Business

Northern Ireland to showcase to global audience at World Expo in Dubai

Minister Diane Dodds with Invest NI’s executive director of international business Steve Harper
Gary McDonald Business Editor

NORTHERN Ireland is participate in the next World Expo, first held in London 1851 and which since then has been held every five years at various global locations.

Having been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai will be staged from October 1 next year, running for six months to March 31 2022, and is set to attract millions of visitors both virtually and at the sprawling venue close to the region's international airports and cruise terminals.

Expo 2020 Dubai is the world's largest live international event, which will see 195 countries taking part on a site which is twice as big as Monaco and equivalent size of 600 football pitches.

“Collaborating with the Department for International Trade on the UK Pavilion is a tremendous platform to position our economic, tourism, food and education capabilities to a global audience, all in the one place,” according to economy minister Diane Dodds.

The event is always held around a theme that attempts to improve people's knowledge in arts, culture, science and technology, and the theme of Expo 2020 is ‘Connecting Minds – Creating the Future'.

The site includes three sub-themed areas - Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability - with the UK pavilion located in the Opportunity district under the UK's theme of 'Innovating for a shared future.'

The minister added: “As we navigate through the challenges presented by Covid, it's important to look to the future and continue to seek ways to rebuild our economy, and I'm delighted we are participating for the first time in a World Expo.

“The Executive and Invest NI are working closely with a range of partners including our universities, tourism partners and businesses to ensure that we maximise this opportunity in Dubai to showcase the best of Northern Ireland in its entirety and to help build new relationships, deepen existing ones and position us on a global platform.”

A number of Northern Ireland companies are already realising the commercial benefits of the expo, with Joule Group in Derry chosen as the fire engineering consultant for the development of the Luxembourg pavilion while Lisburn-based Lowe Rental has secured contracts to supply catering equipment to five country pavilions and has been named the official provider of catering equipment for the UK pavilion.

Steve Harper, Invest NI's executive director of international business said: “Expo 2020 Dubai promises to be a truly incredible global event, and while much has changed in recent months, our ambition is still to inspire the world by showcasing the best examples of innovation and creativity Northern Ireland has to offer.

“I'm delighted the likes of Joule Group and Lowe Rental are already reaping benefits, but there will be many more opportunities for businesses to get involved and to visit the Expo.”

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