Al Bastaki: world should expect an “unprecedented” expo

Al Bastaki: world should expect an “unprecedented” expo

Dubai rewarded for competitiveness

01 January 2014

MAHMOUD Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade and ambassador of Dubai Expo 2020, said the city’s “competitiveness and association with the UAE” helped it win the right to hold Expo 2020.

Dubai’s win was a win for all and it proved that the word “impossible” did not exist in the city’s dictionary and a “can do” spirit pervaded across the metropolis, he said.

Winning the event was important for the UAE in order to showcase its infrastructure, geographic positioning and access to the world’s fastest growing markets (China, India, the Middle East and Africa), he said.

Importantly, it would boost Dubai’s and the UAE’s reputation on the global stage and contribute to substantial GDP growth, create jobs and boost tourism. Additionally it would help build international relationships and partnerships and develop a lasting physical and social legacy.

The official recalled the efforts Dubai made to pave the ground for eventual success. He said it helped that the UAE had friendly ties with all countries thereby facilitating the gaining of support.

Much organisation and networking went into the campaign. A a big task force including senior government officials, UAE Ambassadors across the globe and UAE ministers worked hard for over a year to promote the bid. A mission focus was Dubai’s and the UAE’s strategic location and the fact Dubai had the reputation of being a global city with a diverse population and booming tourism.

Added to that were the world-class infrastructure, experience in hosting world-class events, a safe environment countrywide and  ease of operations that Dubai and the UAE enjoyed. Dubai’s global reputation as a festival and event city has been recognised by the International Festivals & Events Association. The UAE has successfully held world events including the Dubai Desert Classic Golf, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Dubai International Film Festival and Global Energy Forum.

Dubai’s special characteristics captured the hearts and minds of many countries, facilitating the final selection. Rather than nervousness about whether they could convince states to cast their vote there was a sense of determination.

Al Bastaki described Dubai as “the world’s new capital” where creativity and innovation converged.

Now that it has bagged the expo, Dubai is promising the world an expo that’s “unprecedented, one that will surprise the world and prove a landmark in mankind’s history, he said. “A country within a span of 42 years has been transformed from a barren desert to a state-of-the-art place. Dubai sells itself. It has become truly the destination of hopes and ambition, a place that millions around the world desire to live in or simply visit.”

As ambassador for the expo bid, Al Bastaki travelled to Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and Europe. His colleagues covered other regions.

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