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Innovative experiences

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa)’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai attracted 338,833 visitors from Oct.1, 2021 until Dec.31 2021.

Visitors praised Dewa’s projects, smart and innovative initiatives, and efforts to reshape the concept of a utility and its contributions to making Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world.

Several local and international officials from public and private organisations as well as a large number of school and university students visited Dewa’s pavilion in the Sustainability District. On the 2nd of December 2021, Dewa’s pavilion attracted over 23,400 visitors as it organised various activities to celebrate the UAE’s 50th National Day with traditional heritage.

Through its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Dewa strives to provide a unique and innovative experience for visitors to introduce them to its efforts that contribute to making Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world through pioneering projects and initiatives, especially in clean and renewable energy using the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to redefine the concept of a utility and become the world’s first digital utility.

Its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai showcases its key projects and initiatives, including the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world; the Green Hydrogen project, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to produce hydrogen using solar energy; Digital Dewa, its digital arm of Dewa, aiming to make Dewa the first digital utility in the world with autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage with the expansion in AI and digital services; and the 250MW hydroelectric pumped-storage power plant in Hatta, among others.

Earlier Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) concluded its first intensive Capacity Building training programme to prepare Emirati experts in leadership and excellence at senior functional positions at Dewa. This aims to develop their skills in relevant corporate excellence and evaluation processes.

The programme supports graduates in developing their divisions based on the criteria and requirements of the government excellence system, and the Dubai Government Excellence programme (DGEP) of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai. This is done by using various assessment tools for continuous improvement.

Some 21 trainees from different Dewa divisions participated in the programme supervised by experts in corporate excellence and specialists in Dewa’s key technical and administrative areas. The programme provided hands-on training on simulating evaluation processes and preparing evaluation reports.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa, highlighted that corporate maturity achieved by Dewa in excellence, and the accumulated experience of its leaders in assessment were all factors that helped the organisation become one of the most prominent and distinguished global utilities in its operations. Experts from its HR department were on hand to train the cohort on analysing internal situations based on accredited DGEP corporate excellence standards and outlining strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Transport and Telecom: Expo 2020 Dubai’s upcoming Travel and Connectivity Week from Jan.9-16 January will convene leading industry figures, innovators and policymakers around digitalisation and connectivity as a universal human right and force for good in a changed world.

Highlights include the Travel and Connectivity Week Business Forum, which kicks off at 0900 GST on Tuesday, Jan.11, at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020. Speakers at the hybrid event will include Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines and Andres Sutt, Estonia Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce; Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), and Mohannad Samara, Director, Business Development & Strategic Projects, Etisalat (UAE) are also slated to appear.

The sixth of 10 Theme Weeks under Expo 2020’s Programme for People and Planet, Travel and Connectivity Week comes almost two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began to upend global travel, transforming our approach to connectivity in the 21st century.

Underpinned by the belief that connectivity not only brings us all closer together but is the bedrock of healthy and empowered societies, the Week is co-curated with Expo 2020 Premier Partners Emirates and Etisalat, its programming targeting key issues for global policy-makers, business and agents of change alike.

The Nexus, home to the Programme for People and Planet, of which the 10 Theme Weeks are a key pillar, will see numerous events throughout the week – from a three-hour tech innovation session titled ‘Age of Disruption’ (Tuesday, 12 January) to ‘Cultures in Conversation: A Cloud is Nobody’s’ (Friday, 15 January).

The Women’s Pavilion will also host various events, including a World Majlis on ‘Closing the Digital Gender Gap’ (Monday, 10 January) and a two-hour event ‘Super (S)heroes: How Arab and Muslim Women Use Media to Connect and Shatter Stereotypes’ (Thursday, 13 January).

Expo 2020’s Programme for People and Planet offers an exchange of inspiring new perspectives to address the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time.

Expo 2020 Dubai has recorded 8,958,132 visits during its first three months, boosted by a slate of spectacular events across the December festive season and with more world-class sport, music and cultural performances expected in the second half of its six-month run.

From October to December 2021, Expo hosted a total of 8,902 government leaders, including ministers, presidents, prime ministers and heads of state - all speaking at numerous official events, including Expo National Days, which provide a unique opportunity to spotlight a nation’s culture, achievements, pavilion and event-time programming.

Almost half of all visits (47 per cent) have been generated by Expo’s Seasons Passes, with the number of repeat visits to Expo in the first three months reaching 3.5 million - a reflection of the myriad of experiences that require more than one visit.

Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “We enter a new year having built solid friendships that will enable us to drive urgent action on some of the greatest challenges facing us all.

“Our latest figures are testament to the determination and hard work of everyone involved in Expo as we pass our half-way mark. And with the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone continuing to be of the highest priority, the numbers also reflect the strength of our ongoing stringent COVID-19 safety measures, which continue to protect visitors, staff and Expo participants alike.”

December highlights included jaw-dropping fireworks and electrifying New Year’s Eve sets from world-renowned DJs Armin van Buuren and Dmitri Vegas. The celebrations topped an incredible month that began with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and included a show-stopping performance from Alicia Keys and a concert from A.R. Rahman - his first in almost two years.

Between Oct.1 and Dec.31, almost one third (30 per cent) of all visitors came from outside the UAE, with the top international visitor countries including India, Germany, France, the UK, the USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Many people also continue to travel to the site using RTA transport, honouring Expo 2020’s sustainability subtheme. Between Oct.1 and end-December, almost 675,000 rides were made to and from the site using taxis, more than a million trips were made on the free Expo Rider bus service, and more than 3.4 million users entered and exited Expo via the Dubai Metro.

Expo 2020’s virtual visitation crossed the 50 million mark, driven by the fantastic offering of Live@Expo, which enables visitors to take a bespoke live virtual tour through the site, as well as headline acts which have seen millions of viewers tune in from around the globe.

The Expo School Programme attracted 334,110 visits from private and public schools over 41 school days, representing around a third of the total student population in the UAE. The programme’s virtual series, Expo Adventures, saw visits soar to 3.9million up to 31 December with students attending from more than 60 countries.

As the most significant global gathering to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020’s stringent COVID-19 safety measures are designed to protect everyone visiting and working on site. They include mask-wearing - indoors and outdoors — for visitors, staff and participants, and on-site PCR testing facilities for Country Pavilion staff, frontline workers, and entertainers.

All Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers must be vaccinated, while visitors ages 18 and above must present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.