UK gives official backing for UAE Expo 2020 bid

WAM ABU DHABI, 15th May, 2013 (WAM) — The United Kingdom has backed the UAE’s bid to stage Expo 2020 in Dubai. In a written statement yesterday, William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, acknowledged the “strong field” of the other contending countries – Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Turkey. But he said he was pleased to announce that the UK would support the UAE as host nation.

“If successful in this bid, Dubai would bring Expo to the Middle East for the first time,” he said. “We assess that the Dubai bid is exceptionally strong: focused on global connectivity and accessibility, underpinned by its geographical location and its position as a global logistics and transport hub. All these would allow exhibitors to reach a large and varied international audience.

“We are also convinced that holding Expo 2020 at a time of great change in the region would send a positive signal to the world that this is a region of dynamism, innovation and vast human potential.” More than 100,000 British citizens live and work in the UAE, he said, and cooperation between the nations ranges from thriving educational and tourism links to joint defence projects, security and foreign policy issues.

“Expo 2020 and its prelude will provide great opportunities to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries,” said Mr. Hague.

The British Ambassador to UAE, Dominic Jermey, also stressed UK’s readiness to support Dubai’s bid to host EXPO 2020, adding that as a Londoner, he believes that Dubai possesses the characteristics that makes the city easily compete with a number of capitals of the world and even surpasses them.

The Ambassador alluded to the huge benefit for London after hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, expressing his confidence that hosting EXPO 2020 will have similar affect on Dubai and its people, and the GCC region.

Mr. Jermey highlighted Dubai’s great potential and superlative infrastructure, which he believes would affectively stimulate the emirate’s performance benefitting the people in general.

Similarly, the UK Consul General to Dubai, Edward Hobart, stated that as a resident of Dubai, he believes it is an exceptional place to live, and possesses the necessary infrastructure to host EXPO 2020.

“The remarkable achievements in various sectors, as well as its ability to accomplish infrastructure projects on time, the world-class airport and the Metro, above all, the self-confidence to move forward with these achievements are the hallmarks of Dubai,” he added.

“The UK and Dubai have enjoyed strong partnerships and friendship for over a century, particularly in the past 50 years, since when a large number of UK expats have made Dubai their second home, working with UAE nationals to help further develop this wonderful place” he concluded.

The Expo 2020 host nation will be announced by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) in November.