By George Emuron
One year delay gave the United Arab Emirates enough time to organize a World-class expo that is being talked about in all parts of the World. It’s going to be the best incentive to most countries whose economies were battered by the covid19 pandemic.
Dubai last week opened the doors to its world fair, Expo 2020, which had been delayed by a year due to the pandemic. The United Arab Emirates, one of the richest countries in the world, which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has poured more than $7 billion into the event, hoping to attract tourism and investments.
More than 190 countries are participating in the expo, during which the UAE – criticized by some NGOs for its poor human rights record related to foreign workers and lack of political freedom – is hoping to impress visitors with its economic and technological achievements.
“We are a modernized people. We would like the world to know about Dubai, and about the Emirates especially: How great our leaders are, and how tolerant we are,” Abu Dhabi resident Salma, who had brought her children to the event, told FRANCE 24.
The expo is the world’s biggest in-person event since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with an estimated 25 million people expected to visit before it closes at the end of March next year.
Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is actively promoting Uganda’s tourism and trade opportunities at the Dubai Expo 2020 showpiece.
The Chief Executive Officer Uganda Tourism Board, Lilly Ajarova while in Dubai during a breakout meeting at the Tourism, Trade, and Investment Forum, said the country is delighted to revitalize her international travel program targeting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf states.
She underlined that the inaugural launch of direct flights by Uganda Airlines coinciding with the Dubai 2020 Expo, will attract many tourists to visit Uganda.
Ajarova said: “Uganda’s participation under the theme, ‘Right Place, Right Time’ underscores it as a country of many opportunities from its unparalleled natural beauty, endowed with diverse wildlife and landscapes, to its strategic investment opportunities across multiple sectors.”
While she was meeting with Fahim Jalali, the Chief Business Officer of Jet Class which is the Dubai’s based aviation company that specializes in private jet packages, Ajarova said [the Dubai Expo 2020] is the right place and right time for Uganda to promote her tourism sector and trade and above all her cultures with rich cultural performances and Business Connect Centre.
President Yoweri Museveni has wooed international investors to Uganda, explaining that the country is ripe for investment and ready for profit-driven business.
He highlighted agro-processing, Steel production, and energy and fertilizer production as some key areas for investment in Uganda, according to a State House statement.
The president said that Uganda has got good iron ore but still uses the reconciled steel that is not good for strong steel.
“When we try to get strong steel, it comes from very far in China which is expensive because of the distance. We, therefore, want to develop a steel industry using our iron ore,” said President Museveni.
He made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the Uganda National Day during the World Trade Expo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), as part of his three-day working visit.
Museveni underscored that Uganda is the right place for any serious business, focusing on people who are looking for profitable investments.
He told world business leaders that Uganda has a market population of 42 million people which is projected to increase to 100 million people in the next 30 years.
Museveni is joined by other Ugandan delegation that arrived in Dubai earlier to prepare to showcase Uganda at the World Trade Expo.
He congratulated the team for doing a tremendous job by marketing the country and thanked the UAE for organizing the event where the world executives meet to discuss prosperity.
Museveni emphasized that the world should continue and join hands to fight Covid-19 and applauded the UAE for putting in place strict Covid-19 measures for the showpiece.
He also commended the UAE leaders for their vision for turning the country into a prosperous nation.
“UAE was a desert country but leaders with vision have turned it into a center of affluence. This is an example that Uganda can borrow,” he said.
Museveni also held bilateral meetings with His Highness, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Forces and Ruler of Abu Dhabi on how the two countries can work together.
Over 190 countries are gathered for Expo 2021 in Dubai, the highest number of countries ever to participate in a World Expo, with each participating country having its own pavilion situated in either the Opportunity District, Mobility District or Sustainability District.