UAE gears up to build sustainable legacy from Expo 2020 Dubai

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 14, 2022
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Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to China, speaks at a webinar on April 13, 2022. [Photo courtesy of the UAE Embassy in Beijing]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to China said that the UAE is committed to building a meaningful, measurable and long-term legacy from Expo 2020 Dubai that will set a benchmark for future Expos.

Ambassador Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri made the remarks on Wednesday at a webinar held by the embassy to discuss the management and utilization of the Expo's facilities and built environment.

According to the plan, District 2020, a new urban zone in Dubai, will repurpose 80% of the Expo's construction projects into an integrated and multi-functional community and become a "futuristic area" which will continue to attract new businesses and people to settle down, as well as tourists to visit.

"District 2020 has been empowered with the latest and most disruptive technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data and the Internet of Things," the ambassador said.

He also mentioned the environmental sustainability of District 2020. "It refers to more than environmental responsibility, but the ability of an ecosystem to remain relevant for generations," he said.

The six-month-long Expo 2020 Dubai has been record-breaking in many aspects. It is the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region as well as the first event of its size and scale since the pandemic began.

The China Pavilion covers an area of 4,636 square meters and is one of the largest national pavilions at the Expo. Named "Light of China," the pavilion has provided a glimpse into the country's latest innovation achievements in the fields of space exploration, information technology, modern transportation and artificial intelligence.

During the Expo which ran from Oct. 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, the pavilion received more than 1.76 million visits and organized over 100 exhibitions, promotional events and business fairs for more than 3,000 companies, with deals worth 8.7 billion yuan signed concerning sectors such as energy, food and infrastructure. The pavilion also received around 1.45 million views online via a virtual reality cloud platform.

"China is willing to share and exchange experience in the management of Expo legacies with the UAE, and is proactively promoting the sustainable utilization of the China Pavilion," said Zhang Shenfeng, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

Zhang added that he and his colleagues are working to strengthen communication and cooperation between enterprises from China and the UAE, as the two countries' development paths, namely China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the UAE's concept of "Revitalizing the Silk Road," are highly compatible.

China and the UAE established strategic relations a decade ago, which were later enhanced to a comprehensive level in 2018. Over the years, economic ties between the two sides have grown stronger. China is now the largest trading partner of the UAE, while the latter is China's top investment destination in the Arab world. The two countries are expected to enhance practical cooperation in the fields of new energy, renewable resources, and aviation and aerospace technologies.

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