• Dubai Chamber-organised 1st Diplomatic Circle Dinner of 2012 is attended by H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State, and over 60 high profile diplomats
  • Reem Al Hashimy: Dubai Expo 2020 is an opportunity to celebrate world cultures in Dubai
  • Buamim: Dubai Chamber members’ exports and re-exports registered 12% growth in February
  • Dubai occupies the 9th position amongst the world’s 10 most popular business destinations

Dubai, UAE: H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of Dubai Expo 2020 Executive Bid Committee, called upon the country’s diplomatic corps to support and lobby for the Emirate’s bid to Dubai Expo 2020 which lies at the heart of the UAE’s vision as a cosmopolitan nation.

“Our passion for bringing people together drives our desire to bring the World Expo to Dubai and for the first time to the Arab World, Africa and South Asia. The cities that host the exhibition are never the same after the event as it lasts for over six months and is valuable to the society,” she said.

H.E. Al Hashimy was speaking in an interactive session at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised first Diplomatic Circle Dinner of the year at Park Hyatt Dubai hotel on Tuesday. H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, and board members and directors of Dubai Chamber, and over 60 ambassadors, consul generals, business counsellors and officers representing major countries of the world attended the dinner.

H.E. Reem Al Hashimy emphasized the important role that the Diplomatic Corps and the business community play in strengthening the UAE’s commercial ties and partnerships with the rest of world in an effort that is spearheaded by the Dubai Chamber along with other Chambers throughout the UAE.

The high profile networking event launched by Dubai Chamber last year has evolved into an ideal venue for the multi-cultural Diplomatic Corps and the Chamber’s officials and members to interact, exchange notes and discuss new business opportunities offered by Dubai and their respective countries while promoting the Emirate as an ideal destination for trade and commerce.

In her keynote address, H.E. Al Hashimy stated that “the UAE’s success has been built on an unwavering determination to create something positive in the region, for the region – this World Expo will be yet another manifestation of this noble premise.”

Furthermore, H.E. Al Hashimy added that the Dubai Expo 2020 is truly a world event as the city of Dubai alone is home to over 200 nationalities, thus attracting visitors from all corners of the world who already, today, either visit us or connect through us.

She also informed that since its launch in London in 1851, the expo has encouraged innovation, dispersed knowledge and fostered cultural diversity.

H.E. Al Hashimy further stressed that the World Expo in the past has changed lives and continues to educate the public and promote innovation in the service of human progress as she informed that the Expo’s slogan, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, will promote exchange of ideas and development of the world economy, culture, science and technology.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has said that ‘Connected thinking is the best hope for progress and for successful and peaceful existence in the generations to come,” she stressed.

The UAE Minister of State informed that Dubai offers excellent infrastructural facilities to the exhibitors as the Emirate provides access to two thirds of the world’s population or over 2 billion people within eight hours’ reach and world-class logistics with 100 containers loading in 60 seconds, and an integrated network of land, sea and air transport which allow the cargo to reach their destination from the ports within an hour’s time.

Affirming Dubai Chamber and the business community’s support to Dubai Expo 2020, H.E. Buamim, stressed that Dubai Chamber will continue to promote Dubai as an international business hub and a world-class lifestyle destination.

“For 2012, Dubai Chamber will look at exploring and expanding its business network to key growth areas like Latin America, East Europe, Africa and South East Asia which are some of the geographical locations that have been identified earlier this year, he said adding, “Locally, we will introduce new processes and business solutions that will help enhance Dubai business community’s competitiveness and its ability to seek new business ventures both regionally and internationally.”

In his welcome address, H.E. Buamim, who appraised the gathering with latest trade figures of Dubai and Dubai Chamber members, said the idea behind this initiative is to update the diplomatic community with Dubai’s economic growth which is based on the data collected from the members of Dubai Chamber.

The Director General of Dubai Chamber pointed out that encouraged by the members’ performance in 2011, the New Year started on a positive note and the growth rate will continue in the year 2012. He further stressed that with the Chamber achieving the highest exports and re-exports figures in its history of operations also showed that the trade sector is once again the frontrunner of Dubai’s economic growth as tourism, logistics and financial services too recorded strong performances and played a major role in the economy, he said.

He took pride in the fact that Dubai ranked 9th amongst the world’s 10 most popular business destinations, 18th in the global top 20 cities by international visitor spending and 9th among the top 20 destination cities by international visitors in 2011 which is a clear indication of the high status Dubai enjoyed on the global economic scene.

“Our members’ exports and re-exports last year equated to AED 246 billion, which is 14.5% higher compared to the 2010 level and reflected the importance of trade in the economic growth of Dubai while the members’ exports and re-exports recorded 12% growth in February 2012 compared to February 2011, to reach AED 19.7 billion, added H.E. Buamim.

Dubai also enhanced its reputation as a centre for international exhibitions, conferences and events with the resounding success of annual events like the Arabian Travel Market, Dubai Airshow, Cityscape Global, Gitex and many more as the Dubai International Airport registered highest tourist arrivals while the hotel occupancy was at its maximum last year, he said.

The ATA Carnet system, which Dubai Chamber launched last year, will be an asset for the Emirate’s bid to Dubai Expo 2020, as it provides the catalyst for the global exhibition and conferences industry to import goods free of Customs duty into the country, thus proving a major incentive for more international participation in Dubai events, added H.E. Buamim.

He called upon the diplomats to support Dubai Chamber’s new appraoch to explore emerging markets of the world and to highlight and promote the various Foreign Direct Investment opportunities offered by the Emirate and encourage investors from their countries to set up businesses in Dubai.

H.E. Buamim also urged the diplomatic corps and to use Dubai’s strategic location in reaching out to consumers in the region and the rest of the world and to have a frequent exchange of trade missions and business networking meetings to consolidate the Emirate’s bilateral ties with global businesses as well as to promote Dubai as an international business hub.

Dubai’s appeal to global investors lies in its open door policy, world-class infrastructure, transparent laws and the stringent economic policies of the Government in supporting the unprecedented growth across all economic sectors of the Emirate, he said.

On its part, Dubai Chamber supports Dubai retain its position as the most recognised source of competitive advantage among businessmen belonging to a hue of multi-national backgrounds. “Dubai is not resting on its laurels. We are all committed to enhancing the business environment and strengthening Dubai’s status as a global business hub and I would like to assure Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy that we are all behind the Expo Dubai 2020 bidding and are determined to see it succeed and come to the UAE,” said H.E. Buamim.