Lyons visits Expo 2020 Dubai as Northern Ireland takes centre stage

Date published: 16 February 2022

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today attended Northern Ireland Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on the second day of his brief visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons with some of the volunteers at the UK Pavilion on Northern Ireland Day at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons with some of the volunteers at the UK Pavilion on Northern Ireland Day at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Located in the Opportunity District of Expo 2020, under the UK’s theme of “Innovating for a shared future”, Northern Ireland Day is a celebration of the heritage, innovation, and culture of Northern Ireland.

The Minister is on a two-day visit programme to the UAE which includes supporting Northern Ireland companies at Gulfood 2022, meetings with key government officials and business leaders around trade and tourism and with the Northern Ireland diaspora.

Speaking from the UK Pavilion at Expo, the Minister said:

“Northern Ireland Day national celebrations are the highlight of our participation at Expo 2020 Dubai. Today, Northern Ireland is centre stage at the world’s largest live international event. We are here to bring a flavour of Northern Ireland to the world and showcase our innovations within business, tourism, food and education to a global audience."

As part of Northern Ireland day, visitors will learn about famous Northern Ireland figures from George Best through to Sir Kenneth Branagh and Sir James Galway. There is also timeline of innovations by Northern Ireland inventors including the ejector seat and portable defibrillator.

The Minister also took the opportunity to visit a number of the Expo 2020 pavilions including the United States and New Zealand.

The Minister added:

“Northern Ireland Day epitomises my Department’s 10X Economic Vision. I am immensely proud of the contribution that our country makes in delivering world-class services and goods worldwide, particularly in this region. We enjoy a longstanding relationship with the UAE and Northern Ireland companies have made great strides in this market in recent years. I am confident that our presence at Expo 2020 will deepen Northern Ireland’s special connection with the United Arab Emirates and beyond.”

Northern Ireland has been an integral part of the UK Pavilion's activity and the wider Expo programme across the last six months. Over 20 leaders from industry and academia across Northern Ireland have joined with peers from around the world to debate some of the key challenges affecting our world and how we can work together for a better future for all.

Mel Chittock, Interim CEO of Invest Northern Ireland said:

“Northern Ireland is at the forefront of a range of industries; from ICT, Financial Services, Life and Health Sciences, Agri-Tech and Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering and more. Through an engaging programme, Northern Ireland Day is a celebration of this and is offering visitors from around the world the opportunity to experience our vibrant arts and culture, extraordinary talent and globally renowned innovations. The EXPO is also helping us to build new relationships, strengthen ties and position Northern Ireland on a global platform.”

Notes to editors: 

1. Caption: Economy Minister Gordon Lyons with some of the volunteers at the UK Pavilion on Northern Ireland Day at Expo 2020 in Dubai. 

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