OFWs help prepare Dubai’s hosting of World Expo 2020

OFWs help prepare Dubai’s hosting of World Expo 2020
The staging of the World Expo in Dubai is giving rise to District 2020 where 80 percent of the structures to be built are located, including the Mobility Pavilion shown here. (Graphic courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai)

By Nate C. Barretto

As Dubai poises to open its gates to visitors from all over the world for the Expo 2020 in October this year, the community of Filipino migrant workers there are already involved in the grand preparations.

The Expo 2020 slated from Oct. 20, 2020, to Apr. 21, 2021 is already looking at a record-breaking participation from 192 countries, anticipating up to 25 million guests from around the globe.

Meanwhile, the Filipino community that has helped shape the United Arab Emirates through their involvement in a variety of industries that both power and build the nation are an integral part of this grand promotion of Dubai.

It was learned that many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are in the service sector, construction, health, education, and media and entertainment, and, as such, will be actively involved in the six-month-long World Expo celebration that aims to take participants into a melting pot of international cuisine, world-class architecture, innovative landscapes, and diverse art and culture.

With the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the Expo 2020 Dubai will be supported by three key subthemes – Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability – each represented by their own pavilions and districts.

The aerial perspective of the night scene at Expo 2020 Dubai.
(Graphic courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai)

“Opportunity focuses on supporting solutions to social problems through the Expo Live programme, Expo 2020’s global innovation and partnership program designed to back projects with creative and innovative solutions; Mobility focuses on the movement and accessibility of knowledge, ideas, and goods to unravel current-day frontiers and the digital space; while Sustainability discusses alternative sources for basic necessities that can help preserve the planet,” a statement from Expo 2020 Dubai organizers said.

These three Thematic Districts will also feature 192 Country Pavilions, a first in the 168-year history of World Expos; and one of them will be the Philippines Pavilion that will feature mainly the country’s products, food, and beverages.

“Bangkóta” will be the Philippines’ pavilion which, according to organizers, “is designed to resemble the natural and organic shape of the country’s famed coral reefs, drawing visitors into free-flowing, open spaces, which is said to reflect the nation’s embracement of openness, meaningful encounters, and connection to the world by travel, migration, and technology.”

As the Expo 2020 Dubai aims to promote future global prosperity through means of youth empowerment, innovation, friendship, and business opportunities, THEPHILBIZNEWS learned that three OFWs are helping mount one of the world’s greatest shows.

Dominique Villafuerte migrated to Dubai from the Philippines in 2010, finding a new life in the city along with her family. Two years prior to joining the Expo 2020 team, doctors had given her the unfortunate news that her 19-month-old daughter was severely deaf. The UAE Government is set to provide Villafuerte’s child with free medical treatment for the second time. She currently serves as Expo 2020’s Administration Officer for Marketing and is devoting herself to giving back to the country that has helped her, and her family.

Jon Jon Catapia, an Assistant Manager Business Support for Operations Back of House, was the eighth person to join the Expo 2020 team. 38-year-old Catapia has been promoted for an impressive third time, and now manages a team of eight people.

Jude Valderrama is a Senior Graphic Designer for The Narrative Lab, who has played a crucial part in designing and creating branding material for various projects under the event. He helped design the logos for the Expo 2020 Volunteers department and the Sustainability Pavilion. 

Earlier, an independent report stated that Expo 2020 Dubai and its legacy are expected to contribute AED122.6 billion (approximately P1.814 trillion) to the UAE’s economy from 2013–31. It is anticipated that Expo 2020 will also support up to 905,200 job-years during the same timeframe, and contribute approximately 1.5 percent of the UAE’s annual forecast GDP during the six months of the Expo.

To learn more about Expo 2020 Dubai, please visit https://www.expo2020dubai.com/en.

Read related story:

Bangkota’ (coral reef) will be Philippines’ theme for Expo Dubai 2020

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