I like the UAE pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 ... It is not just a unique representation of innovation and creativity but honestly reflects the UAE's identity, culture and worldly-view.
In less than one month, the UAE pavilion became the third most visited pavilion, with about 7,000 daily visitors, and thus coming ahead of many other countries. And the figure is on the rise.
Unlike many other state pavilions, which only came to participate and did not present themselves according to their size and prestige — including the Italian one — the UAE pavilion excelled in combining the history of the UAE people who had lived through difficult circumstances and the country's brilliant economic, urban, and education development in the present with a view to the future it aspires to. This is in terms of the transition to a digital economy, advanced information networks, and building a green economy.
All this is being presented using high-tech means such as impressive three-dimensional films, direct and intelligent interactive presentations with visitors, along with smart touches of heritage exhibits reflecting the authenticity of the community, such as the desert, palm trees, the sea, pearls, popular foods and other features. The visitors moved through the pavilion at ease. One can see the awe on their faces.
The UAE pavilion would not have enjoyed this poise without the success of the approach adopted. This was mainly by marketing the UAE as a country that contributes to the world in building the future in terms of preserving the environment and continuous development in various walks of life, based on proud traditions and a glorious past.
Most importantly the UAE pavilion, when compared to others, succeeded in marketing the Expo 2020 that will be hosted by Dubai in five years. There is a great deal of confidence in the UAE's potential and abilities, not only to host such a big event, but also to make it a great success and an event that will remain in the world's memory for a long time afterwards as one of the most successful in the history of the Expo.
True, there will be a lot of hard work to be done to achieve that, but that is not alien to the UAE in general and Dubai in particular, which has not hosted an international event without it becoming an instant success and with flying colours.
This is due to thorough planning in such events, and in a manner that befits the occasion, while providing the necessities and effort to make it a success. Equally important are the vision and methodology applied to organise an Expo with great confidence and competence.
Visiting Expo Milano 2015, upon the directives and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was a great opportunity to get acquainted with the fact that the UAE — a flourishing country that has made amazing strides in building a modern economy and leading development — has the will and planning abilities that make it truly worthy of hosting Expo 2020.
This is the impression that we came out with after visiting the UAE pavilion at Expo Milan 2015.
Tours of a number of other pavilion left us with the certainty that our country is worthy of winning the right to host world events of the Expo calibre.
From October 2020 to April 2021, and coinciding with our 50th National Day celebrations, Expo Dubai will be the first Expo to be organised in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia since the start of the global exhibition in 1851.
It will be a great honour for our country to represent this vast geographical area and a greater opportunity to provide a true picture of what this part of the world can offer through partnerships and cooperation to build a better future. By Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-In-Chief