Creating the future – GulfToday


Thani Al Zeyoudi visits Tonga Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, visited the Tonga Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which is located in the Opportunity District and carries the theme “The Earth is My Friend”.

During the visit, Al Zeyoudi highlighted the importance of Expo 2020 Dubai in enhancing the UAE’s position as a global hub for business and promoting international cooperation, adding that hosting it during the UAE’s Golden Jubilee adds further to its significance.

Expo’s theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” embodies a set of objectives, he added, while underscoring its role as a platform to explore new ways to drive growth and prosperity and establish partnerships of the future in the economic, business, trade, investment, talent acquisition, tourism and culture fields.

Tonga’s pavilion offers visitors outstanding experiences of learning and exploration, through various environmental shows and initiatives in line with the pavilion’s theme.

Tonga’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai aims to promote the country’s tourism and agriculture sectors and highlight the risks posed by climate change.

Shenzhen Day launch: Over 300 public and private sector stakeholders from China and the UAE took part in the first Shenzhen Day Launch Ceremony and Products Show, a hybrid event held earlier today and streamed live in two locations – Dubai and Shenzhen.

The event, co-hosted by Dubai Chambers and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade aimed to build new bridges between public and private sector stakeholders in Dubai and Shenzhen. It was joined by over 70 Shenzhen-based companies specialising in life and health, consumer electronics and intelligent security, that put more than 350 high-tech products on display.

Addressing participants in a special video message, Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of UAE to China, Embassy of UAE in Beijing, spoke about the close business and cultural ties shared by the UAE and China and highlighted the significance of Expo 2020 Dubai as a key factor and catalyst that will further strengthen the countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

Addressing participants at the event, Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council, elaborated on UAE-China economic ties and noted that trade between the two countries reached $49 billion in 2020, while the value of Dubai-Shenzhen trade reached over $1 billion, adding that he expects bilateral trade to grow in the coming years following announcements by Shenzhen companies last year to establish operations in the Dubai market.

ShenFeng Zhang, Chief Representative of Chinese Government to Expo 2020, and Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, described Shenzhen and Dubai as “friendship cities” and noted that the Chinese city was leveraging Shenzhen Day as a platform to hold a series of economic, trade and cultural exchange activities.

Zhang said he had high expectations for Shenzhen Day in terms of effectively promoting bilateral business exchange and cooperation between Shenzhen and Dubai, adding that the event would contribute positively to the China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership. For his part, Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, said the strong participation in Shenzhen Day is a positive indicator of the growing interest on the part of government entities and businesses from Dubai and Shenzhen that are keen on exploring new avenues of economic cooperation.

A total of 120 bilateral business meetings were held during the event, he revealed, as part of the Dubai Chambers representative office in Shenzhen’s efforts to facilitate exchange and partnerships between the two business communities. He noted that since Dubai Chambers established its Shenzhen presence in 2019, the organisation has supported a number of Chinese tech giants and unicorns to successfully invest in Dubai.

“As innovation leaders, Dubai and Shenzhen would benefit by expanding their cooperation and knowledge sharing in new areas and fields such as high-tech equipment manufacturing, research and development, green and low-carbon, biological medicine, digital economy and marine economy. Through these efforts, we hope to attract many more innovative Chinese companies to Dubai that can support the emirate’s vision and transition to a global smart city and knowledge-based economy,” added Buamim.

The event featured a virtual tour of Shenzhen Day at Expo 2020 Dubai and concluded with a walking tour of the Shenzhen Products Show.

Dubai Chambers is a non-profit public entity that supports Dubai’s vision as a global player by empowering businesses, providing innovative value-added services and access to influential networks. In March 2021, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the restructuring of Dubai Chamber and the formation of three chambers for the emirate, namely, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber, and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, which now operate under Dubai Chambers.

Singapore Tourism Board: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is partnering with leading forum organiser Intelligence Squared to stage a forum at Expo 2020 Dubai. Presented under the STB’s SingapoReimagine Global Conversations series, it aims to spur thought-leadership conversations on the future of travel and tourism.

The SingapoReimagine Global Conversations which was launched in Singapore last year, encourages global industry leaders to exchange ideas and explore collaboration opportunities to reshape travel. It also highlights changing consumer behaviours as well as the latest trends and observations on travel and tourism.

The Dubai edition is titled Reimagined Cities: Can cities leverage urban design and technology to attract the next generation traveller?. Taking place from 3.30pm to 5.00pm on Saturday, Jan.22, 2022 in the Terra Auditorium at Expo 2020 Dubai, the expert panel will dive into the shifts in global travel trends and what the next generation would want from a destination. Placing the spotlight on urban design and technology, these conversations will challenge traditional ways of destination marketing and discuss exciting trends within the travel and tourism industry.

Starring a line-up of industry experts, the discussion will include insightful inputs from Dr. Barkathunnisha, Co-Founder, World Women Tourism and Founder of Elevated Consultancy & Training; Michael Magill, Managing Director, RSP Architects Panners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd Middle East; and Xavier Anglada, Managing Director at Accenture — Innovation, Digital Transformation, Energy Transition.

The session will be moderated by Sarah Khan, recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast Traveller Middle East. Representing a new generation of modern travellers, Sarah brings a contemporary and global perspective to the travel industry and will be leading discussions on future of travel with a special focus on sustainability.

The panel will cover a variety of topics, including how the tourism sector can adapt to changing consumer preferences by employing artificial intelligence and technological innovations. For example, touchless technology can be used to facilitate a seamless visitor journey, while augmented reality can provide immersive navigation services and bridge language barriers.

The panel will also share how cities are creatively deploying architecture to design tourist attractions of the future – from championing sustainable, green buildings to incorporating bold and contemporary urban design features. It will also explore how sustainability is influencing where people choose to travel to, where they stay and how destinations are transforming in tandem with these needs.

Beverly Au Yong, the Singapore Tourism Board’s Area Director for the Middle East, said: “We are pleased to partner with Intelligence Squared for this edition of the SingapoReimagine Global Conversations at Expo 2020 Dubai. We look forward to hearing more from the panel and tap into their expertise in sustainable travel, technological innovations and urban design. We hope these conversations can provide useful insights to help businesses shape their recovery strategies, so that the travel industry can bounce back stronger than ever.”


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