• An exclusive performance for “Cirque au Sommet”
• Swiss artist Saype unveils his “Beyond Walls” project as a message of peace & solidarity to the UAE
Dubai, October 30, 2021: In the presence of Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, President of the Swiss Confederation, and His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai; Switzerland celebrated today its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, with a series of cultural activities. On this occasion, the president visited the Swiss, UAE & Leadership pavilions and had bilateral meetings with UAE representatives including H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy. The presidential visit ended with a meeting with the pavilion’s partners.
HE Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Bureau; along with Mr. Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, Executive Directors of Commissioner General Office of Expo 2020, HE Marwan Obaid Al Muhairy, HE Sarah Mohammed Falaknaz and HE Mira Sultan Al Suwaidi, FNC Members; and Mr. Abdulla Bin Shaheen, Senior Vice President, Commissioner General Office, also attended Switzerland’s National Day celebrations.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, welcomed the Swiss delegation headed by the Swiss president to the flag-raising ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza’s Stage of Nations and praised the strong relations between the UAE & Switzerland.
During his speech at Al Wasl Plaza, the Swiss President said: “On the National Day of Switzerland at Expo 2020 Dubai, we stand together in Al Wasl Plaza, heart of this impressive site, to honor and celebrate the first world exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa. Pulling off the organization of such a major event, which gathers people from all over the world, and lasts for six months, would be a major feat at any moment in time. But, doing so in a period of uncertainty, such as the last 18 months, is an incredible accomplishment. I whole-heartedly congratulate the United Arab Emirates for making Expo 2020 Dubai a reality and thank the organizers for their sustained cooperation and kind support”.
His Excellency said: “It pleases me to mention that Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, back in April 2016, and the first to reveal its Pavilion to the world. With a long history of Expo participations, it is no surprise that Switzerland has won several awards for its Pavilions’ architecture, exhibits and theme interpretation”.
H.E. added: “The UAE’s Relations with Switzerland date back to the early 1970s, during the time of the late founder of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Since then, our relations have flourished with cooperation across various fields. With an actively engaged Swiss Business Hub, the UAE is home to around 200 Swiss Companies and Switzerland continues to be one of the most important trading partners of the UAE.”
The lineup of events featured Swiss artist Saype who unveiled his project “Beyond Walls” at al Forsan Park, which is a gigantic piece of land art, and the “Cirque au Sommet” exclusive performance at Al Wasl Plaza and the Swiss Pavilion.
From his side, Mr. Manuel Salchli, Commissioner General of the Swiss Pavilion and Chairman of the Steering Committee Expo 2020 Dubai, added: “Today is very special for us as we welcome our president to celebrate Switzerland’s National Day at Expo. It is indeed a great moment to bring Switzerland closer to the people in the UAE”.
Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation at Expo 2020 Dubai. The Swiss pavilion is located in the Opportunity District and offers an emotional journey through Switzerland. Visitors enjoy traditional Switzerland known for its magical landscapes and mountains through the “Sea of Fog” exceptional experience before discovering the country’s innovative projects and global achievements in the fields of technology, education, sustainability, etc.
In collaboration with Swissnex and in line with Expo’s thematic weeks, the Swiss Pavilion is organizing until March 2022 a series of talks, conferences, workshops and exhibitions around topics such as Urban & Rural Development, Tolerance & Inclusivity, Technology, Health & Wellness, among others.
Switzerland remains the most innovative country in the world as per the Global Innovation Index 2021 - WIPO for the 11th consecutive year. Since October 1 the pavilion welcomed more than 100K visitors from around the world and was among the top six longest queues at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Swiss Pavilion relies on a public-private partnership model, including partners: Schindler, Rolex SA, Switzerland Tourism, Clariant, Novartis, Roche, Nestlé Middle East and North Africa and KGS Diamond Group Ltd – and numerous suppliers.