Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2020 - Page 47

EXPO 2020 Vision shape the future. Our three subthemes cut across many initiatives, including Expo Live, our innovation and partnership programme. With an allocation of $100m, Expo Live funds, accelerates and promotes solutions to pressing challenges around the world. The subthemes are also represented in the three Thematic Districts of the EXPO 2020 site. Each district is anchored by a Thematic Pavilion, housing interactive exhibitions and engaging content to explore the themes in a fun and entertaining way. Each Thematic District will also include performance spaces, innovation galleries and art installations, outdoor gardens and F&B and retail. For the first time in World Expo history, Country Pavilions are located on the site according to their chosen subtheme, rather than their geographical location in the world. How are organisers working with events industry professionals, such as suppliers? We created a custom-built, end- to-end procurement system - the Online Marketplace (OMP) - to enable businesses to connect, w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk collaborate and compete for opportunities globally. All EXPO 2020 tenders are exclusively listed on a free service. Currently more than 40,000 suppliers from more than 150 countries are registered. What do you hope will be the outcomes post-EXPO 2020 and how, specifically, will the UAE benefit? The legacy of Expo 2020 has been at the core of planning since the bid phase in 2013. There are four pillars to the legacy: economic, physical, social and reputational. EXPO 2020 will deliver a meaningful economic legacy by contributing to both domestic and international economies and building on a stable, sustainable and diversified economy for the UAE. In April 2019, EY published an independent report that stated EXPO 2020 is already having a substantial economic impact and is expected to continue to do so over the next decade and beyond. EXPO 2020 will contribute AED 122.6bn in economic activity that is anticipated to support around 905,200 jobs in the UAE between 2013 and 2031. The construction industry is a major beneficiary, but the economic impact will benefit a wide range of sectors, from retail and transport to the restaurant and hotel sectors. Eighty per cent of EXPO-built structures will live on beyond the event, creating a physical legacy as District 2020 – a city of the future. District 2020’s vision is to become a mixed-use community and innovation ecosystem. Multinational organisations such as Accenture, DP World and Siemens have already committed to establishing headquarters at District 2020. Iconic structures, including Al Wasl Plaza and Dubai Exhibition Centre, will continue to host events and attract visitors. The new Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), co-located at EXPO 2020, will play a key role. DEC’s 45,000sqm of programmable space will be packed with state- of-the-art technology and will be one of the first conference venues anywhere in the world to feature 5G connectivity. DEC will also be part of District 2020 and has already been confirmed as the venue for a number of high-profile events during the six months of Expo 2020. They include: the World Government Summit (November 2020); the 20th Cityscape Global (10-12 November 2020), the largest real estate investment and development event for emerging markets globally; Middle East Film and Comic Con (4-6 March 2021), the region’s biggest festival of pop culture and gaming, expected to attract more than 45,000 people; and the inaugural Games Con (4-6 March 2021), dedicated to the growing online gaming community in the region. What other side events, conferences and festivals are planned around the main showgrounds? EXPO 2020 Dubai will feature 60-plus live shows daily, 192 participating countries showcasing the world’s best architecture, culture, design, heritage, music and innovation, and 200-plus food and beverage outlets offering more than 50 cuisines. Special days, such as Diwali, Chinese New Year, Christmas and New Year, will also be celebrated. Coronavirus update: Before going to press, EW asked EXPO 2020 Dubai for an update on how the global pandemic was likely to affect the event: “We recognise the difficulty that the world is facing together, today. These are indeed unprecedented times. The health and well- being of everyone visiting and working at EXPO 2020 Dubai is of paramount importance to us. The number of cases in the UAE is currently (23 March – ed) low but the UAE authorities remain vigilant by continuously monitoring the situation and taking robust precautionary, preventative measures necessary to contain the rapid spread of the virus. “EXPO does not open until late October. We are consulting very closely with local authorities and the International Bureau of Expositions in Paris as the situation evolves. All planning and preparations remain on track. We look forward to welcoming the world to celebrate the power of partnership and human solidarity later this year.” Issue 2 2020 47