Expo 2020 Dubai kicks off with star-studded Opening Ceremony

Expo 2020 Dubai kicks off with star-studded Opening Ceremony
A night view of the Terra-Sustainability Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 site. (Supplied)
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Updated 02 October 2021

Expo 2020 Dubai kicks off with star-studded Opening Ceremony

Expo 2020 Dubai kicks off with star-studded Opening Ceremony
  • The Opening Ceremony will be streamed live to more than 430 locations across the UAE as well as around the globe

DUBAI: After a year’s delay, Dubai’s Expo 2020 finally opens its doors tonight with a star-studded ceremony held before an audience of 3,000 people.

The opening ceremony will feature top acts including world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli; Grammy-nominated, Golden-Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day; platinum-selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding; international mega-star pianist Lang Lang; and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

The Opening Ceremony will be streamed live to more than 430 locations across the UAE as well as around the globe.

The Expo 2020 Dubai was due to open at the same time last year but was postponed because of the global Covid pandemic.

“There have been many challenges for us along the way building the ceremony but we are very lucky to have the most amazing venue and I’m also positive to deliver our ceremony.” Kate Randall the Vice President of Expo 2020 Ceremonies, told Arab News.

And the celebrations won’t stop after tonight’s 90-minute show, Friday will see three spectacular fireworks displays in Dubai, marking the first full day of the Expo.

In a statement, the organizers said Friday’s show would be “a spectacular visual celebration commemorating the journey from winning the bid in 2013 to opening the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and the largest global event held since the start of the pandemic.”

The colossal undertaking will give participating nations the chance to put forward ideas on how to create a better, more sustainable future.

At the first 1889 fair, France unveiled its Eiffel Tower. 12 years later, the X-ray machine made its debut in Buffalo, New York.

This time around, organizers will use a newly built futuristic city to address the world’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.

Covering an area of 4.38 sqkm – equal to more than 600 football pitches – the site will be home to a state-of-the-art pavilions designed by brand-name architects.

The UAE’s pavilion looks like a falcon at rest while Saudi Arabia has emerged as the largest of all participating nations outside the UAE, holding three Guinness world records: the largest LED mirror screen display, the largest interactive floor, and the longest water exhibit.

Over six months, Expo organizers expect some 25 million visits to the site hosting more than 200 participants – including 192 countries.

“One of the most interesting things for me in this journey was me not being from this part of the world originally.. but learning about many stories that were born here in the region and the Arab World," Randall said

With organizers putting the final touches, the stage is now set for participants to showcase their achievements in architecture, food, agriculture, industry, the arts, and intellectual pursuits.

Transport links are completed, with Dubai Metro Route 2020 able to carry 44,000 passengers per hour to and from the Expo site directly.

Meanwhile, Alif – the Mobility Pavilion features the world’s largest passenger lift, can hold more than 160 persons.

In all, Expo has around 200 dining spots, offering more than 50 global cuisines to visitors from across the world that will wander across the interactive theatre.

Hamdan Bin Mohamad, the Crown Prince of Dubai, took to Twitter to express his excitement, posting a video revealing a bird’s eye view of the multi-billion dollar project with the caption “are you ready.”


‘Only the Lebanese can help Lebanon,’ Saudi finance minister tells Davos

‘Only the Lebanese can help Lebanon,’ Saudi finance minister tells Davos
Updated 10 min 44 sec ago

‘Only the Lebanese can help Lebanon,’ Saudi finance minister tells Davos

‘Only the Lebanese can help Lebanon,’ Saudi finance minister tells Davos

DAVOS: Only Lebanese citizens can help their country, Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum.

Responding to a question by Arab News regarding the outlook of Lebanon following the elections, Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia wants to see the best for the country, but that others cannot act for Lebanon.

 

 

The Lebanese public last week cast their ballots in the country’s general election, with Hezbollah and its allies suffering a blow to their majority.

The outcome signaled a shift in a country devastated by an ongoing financial crisis and soaring poverty.

“We really care about Lebanese people,” Al-Jadaan said, adding: “We want to see the best for Lebanon but then we can’t act as Lebanese — it is the Lebanese who need to act.

“As and when we see a serious government that is going to take care of the people of Lebanon, we will act. We have been (acting) historically and there is no reason why we wouldn’t come to support.”

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have been strained amid growing illegal drug and captagon smuggling attempts from Beirut into the Kingdom.

Hezbollah is known to have primary control of captagon production and smuggling in the region, which it uses to finance its operations.

Last year, Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and a host of other GCC countries, severed diplomatic ties with Lebanon over Hezbollah’s dominance of the country and its government.

Since then, relations have improved, with Gulf diplomatic missions reopening in Beirut.


70% professionals consider changing jobs due to lack of flexibility, research shows

70% professionals consider changing jobs due to lack of flexibility, research shows
Updated 21 min 21 sec ago

70% professionals consider changing jobs due to lack of flexibility, research shows

70% professionals consider changing jobs due to lack of flexibility, research shows

RIYADH: A new research from professional networking site LinkedIn has shed light on employee sentiment in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with 70 percent of those surveyed saying they have considered leaving (or have left) a job due to lack of flexibility.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise in demand for flexible work. “The impact of the pandemic on how we work has been transformative, and research globally is pointing to an increased urgency for greater flexibility and empowerment in the workplace,” said Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn MENA and EMEA Venture Markets.

The research follows the launch of LinkedIn’s “career break” feature, which aims to destigmatize career gaps and support flexible careers. Last year, LinkedIn added stay-at-home parent job titles on the website in an effort to break biases around career gaps.

