Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar; Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, BIE Secretary-General
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) today visited Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy company, during their first evaluation tour of the UAE, part of the country’s official campaign to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
In November 2011, the United Arab Emirates presented its bid to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris to host the World Expo in Dubai, between January 4 and June 30, 2020.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, conveyed his support to the efforts of the United Arab Emirates in hosting World Expo 2020; highlighting the Expo’s focus on sustainable development.
The delegation, who were present during the launch of the promotional campaign, included Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State, Mr. Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, BIE Secretary General, Mr. DimitriKerkentzes, Chief of staff, and Ms. Laurence Toledo, Coordinator for World Expos. The purpose of their visit to the UAE is to make a first evaluation of the competitive advantage the country can offer to qualify for hosting the World Expo - held once every five years.
Dr Al Jaber praised the proposed theme for Dubai’s bid - "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” - which embodies the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai; in building bridges of friendship and cooperation with the international community in an attempt to build a bright future for the generations of tomorrow.
Dr. Al Jaber underscored how the UAE enjoys a modern infrastructure, and extensive experience in hosting international events. He pointed out that the proposed date for hosting the World Expo in January will coincide with other high-level international events taking place in the capital - the World Future Energy Summit and Zayed Future Energy Prize.
For January 2013, Abu Dhabi is preparing to host the International Water Summit, launched by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
In 2012, the United Nation Secretary General, HE Ban ki-Moon launched the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All" from Abu Dhabi on the opening day of WFES.
Dr. Al Jaber said: "The objectives of the World Expo are aligned with the far reaching strategy and vision of the UAE leadership which includes strengthening collaboration, knowledge sharing, innovation, economic development, the strengthening of trade relations and a closer cooperation between developed and developing nations.”
"Through the UAE’s successful bid to host the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – we have acquired a great amount of knowledge and experience in mobilizing international support and we stand ready to participate in supporting the efforts to host Expo 2020.”
He added: “Reciprocally, hosting this event is an excellent opportunity for the UAE to shed light on the growth and development across all sectors in the country – this includes the UAE efforts to diversify the economy, create a diverse mix of sustainable energy sources, and build a knowledge economy based on human capital while upholding our heritage.”
The visiting delegation was briefed about Masdar and its mandate of ensuring energy security and contributing to the country’s sustainable development through the acceleration, development and deployment of renewable energy technologies and solutions. The delegation was also briefed on the latest developments of Masdar’s local and international projects. They toured Masdar City and the 10MW solar field, the laboratories, and were shown a demonstration of the advanced research and experiments conducted at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
The UAE sits on a wealth of advantages that enhance the chances of hosting the Expo 2020. The country enjoys a unique strategic location between the east and the west, and its social fabric is so diverse and multicultural as it welcomes more than 200 nationalities on its soil to work and to contribute to the growth opportunities offered by the dynamic business environment in the country.
In 1970, Abu Dhabi participated at the Osaka Expo in Japan. Following the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, the country participated in various future Expos, its most recent participation in Shanghai. The UAE pavilion in Shanghai went on to win many state awards. Should the UAE win the bid to host Expo 2020 - it will be the first time that this global event is held in the Middle East region and the second time it is hosted in a developing country.
Dr Al Jaber noted that such a vote would send a strong signal and create an excellent opportunity to strengthen collaboration between the developed and developing world.
The UAE has been a member of the BIE since 1997. The Expo provides a global platform to showcase the latest innovations and scientific developments and new inventions.