overseas companies wishing to invest in the Middle East. "It is easy to forget that there are still a great many companies around the world that do not have operations in the Middle East and have never invested here, and Expo 2020 should be yet another important component of any strategy to give Dubai a more prominent place in the business world,” said Humphry Hatton, CEO of Deloitte Corporate Finance. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/expo-2020-impact-will-spread-beyond-uae-borders-1.1319807

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Ahmed bin Saif: UAE national carriers gearing up for EXPO 2020


posted on 12/04/2014

The UAE national carriers are getting ready to ferry scores of tourists visiting the country during the World EXPO 2020 in Dubai, according to Dr. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of Rotana Jet.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif, who is now in Colombo for Rotana Jet's first commercial flight to Sri Lanka, said in an interview with WAM that Rotana Jet will be at the heart of that major event.
"We are planning to increase our destinations in the (SAMENA) region and to expand our fleet to meet the growing demand for private '&' business jet operations." He revealed that the company is planning to establish new routes by 2016 to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, India and Pakistan.
Sheikh Ahmed said that the company will soon break even and start to make profits, following recent addition of two aircraft, Airbus A319 and Embraer EMB 145 to its fleet.
"Currently, we have a staff of 250-300 pilots, engineers, and ground and cabin crews who helped take around 6,000 passengers last year to their destinations," he added.
Rotana Jet commenced on Thursday its new service between Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen Airport and Mattala and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
The airline currently operates flights to Bahrain, Muscat and Salalah in addition to the flights to Sir Bani Yas Island, Fujairah, Delma and Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mohammed bin Rashid attaches Alabbar to Expo 2020 Preparatory Committee


posted on 10/04/2014

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has issued Decree No 20 of 2014 attaching Chairman of Emaar Properties, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, as a member in Expo 2020 Preparatory Committee.
The decree is effective from the date of its issuance and will be published in the Official Gazette. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Expo 2020 to create new jobs in key sectors


posted on 08/04/2014

The UAE has a fast-growing young population that has high expectations of what it will be able to do in the work place, commented a UAE daily.
"With more than 65 per cent of the total UAE population under 25, a larger number of young Emiratis will be looking for work every year. So it is encouraging that the Expo 2020 may create 300,000 direct new jobs, and one million indirect jobs," said Gulf News in its editorial on Monday.
"Whether this total in a survey under the sponsorship of the Federal Authority of Human Resources gives a very optimistic picture or not, it still indicates a genuine trend", it continued.
It is also important that these jobs should be permanent additions to the UAE work scene. The five sectors likely to benefit most are listed as hospitality, retail, banking, real estate and infrastructure. These are the core sectors of the long-term UAE economy, so the Expo-related growth is good news.
"The survey also means that the educationists should take note and start to focus their courses and training to fit the urgent needs of the economy", concluded the Dubai-based English language newspaper. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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"Ali's Film" wins Gold Medal at 26th International Visual Communications Awards in London


posted on 31/03/2014

A film that played a key role in helping to set the tone of Dubai's bid to host EXPO 2020 has won a gold medal at the 2014 IVCA event in London. The prize-giving ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House hotel at a dinner attended by over 600 guests.
The star of the film, Ahmed Al Daheri, a schoolboy from Ras al-Khaimah, has climbed to fame in the UAE for moving performances in several other films, including the multi-gold medal winning "The Turtle", made for EXPO 2012.
The success of "Ali's Film" at IVCA was in the hotly contested ‘Best Brand Communication' film and was achieved against over 40 entries and a shortlist on the night that included "12.29" by The Edge Picture Company for British Airways; "Access Prepaid Worldwide": The Access Story Radley by Yeldar Ltd for Access Prepaid Worldwide; "Our Lives" by Maverick Television for Health Education England and "Trust" by Wordley Productions for the Nationwide Building Society.
"Ali's Film" was produced by FQC Media / Big Features for the Expo 2020 Higher Committee. It was shown as one of the UAE's bid presentation films in Paris and has since been widely watched on the Internet. It can be seen on the EXPO Dubai 2020 website.
The filming team associated with "Ali's Film" are currently working on new films that will be shown at the UAE Pavilion for EXPO Milano 2015, under the organisation of the National Media Council. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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World Expo 2020: Dubai plans for 25m visitors


