The New Year is upon us and we are about to enter into an exciting year for the UAE. The year 2020 is going to be extremely significant for our nation and is the year leading up to the nation's Golden Jubilee in 2021. This is in much the same way as 2019 was a landmark year for China with their 70th Anniversary and the UAE was happy to join in their celebration. We are happy that China will join the UAE during this momentous year also, particularly with their superb Chinese Pavilion, which is shaping up to be a highlight of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Photo: China Daily
The leadership will use the year 2020 to involve all segments of UAE society in shaping life in the UAE for the next 50 years and preparing the country's Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2021, as we will draft a new chapter in our economic, social and rapid development race. This initiative is called '2020: Towards the next 50'. The top priority of the national work within the next 50 years will be placed on investing in talents and capabilities, strengthening our system of values based on tolerance, openness and coexistence and preserving our natural heritage, customs and traditions. Efforts will be dedicated to the remaining at the forefront of the global competition and lay strong foundations for the sustainable development of the coming generations.
In 2020, we will work on making giant leaps in our economy, education, infrastructure and health to share the UAE's new story with the world. Expo 2020 Dubai provides an excellent opportunity for us to tell this story as we open our doors to the world for a celebration of human ingenuity, creativity, technology, culture and so much more.
China will play a major role at this event and the China Pavilion will be one of the largest at Expo 2020 Dubai at 4,636 sqm. The China Pavilion will symbolise hope and a bright future and is designed in line with the principle of the 'combination of the Chinese and Western culture with Chinese culture as the core'. The lantern-shaped pavilion will bring to life more than 5,000 years of Chinese culture including the advent of paper, gunpowder and the compass.
Photo: China Daily
The pavilion will also highlight the country's fast developing leadership role in future-shaping technology and mega infrastructure projects including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 5G, autonomous vehicles that can share data and make complex decisions, and the world's largest radio satellite built to detect signs of extra-terrestrial life. This structure will vividly showcase China's profound culture and longstanding history by artistically integrating the Chinese elements with modern technologies.
China's pavilion at Expo 2020 will be among the largest at the six-month spectacle, and a sign of how the country's relationship with the UAE continues to grow. China is already at the centre of UAE life and at more than 300,000 people, Chinese citizens are within the top ten nationalities represented in the UAE.
Chinese tourist arrivals in the UAE are now exceeding one million and a half per annum and approximately 3.5 million travellers transit through the UAE per year. This is expected to grow to an even higher level, particularly during Expo 2020 Dubai. The expansion of Chinese is such that in recent years, the signage in shopping areas was updated to include Chinese Mandarin side by side with English and Arabic languages.
There is even a huge market and shopping centre, Dragon Mart, much-loved and renowned in the UAE for bargain-hunters, packed with Chinese products that include garments, jewellery, furniture, electronic goods and interior offerings. This has evolved to become the biggest Chinese trading hub outside China, with 120,000 visitors a day, a 500 per cent increase from the 20,000 per day it welcomed in 2010.
Photo: China Daily
The area is about to get even bigger and Dragonmart will be at the centre of a new Chinatown district, as the Chinese diaspora in the UAE will create 'Dragon City' . An hotel opened at the complex in 2016, with a second hotel under construction. A new showroom and car park complex is also nearing completion, and the first residential component, is set to be completed by 2021. A new road network opened around Dragon Mart and International City – with developers putting over USD$54 million towards the project. So, the area is coming to life.
China is the UAE's largest trading partner with trade volumes between the two countries having doubled over the last five years. This shows that the economic and trade relations between the two countries is developing fast, during a time when the global economy is growing slowly. Trade is a centrepiece of the UAE and China relationship. Growing strongly, trade is now estimated to be worth around USD$70 billion annually. In 2020, there is a target for USD$100 billion in bilateral trade between the nations and USD$200 billion by 2030.
Therefore, it is greatly fitting that such an important part of the UAE community is represented through this wonderful Chinese Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Music, dance and food will unite visitors with stunning visuals and new experiences, providing millions of people from around the world with a taste of the cultural extravaganza that will be a never-before-seen celebration of Chinese culture in the Arab World at Expo 2020.
We invite you to come and join us during this great year for the nation, with Expo 2020 Dubai starting 20th October 2020 and extending all the way into the UAE's Golden Jubilee on 10 April 2021.