Towards the future

Elazar Cohen, Commissioner at the Israeli Pavillion
Elazar Cohen, Commissioner at the Israeli Pavillion

Elazar Cohen, Commissioner at the Israeli Pavillion at Expo 2020 Dubai, gives a glimpse on how Israel is getting ready to showcase its spirit and culture at the world expo this year

Published: Mon 22 Mar 2021, 7:40 PM

Please give us details about Israel's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai.

Israel considers Expo 2020 an event of global importance. As such, we are investing great efforts to guarantee that its participation will be significant and contribute to its success.

We are in the final stages of construction of the pavilion, and in the midst of the content production process.

The activity of the Israeli pavilion will focus on two levels - the visitor experience for the millions of visitors from all over the world and add-value events in areas like academics, economy, business, hi-tech delegations and more, for professional guests.

The central part of the pavilion, designed as an open area (City Square Souk),  consists of seven wide-open gates through which you can see the horizon, the future. These gates symbolise Israel's openness to the wide variety of its citizens - Jews, Muslims and Christians - to the many origins of its citizens - from European and Arab countries (like myself), North Africa and the Americas and Israel's openness to the world, especially to its surrounding region - the Mediterranean and the Middle East. This area, called 'The Desert Bloom' or 'The Dune' can be accessed without standing in line and has many attractions and visitor experiences.

On the ground floor of the pavilion, there will be two more experiences for visitors - a central exhibition hall and the 'Innovation Corridor' leading to it.

In the corridor, we will present visitors with information about Israel, emphasising the creative nature of its residents, the pioneering industry whose products and services can be found everywhere in the world. We will hold a special quiz for the visitors - focusing on surprising facts about Israel.

In the main exhibition hall, embark on an experiential and rhythmic journey around Israel, meeting people, landscapes, historical and heritage sites, high-tech laboratories, universities and other surprises, exposing international and local visitors to the country that has just recently signed peace agreements with the UAE.

What is the theme for the Israel pavilion and what is the inspiration behind it?

The Israel Pavilion's theme reflects the concept of 'Tomorrow' towards the future - a future based on a long history and tradition. The main element that reflects the theme is a three-dimensional statue at the edge of The Dune, providing a view of the horizon. The letters will be in Aravrit.

The incline symbolises the road we must traverse, the horizon symbolises tomorrow's potential, the path symbolises the here and now, while the shape of the dune is an expression of the desert, which joins Israel and its Middle East neighbours. It also symbolises a clean slate -the desert blooms while looking out to the horizon of technology - exactly between tradition and innovation.

What doors of opportunities will Expo 2020 Dubai open for Israel? 

Not only for Israel but also for the future of relations between the UAE and Israel. It is up to both countries to determine the fields of cooperation. First,  the focus is on connecting the people through the curious tourists, academic ties, business and investments that will increase the number of people involved in developing and deepening bilateral relations.

The Israeli Pavilion will be a platform to achieve these objectives.

During the six months Expo 2020, the pavilion will host seven business delegations, each in a different sector: agriculture and water management, aquaculture and food security, medical and pharma, smart mobility and renewable energy, cyber protection, fintech. 

What are the promotional activities for Expo 2020 in Israel?

We are collaborating with Israeli outbound travel agencies, encouraging Israeli groups and individuals to visit the UAE during Expo 2020 in particular. We will also host a group of economic and tourism journalists in Israel before the expo starts. 

What will be the focus of Israel at the Expo and how do you view the partnership between the UAE and Israel at the global level?

Israel will focus mainly on connecting the civil societies of the two countries.

Our intention is to create opportunities for meetings that will encourage the citizens of the UAE and Israel to visit each other.

Tourism: We will represent some of Israel's famous tourist sites and work together with the UAE to facilitate the arrival of Expo 2020 visitors from Israel.

Academics: We will host seminars in areas related to the theme of the exhibition (Connecting Minds) as well as in the sub-topics: mobility, opportunity and sustainability. These seminars will be attended by experts from both countries. Likewise, we will present Israel keynote speakers for professional meetings organised by the exhibition.

Business and Investments: We will hold meetings for businessmen and industrialists from both countries to explore and create synergy. 

The peace agreements between Israel and the UAE gives hope to the entire region. The UAE is already a hub for tourism, commodities and finance and the expansion of the Emirati economic network to Israel will establish an economic continuum from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, through sea and land transport projects, and will attract more people and businesses to our region.

Together we can reach new markets in the east - markets where the UAE has proven access and advantages.

Investors from both countries will find business opportunities in food security, agriculture, transportation, energy and more.


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