posted on 28/03/2014

Officials in the Emirate of Dubai are going through every detail imaginable to pave the way for the smoothest possible hosting of the international event the World Expo 2020 in six years' time with the influx of 25 million visitors, and what measures they are taking to ensure that the city is an efficient and sustainable one, according to an official at the Planning Research Section, Planning Department at Dubai Municipality, speaking to Gulf News in an interview.
Najeeb Mohammad Saleh, Head of Planning Research Section, said, "When we started to prepare the plan, we first took into consideration how the city is going to grow and what its growth rate would be. We looked at three different scenarios - low, medium and rapid. We have adopted the medium-growth scenario, and expect the population by 2020 to be about 2.8 million." In 2010, the Dubai Executive Council appointed a steering committee made up of Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Civil Aviation, Lands Department, and Dubai Maritime City. These six government entities have since been responsible for planning, implementing and supervising the master plan for Dubai 2020.
The committee, Saleh explained, adopted the right approach as it expected a population growth rate of 4.2 per cent per year, which is close to the current rate at 4.1 per cent. In 2010, Dubai recorded 1.9 million residents and by the end of 2013 this had reached 2.23 million.
"The existing urban area can reach up to 93,106 hectares, which we feel is sufficient for us. And, by 2020, we expect to grow by an additional 25,000 hectares. But even if the rate of the growth is faster than we expect, with a maximum of 38,000 hectares, the capacity of the city and its urban area can still hold that," said Saleh.
Some of the projects already under way include Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai Canal Project, Mohammad Bin Rashid City, and the main venue for Expo 2020 located next to Dubai World Central.
The city's urban planning also involves evaluating the amount of office and retail space needed by 2020. There were 5.1 million square metres of existing office space in 2010, and the demand for 2020 is expected to add an additional 1.8 million square metres. The total retail floor space in 2010 was 5.3 million square metres, and is expected to increase to 6.5 million square metres. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Dubai Expo 2020 seen as 
a game changing event


posted on 28/03/2014

It will trigger a new era of the UAE's exponential growth
A vast majority of respondents in a survey said they are interested in the Expo 2020 as it would be a game-changer, but also believe that the event will push up the cost of living across the country.
According to a survey of 1,000 residents polled by Insight Discovery, only 16 per cent of the respondents said they doubted if the event would deliver any benefits once it is over.
Dubai's World Expo 2020 win, seen by many as a defining milestone in the emirate's dazzling success saga, is expected to trigger the start of a new era of exponential growth for the UAE and also for the whole GCC region.
Around 95 per cent of the respondents are interested in the Expo, out of which 62 per cent expressed strong interest, and 88 per cent said it would impact their lives positively as Dubai expects to attract about 25 million visitors and plans to build a 4.3 million sqm. Exhibition area at a site in the desert south of the city to host presentations from 182 countries.
Some 40 per cent strongly agreed that they fully understand what Dubai Expo 2020 involves, another 49 per cent somewhat agreed.
Around 52 per cent of respondents strongly agreed that Dubai Expo 2020 will have a positive impact on their lives, another 36 per cent somewhat agreed.
Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery, said the survey is the first research of its kind to examine what UAE residents think about the Expo, how they relate to the event and its numerous implications. "The survey confirms that there is huge interest in the event, but identifies a number of aspects that are of concern to the country's residents. The survey examines why Dubai Expo 2020 is unlike previous World Expos, and why it is a high stake event for Dubai and the UAE.”
Respondents in the survey were asked to identify the sectors, which would most likely be the beneficiaries of Dubai Expo 2020. Sectors which received favourable mention included advertising/media/communications, financial services, real estate, retail, telecoms, and tourism/hospitality. It was widely believed that real estate and tourism would most likely be the major beneficiaries of Dubai Expo 2020.
However, 40 per cent of respondents also identified the financial services sector to be another leading beneficiary in the coming years.
HSBC estimates that about 45,000 new hotel rooms will be needed for the event, increasing supply by about 6.4 per cent every year until 2020 at a cost of more than Dh31 billion. "The government is planning to spend about Dh26 billion on infrastructure for which we do not know the funding source.”
HSBC estimates that a further Dh30 billion will be raised through debt and equity from private companies that are building hotels. Over 60 per cent of respondents had a favourable outlook for tourism growth in the years (2018-20) closer to Dubai Expo 2020, in comparison to the earlier period (2016-18) where tourism were predicted to grow by 33 per cent to 40 per cent. Many (61 per cent) of the survey respondents were found to have a strong opinion on the tourism potential of Dubai Expo 2020 as the event is estimated to attract nearly 25 million visitors. Another 30 per cent agree that it will boost tourism since Dubai has an established infrastructure.
Jeff Singer, CEO of DIFC Authority, said Dubai has successfully positioned itself as an international business hub and a gateway to markets across the MEASA region. "The Expo will undoubtedly have a positive impact as an economic catalyst that will create a long-term boost to local and regional economies in key business sectors such as finance, logistics and tourism.''
In the survey, 73 per cent of the respondents believe that the UAE's financial services sector will cope easily with the opportunities but challenges may arise.
On the other hand, 57 per cent of those surveyed think that the impact of the event on local banks will only be moderate, given that three quarters of the 25 million visitors to Dubai Expo 2020 will come from outside the UAE. Jawed Barna, CEO of Zurich International Life Middle East & Africa, said the success of Expo 2020 further highlighted the importance of Dubai as a regional and International hub and a centre of business excellence.
In terms of employment opportunities in the UAE, 57 per cent of the respondents think that the Expo 2020 will lead to a positive impact with more job creation and new businesses.
Meanwhile, 91 per cent strongly believe that Expo 2020 will lead to a rise in the general cost of living.
Sillitoe said the governments of Dubai and the UAE are to be congratulated for winning this major world event. They now face the challenge of managing the expectations and perceptions of residents and other stakeholders over the next six years. The years leading up to this event will be demanding on infrastructure and services, but nevertheless we are confident that Dubai will deliver like it has always done.”
Insight Discovery conducted this Dubai Expo 2020 survey in partnership with Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA), Grant Thornton and Zurich Insurance Group.- Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/uaebusiness/2014/March/uaebusiness_March434.xml§ion=uaebusiness

