Minister announces Northern Ireland to participate in first World Expo

Date published: 01 October 2020

Economy Minister, Diane Dodds today announced that Northern Ireland will participate in Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Northern Ireland to participate in first World Expo
Northern Ireland to participate in first World Expo

World Expos are held every five years in different host countries. Having been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai will now be staged from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 and is set to attract millions of visitors both virtually and in Dubai.

Making the announcement, the Minister said:

"I am delighted that Northern Ireland is participating for the first time in a World Expo. Expo 2020 Dubai is the world’s largest live international event, which will see over 190 countries taking part. Collaborating with the Department for International Trade on the UK Pavilion is a tremendous platform to position our economic, tourism, food and education capabilities to a global audience, all in the one place."

The theme of Expo 2020 is ‘Connecting Minds – Creating the Future’ and the site includes three sub-themed areas: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. The UK pavilion is located in the Opportunity district under the UK’s theme of ’Innovating for a shared future.’

She continued:

“As we navigate through the challenges presented by Covid-19, it is important to look ahead to the future and continue to seek ways to rebuild our economy. The Executive and Invest Northern Ireland are working closely with a range of partners including our universities, tourism partners and Northern Ireland businesses to ensure that we maximise this opportunity to showcase the best of Northern Ireland in its entirety.

“Invest NI is actively developing an engaging programme around Northern Ireland’s key sectoral strengths to reflect the international priorities of wider government and promote Northern Ireland to international visitors. This will help build new relationships, deepen existing ones and position Northern Ireland on a global platform.”

Steve Harper, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Business said:

“Expo 2020 Dubai promises to be a truly incredible global event and whilst much has changed in recent months, our ambition is still to inspire the world by showcasing the best examples of innovation and creativity that Northern Ireland has to offer.

“I am delighted that a number of Northern Ireland companies are already realising the commercial benefits of the Expo, with North West based Joule Group chosen as the Fire Engineering Consultant for the development of the Expo’s Luxembourg Pavilion.  

“Lisburn-based Lowe Rental is also reaping benefits after securing contracts to supply catering equipment to five country pavilions and has been named the official provider of catering equipment for the UK pavilion. There will be many more opportunities for businesses to get involved and to visit the Expo.”

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. The business programme includes investment forums, pitching sessions, inspirational talks and other key business events. Further information on Expo 2020 Dubai can be obtained on the InvestNI website.  

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photograph caption: Minister Diane Dodds with Steve Harper, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Business.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI 
  3. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at: 
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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