DUBAI // Expo 2020 could change preconceptions people may have about Dubai, say event organisers and residents.
“We look at the Expo as an opportunity for the region,” said Marjan Faraidooni, a vice president of the Dubai expo team.
Deirdre Wells, chief executive of UKinbound, who worked on the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, said the expo was a chance to send a message to the world.
“Don’t underestimate the power of these major events to shift misperceptions,” she said.
Referring to people’s perception of the UAE’s culture and whether they would feel welcomed, Ms Wells said major events such as the expo were a great time to market the country.
Ms Faraidooni said that “from a UAE perspective, the reputation aspect is to show that we can pull off a mega event like this, which is the first time in the region”.
“It’s big for the UAE, not only Dubai,” she said.
Issam Kazim, chief executive of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said the expo would enable the emirate to showcase its diverse offerings beyond the glitz and glamour of its five-star hotels and reputation as a shopping destination.
“People know about the beach and retail here, but most are not aware of the cultural and heritage aspects of Dubai. They don’t know there are people from more than 200 nationalities who have chosen to make Dubai their home,” he said. More info