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Expo 2020: We have a very strong case, Abdullah Bin Zayed tells Gulf News


posted on 27/11/2013

Paris: Gulf News speaks with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, in Paris on the eve of the vote:
Gulf News: Do you recognise that we are primed for a historical moment?
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed: This is a wonderful opportunity, not only for Dubai and the UAE but for the entire region. The UAE has put in a strong bid for a very prestigious competition. I have a lot of respect not only for the bid, but for the UAE team which has done fantastically under SheikhAhmad. Hopefully this bid is extremely strong in terms of merits will be well received by the BIE.
Gulf News: You have personally been involved as well right from the inception…
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed: This is purely a team effort. It's not only the local government, or the federal government that is participating; it is an involvement by the business communities and ordinary people. Everyone has made an effort by building the reputation of the UAE and Dubai, or by reaching out through the media, social media, parents, relatives, people back home, wherever they are, they have all played a role. I believe that we have a very strong case, but I am hopeful that the BIE will consider the bid and make a right decision.
Gulf News: What is your opinion of the competition?
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed: Turkey, Brazil, Russia are respected internationally, politically, socially and economically. They have so much in the last few decades, so whatever the result will be I think Dubai has managed to show that it is an international city and a city which is well known and on the same footing with famous cities and countries which have traditions and a long history of successes. I believe that we are trying to do our best here. – Gulf News
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Reem Al Hashemi: UAE has 'assets and skills' for Expo 2020


posted on 27/11/2013

Paris: Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020, spoke to delegates of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) at the final presentations to hold the World Expo in 2020.
She pledged to the audience the UAE's "assets, skills, and expertise to give Expo 2020 the weight and recognition it deserves."
Hashemi, who has been giving presentations in both English and in French through the five rounds of presentations, told delegates and the globe's meda, that the UAE would "always strive for quality, excellence, and respect that we will remain consistent and determined to deliver an inclusive and engaging Expo.”
In her speech Al Hashemi described the UAE as a "young country", able to "look to the future with enthusiasm and hope."
Al Hashemi also used her time to stress that Dubai and the UAE would make sure funding would be made abailable to ensure the six month global event's success.
She said: "To ensure the best possible presentation for each participant, we have pioneered the concept of 1Nation 1Pavilion and supported it with a robust assistance package."
She said one of the UAE's key strengths was its ability to integrate supporting partners, and Al Hashemi played that card to the audience, noting that the entire infrastructure of the emirate would be woven together in the build up and then running of the event.
She said: "We [have] worked with our airlines, our hospitality industry, and our tourism board to develop a programme that can generate global awareness and excitement.
"Your pavilions will become must-see attractions for the largest number of international visitors ever in an Expo."
The UAE bid has, since its inception, stressed it would be a boost to "green" initiatives. Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company has played heavily in the bid's videos, with the green city's university, the Masdar Institute, playing host to Ali, the young boy who has stressed Dubai's advantages. Al Hashemi told the audience: "An ambitious sustainability plan will make the Expo 2020 the first carbon-neutral mega event."
Sustainability would though only be one "breakthrough" in Dubai should it win Al Hashemi said. "Expo Live will harness the power of this community of countries to foster partnerships for innovation".
Emphasising the level of support for the bid in the UAE, Al Hashemi is joined in Paris by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the ruler of Dubai.
Shaikh Mohammed told the Expo audience: "Today we are joined by 10 Federal Ministers and under the guidance of Shaikh Ahmed we deliver to you the strongest [field] we can."
Sao Paulo completed its presentation with the city's mayor speaking of the city as the heart of Brazil and at the cutting edge of sporting talent, scientific achievements, movie industry and cuisine.

