The face-to-face gathering of more than 370 delegates ahead of the opening of Expo 2020 in October has been hailed as a great success by authorities in Dubai.
Speaking after the two-day international participants meeting, which welcomed delegates from most of the 190-plus participating countries, Expo 2020 director general Reem Al Hashimy praised organisers.
Al Hashimy, said: “Since the planning stages, we have worked hand-in-hand with the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to deliver an Expo that will attract visitors from across the planet and make Dubai and the UAE proud.
“As the world changed, we too have adapted, and thanks to our collaboration with DTCM, we have created an Expo that will delight and inspire explorers and entrepreneurs, children and grandparents, casual tourists and the curious who want to experience the future – now.”
Expo 2020 Dubai is designed to galvanise the thriving tourism and events industries in the Middle East.
A significant symbol of long-term business and tourism legacy of the event, the Dubai Exhibition Centre is among the permanent buildings that will be retained after Expo 2020 closes its doors, forming part of District 2020, a new urban innovation ecosystem and model global community of the future.
Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of DTMC, said: “Since inception, Dubai has exemplified what it means to succeed against all odds, rising with dignity and determination to become an economic engine and a vibrant hub for travellers from all over the world.
“Setting new benchmarks is engrained in our ethos, and to this end, we see Expo 2020 Dubai as a global pivot given where we all are today.
“No one could have anticipated how Covid-19 would alter our realities so definitively, and yet, like the rest of the world, Dubai and Expo 2020 paused, reflected and persevered through unprecedented challenges, with our innate indomitable spirit, to re-emerge stronger and more optimistic for our collective future.”
Implementing a phased economic reopening, Dubai began welcoming tourists once again in July last year – though a partial closure of hospitality was required after a spike in cases following the festive period.