These initiatives align with what employees want, as 56 percent of those surveyed by LinkedIn said they plan on taking a career break in the near future.

LinkedIn refers to this shift toward flexible work as a “flexidus.” However, research showed there is still a disconnect between what companies offer in terms of flexibility and what employees want. 

While 74 percent of professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia said they thought the pandemic exposed a need for flexible work arrangements, more than 50 percent said that no new policies had been introduced by their firms to promote flexible work.

Additionally, LinkedIn research showed that a lack of workplace flexibility significantly impacts women’s careers, with 20 percent of women who had to leave a job due to lack of flexibility saying their career progression was affected.

“We have been given an incredible opportunity to reshape the world of work, and it’s critical we remember to keep people at the heart of it to truly build ‘work that works’ for everyone,” said Matar.


Sky News Arabia launches new Arabic-language digital platform

Sky News Arabia launches new Arabic-language digital platform
Updated 33 min 10 sec ago

Sky News Arabia launches new Arabic-language digital platform

Sky News Arabia launches new Arabic-language digital platform
  • SNABusiness.com will cover business and economic news and analysis

ABU DHABI: Sky News Arabia has launched a new Arabic-language digital platform SNABusiness.com, featuring breaking news, economic analysis and in-depth reporting.

The launch of the platform is in response to “consumer demand for objective and actionable economic intelligence and insights,” according to a company statement.

“The launch of SNAbusiness.com reflects Sky News Arabia’s commitment to provide our audiences with the economic news and analysis they need,” said Youssef Tsouri, head of news at Sky News Arabia.

He added: “We are witnessing an increasing demand for business news at a time when the whole world is in greater need of this genre of information.”

The digital publication will cover all topics relating to business and economy across industries including financial technology, energy and oil, tourism, real estate, agriculture and other sectors.

The website’s content will include diverse content types including reports, videos and exclusive interviews. SNABusiness.com aims to present complex data in an easy-to-understand manner through charts, infographics and digital videos.

Tsouri said: “Our aim is to provide fast and accurate reporting to our viewers and deliver our brand promise to be ‘your reliable source of economic information’.”


Disneyland’s new advert calls Arab audiences to Paris this summer

Disneyland’s new advert calls Arab audiences to Paris this summer
Updated 58 min 47 sec ago

Disneyland’s new advert calls Arab audiences to Paris this summer

Disneyland’s new advert calls Arab audiences to Paris this summer

DUBAI: Leading entertainment resort Disneyland Paris has released its first advert specifically for Arab audiences featuring Dubai-based influencer Sara Karrit.

Airing in the UAE and KSA, the advert is produced by Dubai-based local agency ArabyAds, and features Karrit sharing her dream of visiting Disneyland with her son on the occasion of the destination’s 30th anniversary.

Samira Tachfint, sales and marketing director at Disneyland Paris told Arab News: “Arab audiences, especially those based in the GCC, have always been a major part of our international audience base.

“There is a strong appetite among Emirati/GCC families for Disney destinations and at Disneyland Paris they have access to the ultimate magical experience just 6 hours away by air.”

A large number of Arab families visit every year, particularly during summer, said Tachfint. “Our bespoke luxury offerings and our ever-evolving entertainment encourage repeat visits.”

Disneyland Paris’ 30th-anniversary celebrations include Premier Access Ultimate, a digital service being launched this summer that will provide guests with one-time expedited access to 12 of the most popular attractions, in addition to new shows and experiences.

Tachfint said: “As we mark our 30th anniversary, we produced this ad to celebrate the connection we have forged with our GCC visitors over the past three decades. The ad, produced completely in the GCC and starring local talent, showcases how the magic of Disneyland Paris is alive for different generations and genders.”

Disneyland Paris is the most visited tourist destination in Europe — ahead of the Louvre and Eiffel Tower combined — with more than 16 million annual visitors, according to the company.


Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022
Updated 23 May 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022
  • Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh reviewed the Kingdom’s successful experience with e-learning and distance education during the pandemic
  • Al-Sheikh met with several education ministers and officials, including UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is participating in the Education World Forum 2022 in London, UK, under the theme “Education: Building forward together; stronger, bolder, better.”

EWF 2022 brings together education ministers and professionals to address key issues and share challenges, solutions, learning, and success stories they have experienced during the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh is heading a delegation representing Saudi Arabia at the four-day forum, which kicked off May 22.

On the forum’s first day, Al-Sheikh delivered Saudi Arabia’s speech during the first session. He focused on how the Kingdom learned from the recent challenges, highlighting the Saudi experience in dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19. He also reviewed the Kingdom’s successful experience with e-learning and distance education during the pandemic.

Al-Sheikh met with several education ministers and officials, including UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi, the Special Representative of the Prime Minister for Education Dr. Sir Steve Smith, and the secretary of state at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and head of the British side of the Saudi-British Partnership Council, Kwasi Kwarteng.

He also met with the CEO of the British Council, the CEO of Microsoft International, and the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, as well as executive leaders of various educational publishing houses and institutions.

Al-Sheikh also visited a number of prestigious UK universities and educational institutions, including University College London, Oxford University, the Center for Artificial Intelligence, and the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Medical Center, as well as the Saudi Cultural Bureau in London, where he met with Saudi students studying at UK universities.

According to the organizers of the forum, EWF 2022 will assist in planning and developing education to support individual and collective resilience, and foster economic progress.

It will discuss major educational issues, such as ways to improve equity and assign resources more effectively, how education-providing institutions responded to the recent challenges, ways to accelerate collaborative innovation, building better citizens and societies, and improving education.