Clinton backs UAE bid for World Expo 2020

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Former US President Bill Clinton has backed the UAE to be successful with its bid to host the 2020 World Expo event.

During a speech to students at the American University in Dubai (AUD), he also praised the UAE's achievements and vision for the future.

He said: "Places that have come back from the tough economic crisis the best and the quickest are the ones which have an operative model which creates cooperation across all sectors of society, races, religions, and ethnic groups, where people find a way to celebrate and are proud of their differences and they work together in shared responsibility."

He added: "That's what Dubai and the UAE represent and I think you are in a strong position to win the bid for Expo 2020 because Dubai's model of shared prosperity is more important today than ever and an inspiration to many countries in the Middle East."

It was Clinton's sixth visit to the campus since he spoke at the university's graduation back in 2002, news agency WAM reported.

In December, the UAE's Ambassador to France submitted the country's official bid dossier to host World Expo 2020 to the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the body in charge of overseeing the bidding, selection and organisation of World Expos.

Mohamed Meer Abdalla Al Raeesi presented the 600-page document, which has taken 10 months to produce, and details the UAE's vision for the 2020 World Expo.

Dubai is competing against four other cities bidding to host the 2020 World Expo, including Ayutthaya (Thailand), Ekaterinburg (Russia), Izmir (Turkey), and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

The winning city will be announced in November following a vote by the 161 member nations of the BIE.

Last year, UAE officials unveiled their masterplan for Dubai Trade Centre - Jebel Ali, which will be created to host the 2020 World Expo.

At the core of the site masterplan, which was designed by HOK, Populus and Arup, is an open plaza called Al Wasl (the connection) and branching out from the plaza are three main zones that symbolise the bid's sub themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity.

Inspired by traditional Arab souks, the site integrates the UAE's architectural heritage with the requirements of the Expo to foster the fundamental principles of innovation, partnership and collaboration between participants and visitors.

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