By Sam Bridge
Dubai ruler and Abu Dhabi crown prince tour the Expo 2020 site; say the UAE is the 'perfect host' for the mega event
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Wednesday inaugurated Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
The leaders said the UAE is a "perfect host" for Expo 2020, which will promote optimism, hope and collaboration and inspire people to work towards achieving positive change and a better future.
“We will celebrate the accomplishments of the last 50 years. Thanks to the efforts of UAE citizens and residents, as well as all those who have contributed to its success and prosperity, Expo 2020 will mark the start of new 50-year phase of leadership and achievements,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“We are working to implement our vision as part of our comprehensive development plan, whose key objective is the happiness of people. Our efforts are backed by initiatives and projects aimed at maximisng the energy and talent of our people and creating new opportunities for them. We work with all countries and governments keen to promote the prosperity and wellbeing of humanity.
"In a few months, the world will gather in this place to celebrate the cultures of various nations across the world and humankind’s best innovations. Expo 2020 will offer new hope for creating a better tomorrow both for the region and the world.”
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed added: “Through Expo 2020, we will show the world how our union was the starting point for our development journey, and how our founding fathers established the robust foundations necessary for sustainable development and progress. We will also have an opportunity to demonstrate how the spirit of collaboration is embedded deep in our national ethos and serves as a means for progress and development.
"The world will also be able to better understand the achievements we have accomplished in the short period since our nation’s foundation, and will learn about our traditions and heritage, our diversity and our experience of peaceful coexistence.”
Their comments came during their visit to the Expo 2020 Dubai site when they were briefed about Al Wasl Plaza and the preparations to welcome the 192 participating countries and millions of visitors to Wxpo.
They were also briefed on the various phases of Expo 2020 completed in 2019 including major construction projects developed under the three sub-themes of the event.
The entire project has achieved 150 million working hours and has 38,000 people currently working on site.
Serving as the centre of Expo 2020, Al Wasl Plaza will be connected to the three districts based on the subthemes of Expo - Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
Expo 2020 Dubai, which opens in October and runs until April 2021, is set to attract 192 countries, and 25 million visitors, 70 percent of whom will come outside the country. The event is expected to receive an average of 150,000 visitors a day. Peak day visitor numbers are expected to total 300,000.