The Steering Committee of the College of Commissioner Generals of Expo 2020 Dubai has held its third event-time meeting, doubling down on its united commitment to continue hosting an exceptional and safe World Expo in a manner that is engaging, exciting and full of learning.
The meeting of the committee, which represents Expo’s 192 participating nations, was attended by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary-General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos. It was chaired by Manuel Salchli, Chair of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee and Commissioner General for Switzerland at Expo 2020.
Al Hashemy said, “As we approach the three-month mark, having welcomed millions of people from around the world, we are humbled by the depth of pride, learning and exploration that visitors are enjoying on site. We will continue to ensure that the health and safety of all visitors and staff alike remains our number one priority. In coordination with our partners in both the local and federal levels, we will continue to be agile, proactive and factual to ensure an unforgettable and safe Expo 2020 experience for all.”
Kerkentzes said, “The UAE, Expo 2020 Dubai and all International Participants remain united in our commitment to continue delivering an exceptional experience for each and every visitor, from all corners of the world. Buoyed by Expo’s latest visitation numbers, I am delighted and reassured by the way in which this World Expo has been hosted and managed so far, with the site’s ongoing health and safety measures set to ensure the coming weeks and months hold as much promise as those since 1 October.”
Chaired by Manuel Salchli, the committee, which comprises Commissioner Generals from 34 countries, praised the UAE and event organisers for a successful opening, particularly in light of the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic – noting the millions of visitors that have safely passed through Expo’s doors as 2022 approaches.
Committee members recognised the success of the cultural events of countries celebrating their National Days at Expo, as well as Expo’s spectacular UAE Golden Jubilee celebrations on 2 December, marking 50 years since the founding of the nation.
Salchli said, “During the near-three months of Expo, the outstanding commitment of International Participants and Organisers to offer a unique visitor experience has been on full display for the world to see. As we approach the halfway mark, heralding the new year with renewed optimism, I am confident such embedded international collaboration will continue to support International Participants’ national objectives, which includes addressing the global challenges shared by all.”
Clayton Kimpton, Commissioner General of New Zealand for Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “As kaitiaki (guardians), New Zealanders believe we have a responsibility to leave the world in a better place for future generations. We commend our International Participants and Expo friends and colleagues for their shared commitment, alongside New Zealand, to safely host all visitors from every corner of the world, inspiring action to preserve the planet for millennia to come.”
Albina Assis Africano, Commissioner General of Angola for Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “We commend the Expo 2020 Steering Committee for another successful meeting, raising crucial issues that affect International Participants and Organisers alike. Angola’s objectives at Expo 2020 remain unchanged, to promote the country, its people, culture, and attract investments in different areas, and we are optimistic that ongoing measures will ensure such aims are fulfilled before 31 March 2022. Dubai is the perfect platform to amplify who we are and where we want to go.”
The largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020’s latest COVID-19 measures include the expansion of the number of on-site PCR testing facilities to four, and free testing for all Country Pavilion staff. While all frontline workers and entertainers continue to be tested on a regular basis, Dubai Expo 2020 is committed to applying the learnings of the past 18 months and move forward with partners and stakeholders to ensure a balanced and comprehensive approach forward.
With more than 90 percent of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination and boosters of all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers.
Visitors ages 18 and above are required to present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains on-site sanitisation stations and mandatory face masks both in indoor and outdoor spaces.