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UAE presence at Expo Milan to Boost Tourism

September 23, 2015
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Dubai: The UAE™s participation in Expo Milan 2015 is expected to boost tourism to the UAE and from the country to Italy, tourism analysts say.

The UAE pavilion at Expo Milan, a six-month exhibition that opened in May, attracts between 7,000 and 8,000 visitors from around the world per day, who watch presentations and short films on the UAE, and are given information on Dubai Expo 2020, which is expected to welcome 25 million visitors.

œThe UAE™s presence at Expo 2015 in Milan will offer the UAE a solid opportunity to promote itself as a fast growing business and leisure tourism destination at one of the largest events globally. This should generate interest among more travellers to visit the country in the future for both business and leisure, said Rashid Aboobacker, associate director at TRI Consulting.

Guy Wilkinson, managing partner at hospitality consultancy Viability, said that visitors to the pavilion will likely œbe inspired to visit Dubai before 2020 and see what™s going on.

Aboobacker echoed his views saying that marketing by the UAE in Milan will help attract more tourists to Expo 2020 in Dubai, not just Italians but also Europeans visiting Expo Milan.

The UAE™s participation in Expo Milan will also encourage more business and leisure travellers from the country to visit Italy, said Carl Palmlund, senior vice president commercial and senior partner at hospitality consultancy Inhoco Group.

œGiven the strong interest and enthusiasm seen among the UAE residents after winning the Expo 2020, more UAE nationals are likely to visit the Expo 2015 in Milan. Companies focused on leveraging the Dubai Expo 2020 to grow their business in the UAE may find it useful to visit Milan to understand the event more closely and assess the opportunities such an event can offer to their businesses in the UAE, added Aboobacker.

Short films

Italy is one of the top 10 European holiday destinations visited by UAE travellers, he said.

The UAE pavilion features 12 cubes that mention 12 challenges related to energy, water and food that are faced by the country, and their solutions. Short films on the UAE are also screened, such as Flavours of the Emirates, which is about the traditional and cultural foods of the UAE. Another film being screened is Family Tree, which is centred around a girl named Sara who is transported back in time, during the generation of her grandparents, and witnesses what life was like before modernisation and development in the UAE.

œWe try to showcase the UAE within the theme of Expo Milan: Feeding the planet, energy for life. It was a difficult theme for the UAE, as it is related to agriculture, which the UAE is not famous for, but I think we succeeded in touching the hearts and minds of visitors, Salem Al Ameri, Commissioner-General of the UAE Pavilion at Expo Milan, told Gulf News.

The cost of the UAE pavilion is around €50 million (Dh207.6 million), he said, but did not give additional details.

The pavilion has attracted more than 800,000 visitors so far. Most of the visitors are Italians, but there are also œa good number of international visitors, Al Ameri said.

œThousands of visitors have visited the pavilion and I™m sure it has raised a lot of interest, he added.

Expo Milan, which is anticipated to attract more than 20 million visitors, will wrap up on October 31.

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