He said Latin America has never hosted an Expo and it was time for the expo to come to Sao Paulo.
Russian Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, in a televised address, promised the most exciting Expo ever, should Ekatarinburg win this race for 2020. It followed Russian deputy prime minister making a case for his country.
Andre Geim, 2010 winner of physics Nobel Prize, also spoke to the delegates to make a case for Ekaterinburg. He highlighted the Russian space programme and 26 Nobel Prize winners in his statement.
The Russian government is guaranteeing visa free travel for all travellers to the Expo.
The Russians closed their presentation by wishing all other candidates the best of luck, saying 'Iit was a fair, open and friendly fight.'
The first round of Expo voting is due to begin at 5.30pm UAE time. There will be three rounds of voting - knocking out a city each time. However, even on the first round, should a candidate city gets 2/3 of the votes - 112 votes - it would automatically be declared the winner. – Gulf News
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Dubai ready to welcome Expo bid result


posted on 27/11/2013

The city which is elected to host the century-old exposition will be declared sometime between 5pm and 9pm UAE time.
As millions of people wait with bated breath for news that could have far reaching positive economic implications for the whole Gulf region, the UAE, all decked up to mark its 42nd National Day, is already in a celebratory mood.
With the bidding process for Expo 2020 reaching its nerve-wracking finale this evening in Paris, the city which is elected to host the century-old exposition will be declared sometime between 5pm and 9pm UAE time.
Never before in Dubai's shining history of spectacular growth, has such a defining historic moment been based on a voting conducted outside the country.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which met in Paris on Tuesday, will continue deliberations today ahead of the decisive three-round voting in the evening.
Dubai is pitted against the Turkish city of Izmir, Brazil's Sao Paulo and Russia's Yekaterinburg. Today, all the four will make their final pitch to the 168 member nations of the BIE just before the vote.
The selection process is based on three rounds of elimination. In each round, the city with the least number of votes will be eliminated. With each round expected to take about one hour, the final winner would be announced by 9pm Dubai time.
Optimism across the nation has reached fever pitch as Dubai's bid has been endorsed by several world leaders and countries, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, former US president Bill Clinton, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Canada and France.
Barclays analysts said they expect Dubai's recovery to gain further momentum even without the Expo. "While we expect Dubai's recovery to gain further momentum even without the Expo, we believe a successful Expo bid could boost growth further, to average 6.4 per cent per annum over the next three years and potentially 10.5 per cent year on year to 2020,” the bank said on Tuesday.
A report by property consultancy CBRE said on Tuesday that a successful bid would boost the UAE's economy and spur growth in Dubai's real estate sector.
"A positive result would mean new people, new visitors and new interest in Dubai, with international coverage and global exposure in what at the very least would be a wonderful PR event for the UAE, and at the very best a springboard to establish Dubai as an internationally recognised global city,” stated the report.
"Winning World Expo 2020 vote will act as the single most importance influence of the UAE's real estate sector in 2014,” Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said on Tuesday.
"While the immediate and short-term impact is likely to dominate the headlines and define the shape of the market in 2014, the most important and strategic benefits will be the long-term "legacy” effects of the Expo on the UAE economy,” JLL said on Tuesday.
Analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research believed that the estimated impact of a successful Dubai Expo 2020 bid would be $23 billion or 24.4 per cent of Dubai's GDP, spread over the period 2015 to 2021.
A study unveiled by Brand Finance said the brand value of Dubai is set to increase by an estimated $8 billion winning the Expo bid. "The Dubai Expo would increase the UAE GDP by $13 billion between 2013 and 2021. Over 277,000 jobs are expected to be created between 2013 and 2021 and over 25 million visitors are expected to attend the Expo,” Brand Finance said.
Dubai estimates total financing costs of $8.4 billion (8.9 per cent of GDP), of which the Dubai Government will commit to fully funding the capital needs of $6.8 billion. – Khaleej Times
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Abdullah bin Zayed lauds Arab diplomatic community in Paris for supporting UAE's bid to host EXPO 2020


