Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has dedicated the emirate's Expo 2020 victory to the UAE's president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and its people.
In a statement released shortly after Dubai beat rivals Sao Paulo (Brazil), Ekaterinburg (Russia) and Izmir (Turkey) for the right to host the prestigious event, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We congratulate the nation, our president and all people in the UAE on Dubai’s winning bid to host the greatest exhibition in the world.
"I extend my thanks to HH Sheikh Khalifa for his great support, and to every country that voted for Dubai to host Expo 2020. I am proud of our teams who earned this victory for Dubai with two years of hard work, dedication and commitment."
He also ordered that Thursday be declared a holiday for all educational institutions across the UAE to celebrate Dubai's World Expo 2020 win.
He added: “We renew our promise to astonish the world in 2020. Dubai will bring to life our vision: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Our goal is to build a better future for the region’s youth. The UAE will achieve it through collaboration and inspiration at the event.
"Dubai Expo 2020 will breathe new life into the ancient role of the Middle East as a melting pot for cultures and creativity.”
Sheikh Mohammed, also PM and vice-president of the UAE, went on to say: “Today, we have two reasons to celebrate. The UAE’s epic win to host the world’s most prestigious fair adds to our joy of celebrating the 42nd National Day of our beloved country.
“It is by the unwavering efforts of the leadership and the people of the UAE that this aspiration became reality.”
Sheikh Mohammed also asserted that Dubai Expo 2020 will "undoubtedly stand out as the best edition in the history of the event in terms of preparation and presentation".
He also praised the role and efforts exerted by the Foreign Ministry, led by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in gathering international support for Dubai’s bid while also highlighting efforts of the National Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020 headed by chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Sheikh Ahmed in a separate statement said: "We are immensely proud to have been awarded the honour of hosting World Expo 2020 and thank the member states of the BIE for entrusting us with the spirit and values of the Expo.
"This is a moment to be embraced and owned by the entire nation and beyond - this is your Expo. It is an Expo for the World. The vision of our bid has always been about more than just Dubai and the UAE."
Sheikh Mohammed added: “The competition was challenging and the competitors were strong. We wish them all the success in all their future initiatives. We are all partners in making a better future for humanity without differentiation or discrimination.”
He said that the UAE’s achievement "is a gain for the whole region and the world as it brings a global event of this magnitude to the doorsteps of a vast geographical area inhabited by approximately two billion people".
President Khalifa added: "From day one when we submitted our bid to host Expo 2020, we were fully confident that Dubai deserves to win the bid, and that our country possesses all it takes to successfully organise a unique event that will add a new and outstanding imprint on the Expo series of events."
Expo 2020 is expected to have significant and positive direct and indirect economic impact on the UAE and the region.
Initial research and studies indicate that hosting Expo 2020 will generate approximately 277,000 new job opportunities between 2013 and 2020.