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Kenya eyes free space at Dubai’s world expo


Exhibitors and guests during an expo in Nairobi last November. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

Kenya is set to access free exhibition space in the World Expo Dubai 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that was postponed for one year due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The expo had been scheduled for October 2020 to April 2021 but has been pushed to October 2021 to March 31, 2022.

It was expected to attract over 25 million visitors.

Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency, as the country’s responsible national authority for the Expo Dubai 2020, said the delay has seen some countries “deemed strategically important for mutual interests” with the host country enjoy a free platform for the event.

“We had participated in two meetings before Covid-19. We have another one after postponement to align countries on measures the expo has put in place and discussions on fears of pandemic,” the agency’s chief executive Wilfred Marube said.

“UAE is supporting some countries by providing free exhibition spaces and working with countries in developing themes and concepts that work well in positioning them.”

Kenya will also leverage on new technologies by the UAE to reduce one-on-one interaction at the rearranged expo, with visitors required to book in advance.

The expo will adopt a ‘one country one pavilion policy’ with Kenya’s pavilion located within the Opportunity District measuring 400 square meters and close to the UAE Pavilion.

Dr Marube said pandemic had halted physical meetings due to restrictions of movement and slowed down planning as a result of waiting for the organisers to advise on new time lines.

“The lockdowns and restrictions in movement curtailed technical team plans to go around the country gathering footage for documentaries for marketing and positioning Kenya at the Expo,” he added.