One Year To Go Until Expo 2020 Dubai

Close ties between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates revealed in new film.

In 12 months, the world will gather in the United Arab Emirates for the next World Expo – Expo 2020 Dubai.  New Zealand welcomes Expo 2020 Dubai as an event that will bring the world together to encourage international cooperation and collaboration at a time when it is most needed.


To mark the occasion, New Zealand has released a new film featuring prominent UAE residents talking about their experiences of New Zealand.


Produced by the New Zealand Story, the Inside Stories Middle East film highlights New Zealand ingenuity, integrity and kaitiakitanga (care for people and place) with stories shared by people who know New Zealand well through doing business, studying or visiting.


“New Zealand is spectacular.  Praise the Lord.  It is really that piece of heaven that is on earth” says Founder of Daroob Travel Stories Ali Al Saloom, in the opening scenes over beautiful shots of the country’s landscapes.


The film speaks to the similarities between indigenous Māori and Arab culture, including respect for elders and the way of greeting by pressing noses.


“New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates are bound closely by many common interests that have led to exceptional growth in the relationship in recent years.  We collaborate and share expertise on issues such as food security, renewable energy and sustainability.  The United Arab Emirates is our tenth largest trading partner, thousands of New Zealanders live, work and raise their families here and Emirates Airline connects us to the world. Expo 2020 Dubai is a further opportunity to deepen our bond,” says New Zealand Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Matthew Hawkins.


In the film, Entrepreneur Fahim Al Qasimi says “areas that we are so excited for looking at New Zealand is definitely clean energy.  Across the globe New Zealand is bringing that innovation to the places that need it most.”


It also features Gary Chapman, President of Emirates Group, saying the company “loves New Zealand wine and food.  The purity, the quality, and the standard is fantastic”.  While Muna Al Darwish, CEO and Founder of the Great Minds Institute, who studied in New Zealand, says “you can find Halal everywhere [in New Zealand].”


Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai will have a chance to taste the country’s safe, nutritious, premium quality food at the New Zealand Pavilion restaurant, which is being operated by Emirates Flight Catering.


“What distinguishes New Zealand food and beverage is that it is produced by people who have a unique connection with the land and the sea – people who care,” says New Zealand Commissioner-General to Expo 2020, Clayton Kimpton.


“If the natural world is healthy, so too are the people.  Our pavilion theme Care for People and Place runs through everything we do – from the food we produce to the manaakitanga or hospitality we show our guests.  We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to the New Zealand Pavilion and restaurant at Expo 2020 Dubai.”


New Zealand’s strong creative talent, including filmmaking and special effects, also feature.  This too, will be on show in the New Zealand Pavilion with a visitor experience developed by Haumi and Workshop e, in collaboration with Whanganui Iwi.


The New Zealand Pavilion story is inspired by the Whanganui River, which in 2017, was recognised by law as a living and indivisible whole, with the rights of a person.  As the world grapples with sustainability challenges, the New Zealand Pavilion tells a universal narrative about our deepening relationship with natural resources and care for each other.


Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai will be able to see New Zealand creativity across the Expo Park, with an Entertainment and Cultural programme curated by Parris Goebel and Weta Workshop creating a multi-sensory and immersive experience for Expo 2020’s Mobility Pavilion, in collaboration with MET Studio and Foster+Partners.


Expo 2020 Dubai will run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.  

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