A Greek philosopher had said, it doesn't matter how long it takes to complete a project, but what matters more is how well you do it. For in the end, one is judged on the mastery and quality of the work and not assessed on the time taken.
Dubai has excelled at creating an urban infrastructure and experiences that amaze the world.
Dubai had realised the importance of good infrastructure early on and its two structures - Sheikh Rashid Tower and the Dubai World Trade Center - helped the emirate find a firm footing in the world of trade and commerce. These structures have emerged as major centres of commercial activity in the Middle East. And even today, Dubai World Trade Centre is where key events take place. In 2018, DWTC attracted 3.4 million visitors from more than 160 countries.
Trade and tourism have been the main arteries of growth for the emirates, and the foundation for these two thriving industries was laid by late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, may God have mercy on him.
Dubai continues to build on the path laid by Sheikh Rashid and has completed several projects that have taken it to greater heights in the world of commerce. The emirate today is an oasis of aesthetic, artistic, and cultural prosperity. It is also the most prosperous exhibition land and a preferred place for anyone who wants to do business in the region and world at large.
Dubai is now gearing up to host the Expo2020, a world fair that is being reimagined in the scale of its celebrations and participation of people. The theme aptly suggests the essence of the efforts being put: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
The massive project has given a new direction and vision to Dubai and is fueling development of its southern part. Projects are taking shape and we are seeing new structures come up in the area that will host international fairs, and be a place for global community to do business. The Expo has a long, illustrious history. It is an honour to be the city to host it for the first time in the Middle East. There is unmatched enthusiasm and everyone is being involved in the project that has kept Dubai busy with preparations in the last few years.
The celebrations would be grand, and six months of exhibitions are sure to capture the imagination of the visitors from all over the world. We are in the process of creating history, and setting the bar very high for the city that will take on the mantle to host it after five years.
It would be a challenge to surpass the experience in Dubai.
Naturally, with just a few months left for the opening of the grand event, a whole lot of new opportunities for growth have surfaced. Just taking a look at the recent statistics from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai shows the excitement this world fair has whipped up. The DED issued 38,377 new licenses in 2019 compared to 20,129 licenses in 2018 -a spectacular growth of 90 per cent.
The challenge for us residents is to think and identify ways to enrich from this experience, and exploit it to get the most that Expo2020 has to offer.
This is a new year, and new opportunities await us all. We have left a somewhat difficult year behind us, and the world fair is just round the corner opening new doors and offering new possibilities to create a beautiful future. Let us make the most of it.
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