Expo 2020 Dubai hosted its fourth International Participants Meeting (IPM) on 29-30 November, marking a new phase in the preparations for the next World Expo, which will open its gates to the public in 46 weeks.
Nearly 1,000 representatives of countries participating in Expo 2020 gathered in Dubai to exchange and work together with Expo Organisers and officials from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) as a precursor to the Expo itself. Holding an IPM allows the Organiser to keep all Participants updated on the latest advancements, and to discuss and collaborate with the teams directly responsible for designing, building and operating the pavilions.
In an opening address, BIE Secretary General Vicente G. Loscertales declared that the meeting “marks the outcome of years of fruitful exchange, cooperation and preparations, which pave the way for the next sets of tasks and accomplishments.” Emphasising the importance of all actors moving ahead as a team, the Secretary General concluded: “Thanks to the joint efforts and commitments of all involved, Expo 2020 Dubai will be a most wonderful, magnificent and unforgettable event.”
The Director General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and Minister of International Cooperation and Development of the UAE, Reem Al Hashimy stated: “Each and every one of the 192 countries taking part has unique insights, experience and innovative ideas that have a part to play in creating a better future. Gathering 1,000 representatives here in Dubai for this International Participants Meeting reflects the shared sense of commitment to collaboration, open dialogue and optimism that Expo 2020 Dubai embodies.”
As the opening date of the Expo approaches, this 4th IPM provided Participants with the opportunity to learn about Expo 2020’s plans for programming, business operations, marketing and communications, and media operations. It also featured a series of workshops dedicated to various areas of activity related to planning and running a successful pavilion and events programme during the Expo. With each Participant located in one of the three districts named after the subthemes Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, meetings were also organised to allow Participants focusing on the same subtheme to exchange ideas.
In the framework of the meeting, National Commisioners of BIE Member States met to elect the Members of the Steering Committee, which will liaise with Organisers before and during the Expo. Manuel Salchli, Commissioner of Switzerland, was elected Chairman of the Steering Committee.
On the eve of the IPM, the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, announced the appointment of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, as Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Organised under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 Dubai will take place between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021. Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region.