Visitors enjoy another beautiful evening at Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today
Expo 2020 Dubai recorded more than one million visits last Friday, Saturday and Sunday as visitors say their final goodbyes to what has been a spectacular six months.
More well-wishers are expected to flock to the site in the remaining three days to be part of the World Expo’s closing action and entertainment – including what promises to be an unforgettable Closing Ceremony, complete with fireworks, air shows and world-class performers.
An unprecedented amount of people explored Expo 2020 Dubai in the past week, with the busiest weekend across its entire six months driving the total number of visits to 22,937,830.
This means the first World Expo in the region has fulfilled its commitment to attract between 22.9 million and 25.4 million visits, a target range set out in the registration dossier that was officially ratified by Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) member states in 2015, and a remarkable achievement in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The last day of Expo 2020 Dubai, on Thursday (31 March), will be a historic one, welcoming the UAE Air Force’s Fursan Al Emarat aerobatics team, before an unforgettable climax as Expo hands the baton to the next generation, with a youth-focused ceremony that will see global music icons Christina Aguilera, Norah Jones and Yo-Yo Ma perform beneath Al Wasl’s iconic dome.
Also taking the stage will be the Expo 2020 World String Ensemble and talented Italian pianist Eleonora Constantini. Visitors will be able to watch on more than 20 giant screens across the site, including at the Jubilee Stage, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Festival Garden and various Country Pavilions.
At the ceremony, Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, will hand the BIE flag to Ambassador Jai-chul Choi and Dimitri Kerkentzes, respectively President of the General Assembly and Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), who will present it to representatives of Expo 2025 Osaka.
Celebrations will continue throughout the night, with jaw-dropping firework displays at 0000 GST and 0300 GST, before Expo 2020 Dubai closes its stunning Entry Portals for the final time.
Before then, the World Expo promises much more to enthral visitors. Tuesday (29 March) sees India celebrating its Expo 2020 Dubai National Day, including a concert by playback star Shaan, then the Abraham Accords team squaring up against the star-studded World Classic team in an exhibition match at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Sports, Fitness & Wellbeing Hub. That’s followed on Wednesday (30 March) by the FIBA 3×3 Basketball Tournament at the Expo Sports Arena.
San Marino: The Republic of San Marino curated a Business Forum dedicated to tourism and economic promotion of the country at the Abu Dhabi Hall of Expo 2020 Dubai. The conference was led by the Agency for Economic Development – San Marino Chamber of Commerce with the participation of Fabio Righi, Secretary of State for Industry, Handicraft, Trade, Technological Research and Regulatory Simplification.
To open the panel of the discussions, the Pavilion Director Letizia Cardelli, warmly greeted the audience of General Commissioners, Directors and Managers of other pavilions together with the Emirates media specialized in the economic and tourism sector.
Following the greeting to the audience, Minister of State Fabio Righi, Denis Cecchetti, Director General of the Agency for Economic Development – San Marino Chamber of Commerce underlined the mission of the Agency, Chamber of Commerce as an official tool for the promotion of San Marino economy abroad and the attraction of foreign direct investments being the first point of contact and concrete support for companies interested in investing and building a business in San Marino.
Following this, Laura Fabbri, Director of the Trade Division of the Agency – Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the different “strategic assets” of the San Marino jurisdiction in the various fields of action: tourism, international context, economics and taxation, giving a 360 degrees overview of how the country system of the Republic of San Marino presents itself to the world.
The primary objective of the speech was to communicate to the guests attending to consider San Marino not only as a destination for tourism, thanks to its strategic position, natural beauty and democratic values at the basis of the recognition as UNESCO heritage, but also as an economic destination, in which to invest and develop sustainable projects in the long term.
Among the assets presented were also San Marino Innovation, partner of the Agency – Chamber of Commerce, an institute in charge of the certification of highly innovative companies, the Court for Trust and Fiduciary Relations and the University of San Marino.
Austrian Pavilion: The Austrian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai hosted a fashion show that proved how distinct cultures can meet and create astounding outcomes. The programme called Austria-Rwanda Fashion Connect Project was the result of a two-year collaboration between Austrian and Rwandan designers and culminated in a much-awaited fashion show at Expo 2020. Expo 2020 and its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ was the inspiration behind the project and Expo set the perfect stage for the event to manifest.
The show featured elements of music, art, and culture, and offered a unique fashion experience, complete with AI-generated show music, nicely choreographed runway walks, and lots of content and entertainment.
The project was a concept of Advantage Austria in close cooperation with Expo Austria and was borne out of a robust alliance between the six participating designers – three from Austria and three from Rwanda. Together, they brought forth a stylish and thoughtfully designed collection of 36 unique pieces. The collection was an ode to the cultural beauty and unique fashion sensibilities of the two participating countries and fused juxtaposed ideas that took from the cultural backgrounds of the designers and used a myriad of weaving, designing, and regional handicraft techniques.
On this occasion, Emmanuel Hategeka, Rwanda’s Ambassador to UAE said: “Expo 2020 Dubai proved on many occasions its important role as a bridge that brings different cultures together on the land of UAE. When minds connect, a new future is shaped, this is why the Austria-Rwanda Fashion Connect Project set an example of how the Expo motto “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” comes to live. The designers used creativity as a language, relied on cultural influences, and brought forth unique and beautiful pieces that celebrated diversity, inclusion, and openness.”
On the conclusion of the project, Commissioner General of Austria, Beatrix Karl, remarked:
“The fashion show gave the message of unity, strength, and showcased the value of collaboration. Going beyond the pieces and what each one stood for, I believe the strongest message is the understanding that the future of our world depends on human collaboration, inclusivity, tolerance, love, and appreciation for different cultures. The fashion show also highlighted that beautiful results can transpire when people join hands and work together. Expo 2020 gives the very same message to the world. It is truly the place where collaboration, partnerships, and team-work can set the stage for great things.”
The six designers involved in the project were Bettina Reichl from Austrian Label Odrowaz, Jean-Vainquer Munezero from Rwandan label Munezero, Karin Wintscher-Zinganel from Austrian label Kay Double U, Mathew Rugamba from Rwandan label House of Tayo, Pierra Ntayombya from Rwandan label Haute Baso, and Thang De Hoo from Austrian label Thang De Hoo.
The designers were carefully chosen to come from diverse backgrounds and included more established names along with upcoming labels looking to break into the world of fashion. The resulting catwalk and exhibition saw models from the two countries participating and showing off the exquisitely crafted pieces.