Dubai is gearing up to host the next World Expo in October 2020 - and a South African is playing a key role in the process.
The event, at the new state of the art Dubai Exhibition Centre, will host more than 60 events per day, over a period of six months.
The Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to host 192 countries and Dubai is preparing for 25 million visitors, with more than 70% anticipated from outside the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. African countries are playing a key role in this World Expo with the majority already confirming their participation.
South African Shaun Vorster is the vice president of strategy and business integration relating to programming at Expo 2020 Dubai. During a recent visit to South Africa he told Fin24 that the expo will offer great business networking opportunities.
Vorster explains that the World Expo has been running for 168 years - with the first one taking place in London. Many innovations were first introduced to the world at these expos. Some of the expos have led to memorable architecture being created - including the Eiffel Tower.
"The World Expo is a global celebration of innovation, technology and architecture," says Vorster.
It is the first time the expo will take place in the MEASA region.
"We are positioning it as the world's greatest show of human brilliance. It will be a meaningful as well as entertaining experience," says Vorster.
"For every country participating it offers an amazing opportunity to showcase the best it can offer. It will be a showcase celebration of cultures, gastronomy and trade and investment opportunities - including in tourism."
He sees the expo as "a meeting of minds" where new scientific networks can be formed.
"From a business point of view, there are also opportunities for corporations and SMEs to be part of the journey to deliver the expo," says Vorster.
"We have an online market place portal for our procurement, for instance. SMEs from 150 countries have already registered to do business with the expo."