Italian Ambassador foresees continuous, strong collaboration between Expo Milan 2015 and Dubai Expo 2020

DUBAI, February 9th, 2015, (WAM) — The Italian Ambassador to the UAE, Giorgio Starace, said that the organisers of Expo Milan 2015 and Dubai Expo 2020 have signed a first-of-its-kind agreement, linking the two globalised cities together beyond the main event.

At a press conference yesterday at the Dubai World Trade Centre on the sidelines of the Gulfood food and hospitality show, the Italian Ambassador said, “Italy is one of the largest incubators of technologies worldwide and is also a great incubator of ideas for the future of the globalised world. It is a very important moment of witnessing the strategy and to take aantage of the region in which, last February, Expo Milan 2015 and Dubai Expo 2020 signed an agreement to create a bridge between them, due to the fact that Milan and Dubai are two globalised cities that have projections for the future.” Starace said that that the agreement is an idea that goes far beyond the celebrations of a country and is an effort to create continuation of the momentum between the two Expos. “We want to consider Expo Milan 2015 as a platform for Dubai Expo 2020, the collaboration will be very strong and will continue,” he said.

The Ambassador went on to say, “I am convinced, being the Ambassador of Italy here in the UAE, that we will see more collaborations between the two Expos, we will see an increasing number of Italian companies working in the service industry and universities, as experts and others contribute to the ambitious programmes of Dubai Expo 2020, because Italy wants to be a protagonist for this big event and have all the means and possibilities to give to the international market.” The Ambassador said that he hopes that a high number of UAE citizens will visit Expo Milan 2015, adding that one way which will further facilitate UAE visits to Italy includes the proposed Schengen Visa waiver which is expected to come into effect as soon as springtime.

“The UAE will become the first Arab country to receive a visa waiver for its nationals,” he said. “According to Brussels, the visa waiver should be ready by this spring, which will mean we expect to have more Emirati nationals visiting Italy,” added Starace.

So far, the annual number of visas issued for Emiratis has been increasing. Last year alone, 47,000 visas were issued for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and there are an ever increasing number of direct flights connecting the two countries.

Rasha Abu Baker