UK gives UAE’s ‘exceptionally strong’ Expo 2020 bid official backing

ABU DHABI // The United Kingdom has backed the UAE’s bid to stage Expo 2020 in Dubai.

In a written statement yesterday, William Hague, the British foreign secretary, acknowledged the “strong field” of the other contending countries – Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Turkey.

But he said he was pleased to announce that the UK would support the UAE as host nation.

“If successful in this bid, Dubai would bring Expo to the Middle East for the first time,” he said. “We assess that the Dubai bid is exceptionally strong: focused on global connectivity and accessibility, underpinned by its geographical location and its position as a global logistics and transport hub. All these would allow exhibitors to reach a large and varied international audience.

“We are also convinced that holding Expo 2020 at a time of great change in the region would send a positive signal to the world that this is a region of dynamism, innovation and vast human potential.”

More than 100,000 British citizens live and work in the UAE, he said, and cooperation between the nations ranges from thriving educational and tourism links to joint defence projects, security and foreign policy issues.

“Expo 2020 and its prelude will provide great opportunities to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries,” said Mr Hague.

The Expo 2020 host nation will be announced in November.

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