By Roy Mabasa
United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Manila Hamad Saeed Alzaabi on Wednesday led the launching of the countdown for the 2020 Expo to be held in Dubai as he expects the Philippines’ participation will boost its opportunity to widen its market worldwide.
Dubbed the “World’s Greatest Show,” the Expo 2020 Dubai will run for six months, from October 20, 2020 up to April 10, 2021, with the expected involvement of about 200 countries and at least 25 million guests and participants from all over the world.
“This is a good opportunity for the Philippines to further showcase or introduce its products as Dubai serves as a hub between Asia and Europe,” Ambassador Alzaabi told reporters shortly after the launching of the countdown in Makati City.
The UAE envoy stressed the significance of its hosting of the Expo 2020 as this will be the first World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia regions.
He added that the 25 million estimated turn out of visitors to the Expo 2020 in Dubai would be the largest proportion of international visitors in the history of world expos.
Citing the importance of the UAE to overseas Filipino workers, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials who graced the launching said the Philippines will have at the Expo its own 3,000 square meter pavilion designed like a bangkóta, an ancient Tagalog word for coral reef.
The DTI officials added that the Office of the President has provided the logistics for the Philippine participation in the Dubai Expo and the DTI is expected to launch its own countdown next month.
Almost 1 million Filipino OFWs are estimated to be working or living in the UAE, said Ambassador Alzaabi.
As for the importance of the Expo 2020 to the UAE, Alzaabi said their country aspires to create positive environmental impacts on national, regional and global scales based on four key objectives.
These are: to leave a legacy of sustainable infrastructure and cutting-edge sustainability practices, to catalyze sustainability in UAE, to increase public awareness, and to develop sustainable answers that are scalable and extend benefits to the wider economy.
“If we could achieve all these incredible objectives, that alone would be a great accomplishment not only for our country but for the whole world,” he said.