posted on 26/11/2013

Paris: UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday met at Palais Brongniart in the French capital Paris with ambassadors of sisterly Arab countries accredited to France in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Sheikh Abdullah expressed gratitude of the leadership, government and people of the UAE to the Arab ambassadors for their supportive stances to the UAE's bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai under the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future." Sheikh Abdullah said Arab's support for the UAE's bid to host this important international gathering stems out of sincere loyalty. He asserted that success of the UAE to host the international exhibition represents a success for all Arabs.
He also praised efforts being made by Arab ambassadors for lobbying and encouraging representatives of friendly countries in Paris to 'back our State for hosting the historic event.' Speaking on behalf of Arab ambassadors, Yemeni ambassador to Paris affirmed that success of the UAE to host the international historic gathering would be a source of proud for both Arab and Islamic Worlds.
He noted that the tremendous challenge the UAE and Arab countries are facing is not simple, rather it is a challenge amount to the profile of the event.
He affirmed that the Arab countries are vehemently standing with the UAE, offering support of all available potentials, wishing the UAE success in order to realise its goals and those of the Arab Nation.
Sheikh Abdullah also attended a reception and dinner hosted by the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai at Palais Brongniart.
Present were Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health, Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020, Abdullah bin Mohammed Saeed Ghobash, Minister of State, members of the committee, UAE ambassadors to Paris, Brussels, Islamabad, and London, heads of diplomatic corps and ambassadors accredited to Paris as well as representatives of member states of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and a crowd of business.
Later, Sheikh Abdullah spoke to UAE and international media representatives about the UAE's confidence in the dossier Dubai has presented to host Expo 2020, asserting that trust, strength of the dossier along with popular support, not only from the UAE people but also from all expatriate residents in the UAE, provide credible factors for supporting the bid.
He said the UAE Expo work team has discharged their duties properly through their extensive communications and meetings with officials in majority of BIE member states during which the team has presented convincing realistic and practical evidence, confirming ability of the UAE in general and Dubai in particular to host the prestigious event.
He added that security and stability also play positive role in the dossier.
Sheikh Abdullah noted that none of the biding countries to host the World Expo 2020 has a body similar to the Expo popular committee in the UAE, pointing out that geography, economy and personal relations play a key role to win votes of countries which will cast their votes on the final selection of the host of Expo 2020 on Wednesday.
The UAE foreign minister affirmed:' Our State enjoys respects of the world and this is a cause for optimism and success in the test which it will face in the voting process by the BIE member states in Paris.' This, he added, is a test for the mettle of the UAE youth and their success in achieving goals of their State in the present and future. Sheikh Abdullah expressed his pride at the model of national cohesion in the UAE community.
'What is important is what is going to happen after the event, if we, God willing, win the bid.
What we will do, think and what is the next step? Sheikh Abdullah asked.
He concluded his statement to the media by wishing success and progress for the UAE in all events and occasions under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Students pledge support for Expo 2020 bid


posted on 26/11/2013

Abdulla, an Emirati student born and brought up in Dubai, believes that if the city wins the Expo 2020 bid, it will grow and grow — and become glitzier and glitzier. "It will make people proud,” he said.
School students across Dubai have been creating ‘human chains' to express their support for the bid.
The entire student population at Emirates International School (Meadows) came out in force to show their support for Dubai's Expo 2020 bid on Monday.
More than 1,500 students, aged between four and 18, gathered on the playing field and formed the words ‘EXPO 2020, EISM, Dubai' and formed the shape of the UAE national flag.
"It was wonderful to see both our primary school and high school students so excited in support of Dubai's bid for Expo 2020,” said Leonard Murphy, principal of the High School.
Carmel Platt, principal of the Primary School, noted: "It is important for them to feel part of the community. Winning the Expo bid will be an amazing opportunity for Dubai and its residents. It will provide many opportunities for the entire community.”
Along with the Emirates International School, more than 2,000 students from Delhi Private School's Dubai campus formed Dubai's Expo 2020 logo on Sunday morning to express support for the city. Students from Grades 1 to 5 at the school joined the logo formation and also held placards highlighting elements of the bid. – Khaleej Times
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