With less than a week to go for the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to announce the Expo 2020 bid winner , the excitement is building up in Dubai, one of the bidding cities.
Dubai, which is competing against Sao Paolo (Brazil), Izmir (Turkey) and Ekaterinburg (Russia) to host the mega event, has managed to garner support not only from within the region, but also from several leaders and countries.
1. DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
One of the most vocal supporters of the UAE’s bid, Cameron even reiterated his support in person during an official visit to Dubai ahead of the Dubai Airshow in November.
The British PM also penned a 450-word op-ed that was circulated among media outlets in the UAE in October, which outlined the main reasons why he believed Dubai was the ideal city to host the Expo.
2. BILL CLINTON, FORMER US PRESIDENT
Bill Clinton said Dubai is in a “strong position” to win the bid for Expo 2020 thanks to the UAE’s achievements and its cultural diversity.
“Dubai’s model of shared prosperity is more important today than ever and an inspiration to many countries in the Middle East,” he said during a trip to the UAE in April this year.
3. BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, also the founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , has personally endorsed Dubai’s bid, saying the city “would be a great location to host a World Expo”.
4. BORIS JOHNSON, LONDON MAYOR
London Mayor Boris Johnson has supported Dubai’s bid saying: “I personally back Dubai and will be happy to tell others to do so. It will be good for Dubai.”
He added: “It’s not a one-way street. Our support will definitely help more than 4,000 British companies operating here.”
French President Francois Hollande commended Dubai’s bid to host the Expo following an official meeting with Sheikh Mohammed in Paris this June.
“The head of state praised the advantages of the application of Dubai Expo 2020,” a statement said.
French city Lyon also released a statement saying it backed Dubai’s bid because of the city’s “exceptional development”, its “ambitious outlook and constant quest for innovation.”
“Canada’s support for Dubai reflects our commitment to the dynamism, hope and future of emerging economies in the region and beyond,” John Baird, Canada’s foreign affairs minister said in a statement.
“Dubai is best placed to bring together the most diverse group of peoples from around the world, to share ideas, aspirations, and concrete solutions for the future.”
Italy, the host of the 2015 World Expo, threw its weight behind Dubai’s bid with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta expressing his country’s support in a letter to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“In a world more and more integrated and interdependent, the UAE metropolis, where around 200 nationalities live and work in harmony to build a common project, represents an outstanding model of development, in tune with the theme chosen for the Expo,” he wrote.
Netherlands went through a lengthy consultation and assessment process before selecting Dubai as its choice for the Expo, minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans said in a statement.
“The Netherlands was extremely impressed with the efforts the UAE has invested in their bid for Expo 2020. The plans and strategy the UAE has put in place are remarkable.”
9. LINDSAY LOHAN
One of the first celebrity endorsements came from Lindsay Lohan, who tweeted: “Help support Dubai to win the World Expo in 2020 & support @HHShkMohd’s vision @DubaiExpo2020.” She added “I do”.
10. PAMELA ANDERSON
A similar tweet was recently posted by ex-Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. “I back Dubai to win the World Expo bid in 2020 & support @HHShkMohd’s vision @DubaiExpo2020,” she wrote.