Saint Lucia celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Tuesday, focusing on development and investment for building a better and more sustainable future and promoting global cooperation and friendship. The event coincided with Saint Lucia's 43rd Independence Day.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020, welcomed the Saint Lucia delegation, led by Dr. Ernest Hilaire, Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information.

Sheikh Nahyan said, "Saint Lucia's pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai invites us to learn about the nation's advancements across various fields, including tourism and cultural conservation, and foreign direct investment attraction that would significantly contribute to achieving the country's national vision.

"We are proud to have Saint Lucia as an active partner and friend in the Caribbean, and we look forward to working closely together to explore further opportunities for cooperation between our two countries, to achieve great things for our nations and people." Dr. Ernest Hilaire said, "Our contemporary ambition – in the context of the challenge to source development finance, limited investment, and declining terms of trade – is to build a sustainable future that can guarantee civilised living standards for our citizens." Dr. Hilaire added, "In accepting your warm invitation to join the global convocation of friendship that is Expo 2020 Dubai we are honoured to reciprocate Caribbean love for Arab warmth, bringing gifts of understanding by sharing the best of our culture, sharing joy with creative jubilation and a celebration of all that speaks to our common humanity as equal children of the Earth.

"And so, we have come from far, from out of the Antillean archipelago, bearing a message of hope for humanity and a plea to connect minds and create a sustainable future for our human family." The ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza concluded with a cultural show called "This is my island home", which expressed Saint Lucian culture, identity and history through dance, music and multi-lingual singing. The performance featured poetry by 1992 Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, honouring the fact that Saint Lucia has the most Nobel laureates per capita. The show also included nods to Saint Lucia's vibrant Carnival.

Located in the Opportunity District, the Saint Lucia Pavilion showcases the breath-taking biodiversity, natural wealth and brilliant people of this Caribbean island nation. It provides a sense of Saint Lucia's past, while hinting at its future as a leader in ecotourism and circular manufacturing. On show are archaeological artefacts and three-dimensional displays and sculptures, traditional artworks, paintings, and books.

National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo 2020's 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.


© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2022.