x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Celebrations and school holiday across UAE for Dubai’s Expo 2020 win

Winning result brings to a close two years of hard work and planning for staff at the Dubai campaign, and has set the economy up for seven years of growth as those plans take root.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, the Crown Prince of Dubai, atop of the Burj Khalifa on November 25 to mark National Day and as part of Dubai’s winning Expo 2020 campaign. Ali Hissa - personal photographer for Sheikh Hamdan / AFP Photo
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, the Crown Prince of Dubai, atop of the Burj Khalifa on November 25 to mark National Day and as part of Dubai’s winning Expo 2020 campaign. Ali Hissa - personal photographer for Sheikh Hamdan / AFP Photo
Celebrations are taking place across Dubai after this afternoon’s vote at the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions, in Paris, awarded the emirate the Expo 2020.
The Burj Khalifa became the centrepiece for a fireworks display in Downtown Dubai as thousands celebrated the announcement.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced that Thursday November 28, will be a holiday for all educational institutions across the UAE.
The result brings to a close two years of hard work and planning for staff at the Dubai campaign, and has set the economy up for seven years of growth as those plans take root.
The campaign has galvanised huge support internationally, from diplomatic allies and celebrities, and locally - capped off by Skeikh Hamdan bin Mohammed’s Expo message at the top of the Burj Khalifa.
A recent survey suggested more than 99 per cent of the population, including expatriates and nationals, supported the bid.
The result has already been welcomed by businesses and residents.
“Few can imagine the impact the Dubai of 2020 will have on the Expo and how it will connect people, their ideas and aspirations,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).
“DMCC would like to congratulate His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the people of the UAE for their inspirational campaign that has brought the Expo 2020 to the emirate.”
Indian Sudha Anirudh, the mother of Maathangi, 9, a young Expo ambassador said her entire family had been praying for victory.
“We are all involved and it is so close to our heart,” she said.
“We had all been praying for it. The entire region will benefit and not one country because of the jobs that will be created. The way we live will change and the prosperity of the entire region will go up.”
Abdulla Al Ghurair, an Emirati who works as a logistics controller with Dubai Aluminium Company, showed his support by taking unusual pictures of the Dubai expo logo and sharing them on Instagram.
“I have thought about this so often,” he said about the victory.
“I have been literally thinking very often about how my reaction will be ... we will be an important spot on the map. We have to think now about how it will impact us as locals positively and for expats also. How will it affect us in a positive and negative way? Dubai will be more known to people. Dubai will be more famous than before. As a young Emirati, I also like to think about what our plans are until 2020.
“OK, so Dubai won and now we do nothing? This should not happen, there should be a continuation for us as locals and in people’s mind because 2020 is coming soon and there are a lot of expectations.”
mcroucher@thenational.ae
rtalwar@thenational.ae