Set to start on October 1, EXPO 2020 will kick off in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Ninety companies from Latvia have already confirmed their participation in this awaited event and will represent a variety of industries such as woodworking, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, technology innovation, software development, etc. Delegates from 170 countries have recently had a chance to make sure the UAE is ready to host an event of such scale. On top of that, Dubai has been working hard to refine its virtual offering to complement the physical event.
Dubai has been preparing for the event for over 10 years. Even though it was postponed, EXPO 2020 will still be a major global event and hopes to attract 25 million visitors. According to the Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of EXPO 2020 Dubai Reem Al Hashhimy, strict COVID-19 safety protocols are to be implemented. The UAE plans to vaccinate 80% of its population by June, moving rapidly towards herd immunity and allowing EXPO to become the first global event after COVID-19 outbreak with such number of attendees.
At the beginning of May, more than 370 participants from over 190 countries attending the sixth and final International Participants’ Meeting of EXPO 2020 had to opportunity to see for themselves that the UAE is ready to host the fair. According to the Commissioner General for Latvia’s participation in EXPO Raimonds Aleksejenko, the meeting confirmed that both the organisers of EXPO 2020 and the rest of the world are prepared for a global gathering to build a better future and seek solutions to tackle challenges we are facing.
Dubai has been working hard to refine its virtual offering for people who will not attend the event in person. The most important digital channel is VirtualExpo.world – a platform providing full 360° navigation, allowing delegates to access educational materials and interviews, watch live streams and recordings, explore guided virtual tours, interact, etc. The online experience will be made mobile-friendly. Those attending the fair in Dubai will appreciate EXPO 2020 App that will be loaded with information about pavilions and the latest updates. It will also let the user experience augmented reality. For everyone willing to attend the virtual fair, the Explorer App will come in handy. And, what is interesting, EXPO 2020 will even be featured in such popular games as Minecraft and Fortnite.
At least 90 Latvian companies will participate in the activities organised by the Latvia’s Pavilion at EXPO 2020. “Latvia emerged as a potential business partner for the Middle East some 5 to 6 years ago. In Dubai, they say – if your idea seems impossible, this is the place to prove everybody wrong. If Latvian companies have bold and innovative ideas, they will not be treated as reckless,” says the Head of the LIAA Representative Office in the UAE Inga Ulmane.
“I appreciate EXPO as it serves as a platform to present oneself. In case one succeeds to make new contacts, this can be a turning point for a business,” says the owner of FertereX SIA Māris Belte. The company has designed a device to increase male fertility.
Marina Petrakova, the CEO of “VReach” that produces immersive VR software, admits her primary motivation is the potential to expand the market reach. “EXPO is a great opportunity to meet potential customers in person. We are open to challenges and eager to present our idea, which is unique in Europe.”
EXPO 2020 fair will be held from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.