After being postponed for a year, the Expo 2020 Dubai officially opened its doors to the public on October 1st, 2021. And along with it, the beautiful Luxembourg Pavilion at Expo 2020, with its expected ass 8.000 daily visitors, Michelin starred-chef restaurant, site area of 3.650 m2 spread over three floors, and now famous slide.
The launch of the Expo 2020 Dubai also kickstarted the ambitious trade program set up by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. This extensive economic trade program showcasing participant companies and key sectors includes a total of five sectoral Trade Missions (ICT, Space, Sustainability, HealthTech, Food & Beverage), one multisectoral B2B matchmaking mission as well as a week “Made in Luxembourg”.
The ICT Trade Mission, organized in close collaboration with the Luxembourg Trade and Invest Office in Abu Dhabi and Luxinnovation, was first among the many mentioned above, and began on October 17th when 65 delegates boarded the plane headed for Dubai.
The delegation then started the week by attending the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Technology Week, the leading consumer computer and electronics trade show in the Middle East, where the global tech community came together to showcase and discuss the most novel ideas that are shaping the future of the sector. This year’s edition included the Ai Everything Summit, Fintech Surge, Future Blockchain Summit, the Marketing Mania and GITEX Future Stars events. After having been given a tour of the vast halls of the Dubai World Trade Center where the event took place, the delegation discovered the numerous sectoral halls with their thousands of exhibitors on their own terms, making the best out of the all-access passes the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce had provided them with.
A number of Luxembourg-based companies, namely TalkWalker and EmailTree AI, and organizations such as the Luxembourg House of Financial Technologies exhibited their services to the tech crowds or intervened in a number of interesting panels. Francesco Ferrero, for instance, Interim Director of the IT for Innovative Services Department of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology took the stage to present Luxembourg as an ideal digital testbed.
In addition to having spent two days at the GITEX, part of the business delegation was offered the possibility to visit the Dubai Future Foundation, to get a glimpse into how the foundation is of reimagining, inspiring and designing Dubai’s future. This same foundation is about to finish the construction of the Dubai Museum of the Future, an architectural gem meant to physically present all the ambitious projects Dubai is planning.
Following this very inspiring presentation, the delegates attended the official ICT Trade Mission reception on the terrasse of the famous Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. Every participant in the mission could invite up to two business contacts to this his networking reception, organized by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxinnovation and the Luxembourg Embassy in Abu Dhabi. In addition to listening to speeches given by H.E. Robert Lauer, Ambassador of Luxembourg to the United Arab Emirates, Cindy Tereba, Director International Affairs of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, and Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation, participants could enjoy fruitful conversations with local and global business contacts in front of a breathtaking view of the Dubai Financial District.
After two busy days of networking at the GITEX convention, the delegation finally made its way to the much-anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai where, thanks to the support of the Luxembourg Pavilion at Expo 2020 staff, they were split into groups and followed their guides on the ICT Walk – a curated thematic tour at Expo 2020 Dubai. During this tour, all participants were given fast-track-access to ICT-themed national pavilion such as Luxembourg, China, Germany, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, and Kazakhstan, but also corporate (DP World) as well as thematic pavilions (Mobility). All above-mentioned pavilions gave a fascinating insight into each pavilion’s understanding of the Expo theme (“Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”), as well as their particular link to the digital economy. This ICT walk culminated in a pleasant reception in the Schengen Lounge, the restaurant of Luxembourg’s very own Pavilion at Expo 2020, where participants could enjoy fusion cuisine from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg prepared by none other than Michelin-starred chef Kim Kevin de Dood.
On the last day of the trade mission, all participants enjoyed a free day at the Expo 2020 Dubai, where they could freely visit all pavilions of interest to them thanks to the Expo 2020 pass that the Chamber of Commerce provided them with.
After a short yet intense week, the delegation of ICT professionals headed back home to the Grand Duchy, concluding the first of 6 events the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is organizing during Expo 2020 Dubai. Next stop: The Space Mission to Expo 2020 Dubai!
Follow the actuality of the Luxemburgish participation to the Expo Dubai 2020 :