As the countdown to the Expo 2020 Dubai gathers pace, Yousef Mana'a Saeed al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the US, said the world’s largest cultural gathering will reflect the UAE’s goal to build a more optimistic, peaceful and prosperous future for the world.
In an interview with state news agency WAM, the UAE ambassador added that the six-month extravaganza - held under the theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future' - will highlight the importance of cooperation, partnership and working together for a better tomorrow for humanity.
Expo 2020 is earmarked to become the biggest cultural gathering in the world, with 60-plus live events per day for 173 consecutive days, and hundreds of entertainment, cultural and culinary experiences.
With the less than a month before the Expo opens its doors, al-Otaiba described the event as an outstanding opportunity for the UAE to be the first Arab country to host the Expo, which coincides with the UAE's Golden Jubilee celebrations.
He said that the Expo 2020 Dubai will undoubtedly be an influential event, as it is one of the first and largest international gatherings in light of the global efforts made to get out of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the role of the Expo as an inclusive platform for humanity, peace and coexistence, al-Otaiba said that the UAE is a role model to be followed for the values of diversity, tolerance and integration with more than 200 nationalities living in the country.
The UAE, he added, is keen to continue to promote these values in society on a daily basis.
He said that in 2019, the UAE welcomed Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, his first ever visit to the Arabian Peninsula, where he delivered a mass in front of 180,000 people at Zayed Sports City.
In the same year, said al-Otaiba, Abu Dhabi hosted the first Special Olympics World Games in the region, bringing together 7,500 athletes, 20,000 volunteers and half a million spectators in the largest humanitarian and sports event.
Expo 2020, he said, will build on the legacy of these events and reflects the UAE's holistic vision for the future by bringing together 191 participating countries to showcase their cultures and enhance mutual understanding and respect among peoples.
Shaping future leaders
He shed light on the significant role of Expo 2020 Dubai in shaping young future leaders and motivating them to excel, innovate and consolidate a sustainable legacy for future generations.
On the issue of climate change, which is an important focus of Expo 2020 Dubai, he said that the UAE is aware of the importance of overcoming the negative impacts of climate change and to encourage innovative sustainable solutions.
With regard to the volume of trade exchange between the UAE and the US, and the role of Expo 2020 Dubai in exploring broader prospects for bilateral cooperation, al-Otaiba said that despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the two countries continued to work closely to strengthen and diversify bilateral economic relations.
In 2020, the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached $17.8 billion, and for the 12th consecutive year, the UAE was the largest market for US exports in the Middle East.
The US Pavilion at Expo Dubai extends over an area of 36,000 square feet and provides a unique experience for visitors to celebrate American values and culture under the theme ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Future’.
The pavilion includes a model of the "SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket", in addition to other exhibits, including Moon rocks, one of the robotic vehicles that landed on the moon's surface, and many others.