Cheerful moments as festivity mood sets in


Santa and his companions enjoy their evening at Expo 2020 Dubai

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Santa Claus visited the Brazil pavilion at Expo 2020 and experienced the feeling of Amazon rainforest in Dubai. Marking the beginning of Christmas celebrations at the Expo 2020, the Santas visit created cheerful moments of inspiration and goodwill at the pavilion.

Santa expressed his happiness to see the pavilion recreating the Amazon basin occupying half of its area from the entrance to provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy immersive experience.

Santa also experienced the way of life of the Brazilian delta island ‘Marajo’ in the state of Pará, recreated at the pavilion. He sipped a special Amazon rainforest smoothie, sitting in a designed chair by Guilherme Wentzmade made of straw from the Amazon Forest.

Commenting on this, Elias Martins Filho, Commissioner-General for Brazil pavilion at the Expo 2020, said, “We are extremely happy to host Santa at pavilion. This brought back a more traditional Santa experience this year for our visitors. Santa provided an opportunity for the children to have “a lot of safe fun and entertainment.”

“The visit of Santa kept the festive spirits high around the Christmas time. Spreading joy and holiday cheer this festive season, Santa met children and people from various parts of the world,” said Raphael Nascimento, Pavilion Director for Brazil Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Brazil pavilion is spread over 4,000 square metres in the Sustainability District of Expo 2020.

The magnificent Brazilian pavilion will be part of this last thematic axis, reaffirming the importance of biodiversity, culture of environmental preservation, competitiveness based on sustainability and the portrait of Brazilian multiculturalism.

Expo Dubai 2020 represents a singular moment of promotion of Brazilian diversity and an opportunity to tell the world of its unique features. The event is linked to the efforts of Apex-Brazil in the commercial promotion of agribusiness, innovative technologies, as well as the construction of an economically attractive country image and a natural destination for foreign investments. It will also contribute to reinforcing the regional, gastronomic and ethnic multiplicity and immigration diversity of Brazil.

Apex-Brazil is responsible for building the pavilion and organizing the Brazilian participation at Expo Dubai. In 2015, the agency organized the Brazilian participation at Expo Milano and, in 2010, at the Expo Shanghai.

Meanwhile, the Australian state of Victoria is welcoming international students back to its education institutes by celebrating the milestone with an event at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Victoria, the Platinum Partner of the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, hosted over 50 guests from UAE universities, Victorian alumni and UAE students about to head to university.

The event offered an opportunity for stakeholders from the UAE education sector to network and learn more about Melbourne’s world-class education and training systems whilst also meeting Victorian alumni. It was also a chance to promote the opportunities Victoria offers students interested in studying abroad.

Victoria is home to six of the world’s best universities with two in the top 100 with research performance at or above world standard in many areas. Victoria’s capital Melbourne has one of the highest number of inner city research collaborations in the world.

According to the 2022 QS Best Student Cities ranking, Melbourne is Australia’s best student city and one of the best in the world, receiving the highest score for a city’s student population, levels of social inclusion, and tolerance.

“Victoria offers world-class education, training and research and access to a growing innovation ecosystem as well as a unique lifestyle that you can only find in one of the world’s most liveable places,” said Gönül Serbest, CEO, Global Victoria.

“International students are an integral part of our community and they make an invaluable contribution to our state’s culture, diversity and vibrancy – we look forward to welcoming them back soon,” she added.

From 15 December fully vaccinated international students and other eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Students will need to meet Victoria’s entry requirements for overseas travellers, including COVID-19 testing, isolation and vaccination requirements.

In 2020, Victoria had approximately 226,000 students studying within its education and training institutes, attracted by the state’s innovative system and multifaceted education system.

In 2020, Victoria accounted for the largest share of international students from MEA, out of all Australian jurisdictions, with 38.1 per cent (5,958 enrolments). The state of New South Wales had the next largest share with 33.3 per cent (5,207 enrolments).

In 2020, there were 139 international student enrolments from the UAE with a Victorian education provider; the majority of these (75 per cent) were in the higher education sector.

The VGTI Office for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey was established in 1997 by the State Government of Victoria to promote Victorian exports of products and services into the MEA region and attract inward investment and tourism into Victoria, Australia. During this period, the VGTI Office has been instrumental in facilitating the successful introduction of many Victorian companies to key buyers, investors and business leaders across the region through official government trade missions and dedicated export programmes.

Meanwhile, the whole world will have now a reason to visit Dubai. The world is now hailing the vision and courage demonstrated by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE at this special time facing all the challenges and turning the challenges as blessings. About 3 to 5 percent of people visiting Expo 2020 is expected revisiting Dubai or planning to make Dubai their residence post the Expo.

In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.

World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.


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