DUBAI: The City Readiness Committee to host Expo 2020 Dubai, chaired by His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director General of His Highness The Ruler’s Court of Dubai, has held its third meeting at Expo 2020 Dubai headquarters to discuss preparations for the largest ever event held in the region.
The meeting was attended by committee members Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau; HE Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); HE Hilal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Department of Dubai’s Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Director General of Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA); HE Khalifa Al Zafin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation; HE Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, and HE Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of the Dubai Municipality.
Also in attendance were HE Major General Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (DRFA), and Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, as well as several working groups from the RTA, Dubai Municipality, DRFA, and Dubai Airports.
In the two-hour meeting, key government departments updated the committee on their latest plans to welcome millions of international visitors to Expo, with transport integration, landscaping, immigration and visitor welcome high on the agenda.
HE Al Shaibani said: “We were updated in detail of the plans, already under implementaion, from several Dubai institutions, and we sensed the spirit of one team aiming to deliver an exceptional Expo and achieving its goals.”
“Dubai Government institutions are integrated with all UAE institutions. They share the common aim of hosting an Expo that will be a source of pride for us all, reflecting the vision of our leadership and the aspirations of the UAE people for a future based on innovation, knowledge and openness to the world.”
HE Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer updated the committee on transport solutions and traffic management around the area of the site, emphasising the RTA’s commitment to supporting the Expo. His Excellency said that RTA infrastructure projects in the Expo area were proceeding on track and would be completed well before the start of the event in October 2020.
Earlier this year, Dubai Municipality launched a number of irrigation and landscaping projects across the roads and intersections leading to the Expo site which, according to HE Dawood Al Hajri, would be completed months before October 2020, ensuring the whole Expo 2020 area was ready to welcome the world.
The Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs and Dubai Airports also shared plans to ensure a warm welcome for all visitors, with HE Major General Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri discussing smooth-entry permit procedures for visitors and specialised training for officers who will be the first point of contact. Paul Griffiths confirmed that all Dubai airports would be operationally ready by October 2019, one year before the event.
The City Readiness Committee, which held its launch meeting in March, was formed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for Expo 2020 Dubai, to oversee the coordination of dozens of local and federal entities and ensure that Dubai and the UAE are ready to welcome millions of visitors to the six-month event.
Working on a plan of action that includes immigration, transport, logistics, marketing and tourism, it aims to ensure smooth and integrated preparations for the next World Expo, the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
Expo 2020 expects to welcome 25 million visits with around 70 per cent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos. Underpinned by its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and with more than 200 participants including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational institutions, Expo 2020 will be a celebration of human ingenuity that will run from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. News Desk