Latifa Al Gurg will design uniforms for 30,000 volunteers and staff at global event
2020 vision: Emirati designer wins bid to create uniforms for Expo staff
An Emirati designer is set for global 'Expo-sure' after winning a competition to create the uniforms for more than 30,000 staff and volunteers for Dubai's historic hosting of an iconic world fair.
Expo 2020 Dubai will be taking over the emirate in less than two years - with 25 million visitors set to flock to an event featuring 190 countries - and fashion label boss Latifa Al Gurg will ensure the workforce are dressed to impress.
Ms Al Gurg, founder of fashion company Twisted Roots, proved the perfect fit for judges after seeing off stiff competition from two fellow finalists to secure the honour at a style showcase at Expo 2020's newly-opened House of Volunteers.
She will work closely with Expo 2020 chiefs to develop the uniforms, which will be seen by millions of international visitors during the event, which runs from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.
Ms Al Gurg said she is proud to be part of a milestone achievement in the UAE's history and winning the competition is a "dream come true".
"I am honoured and privileged to have participated in this competition and to win it is a dream come true," said Ms Al Gurg.
'Ever since Dubai triumphed in its Expo 2020 bid, I have felt it was important for me to be part of this national milestone. I took up this challenge as I wanted to showcase my nation’s culture and achievements through my designs.”
The competition was set up to engage the local fashion community and offered designers the chance to become an integral part of the first Expo ever hosted in the Middle East.
The finalists were evaluated on criteria including practicality, the inclusion of sustainable elements and their representation of Emirati culture, while staying true to the Expo 2020 brand.
The judging panel, led by Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Co-operation, was comprised of Expo 2020 staff from various departments and volunteers, as well as Manuel Arnaut, editor-in-chief of Vogue Arabia, Sass Brown, the founding dean of Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation and Jazia Al Dhanhani, the CEO of Dubai Design and Fashion Council.
Twisted Roots' winning concept was praised for being practical, modest, weather appropriate and easily identifiable.
The designs are inspire by tradition and modernity and the UAE landscape.
The winning creations also incorporate one of the Expo2020 themes of sustainability, by encouraging people to donate their old fabrics, which can be recycled to help create the new uniforms.
Old polyester fabrics, for instance, can be stripped and reused to weave into collars and cuffs.
“My journey so far has been incredible, I have grown immensely through this process," said Ms Al Gurg.
"I have learnt so much about the UAE and what it means for us to host the next World Expo.
"This is a unique opportunity for us to show the nation’s warm hospitality to the international community, and I hope that everyone who wears the uniform feels an immense sense of pride as they welcome the world to Expo 2020.”
Expo 2020 Dubai aims to bring the world together for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, visited the sprawling Expo site earlier this week to witness the grand vision taking shape.
Sheikh Mohammed hailed it as an event bringing together the "world’s greatest minds to discuss how we can shape the future".