Dubai Expo 2020 unveils mascots

The mascots are, (L to R), Opti, Rashid, Terra, Latifa and Alif. (Supplied)
Updated 26 September 2019

Dubai Expo 2020 unveils mascots

  • The Expo will be represented by five mascots, three of which are robots
  • They were created by a fully Emirati team

DUBAI: The official mascots of the Dubai Expo 2020 have been revealed during a colorful event at the Dubai World Trade Center.

The expo starts in October 2020, but the building work at the site near Dubai’s Jebel Ali is well underway and many of the pavilions have already been unveiled.

At Thursday’s event, that was attended by more than 200 people including international media and children from local schools, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum appeared on stage as the mascots were introduced.

First there was an animation of the mascots, a narrative explaining their backgrounds, personalities and roles, there was a bang and then confetti fell, then the show was over.

The audience had waited the best part of two hours for the show that seemed to last just five minutes.

But in that short moment, the eyes of the many children lit up with excitement as they were introduced to the five mascots: Rashid, Latifa, Terra, Alif and Opti, were designed by a fully Emirati team.

Rashid and Latifa are two children who represent the Emirati population.

The remaining mascots are robot, each of which represent an Expo sub-theme, sustainability, opportunity and mobility.

“We made these characters ourselves, we know what Expo is and how we want to deliver the message,” Creative Director of Ceremonies Amna Abulhoul said during a press conference after the launch.

 “We created a world of characters, some don’t belong to a nationality, and some do… we want to show that we are one world,” Abulhoul said.

Finally, the Ghaf tree, Salama, will be “like a grandma,” to the characters Abulhoul explained, guiding and protecting them along their adventures.

The organizers will release a number of other episodes with the mascots, who represent the importance of family in Emirati culture, before Expo 2020 launches.

OPEC sees small 2020 oil deficit even before latest supply cut

Updated 12 December 2019

OPEC sees small 2020 oil deficit even before latest supply cut

  • OPEC keeps its 2020 economic and oil demand growth forecasts steady and is more upbeat about the outlook

LONDON: OPEC on Wednesday pointed to a small deficit in the oil market next year due to restraint by Saudi Arabia even before the latest supply pact with other producers takes effect, suggesting a tighter market than previously thought.

In a monthly report, OPEC said demand for its crude will average 29.58 million barrels per day (bpd) next year. OPEC pumped less oil in November than the average 2020 requirement, having in previous months supplied more.

The report retreats further from OPEC’s initial projection of a 2020 supply glut as output from rival producers such as US shale has grown more slowly than expected. This will give a tailwind to efforts by OPEC and partners led by Russia to support the market next year.

OPEC kept its 2020 economic and oil demand growth forecasts steady and was more upbeat about the outlook.

“On the positive side, the global trade slowdown has likely bottomed out, and now the negative trend in industrial production seen in 2019 is expected to reverse in 2020,” the report said.

Oil prices were steady after the report’s release, trading near $64 a barrel, below the level some OPEC officials have said
they favor.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, have since Jan. 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to support the market. At meetings last week, OPEC+ agreed to a further cut of 500,000 bpd from Jan. 1 2020.

The report showed OPEC production falling even before the new deal takes effect.

In November, OPEC output fell by 193,000 bpd to 29.55 million bpd, according to figures the group collects from secondary sources, as Saudi Arabia cut supply.

Saudi Arabia told OPEC it made an even bigger cut in supply of over 400,000 bpd last month. The Kingdom had boosted production in October after attacks on its oil facilities in September briefly more than halved output.

The November production rate suggests there would be a 2020 deficit of 30,000 bpd if OPEC kept pumping the same amount and other factors remained equal, less than the 70,000 bpd surplus implied in November’s report and an excess of over 500,000 bpd seen in July. OPEC and its partners have been limiting supply since 2017, helping to revive prices by clearing a glut that built up in 2014 to 2016. But higher prices have also boosted US shale and other rival supplies.

In the report, OPEC said non-OPEC supply will grow by 2.17 million bpd in 2020, unchanged from the previous forecast but 270,000 less than initially thought in July as shale has not grown as quickly as first thought.

“In 2020, non-OPEC supply is expected to see a continued slowdown in growth on the back of decreased investment and lower drilling activities in US tight oil,” OPEC said, using another term for shale.