Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020, has said that the UAE’s participation at Yeosu Expo 2012 in South Korea is one of the UAE’s biggest international participations in such events. She told the Emirates News Agency, or Wam, in an exclusive interview at the UAE’s pavilion that the UAE delegation, which includes over 100 persons in addition to the work team of National Media Council (NMC), had so far managed to promote the state’s bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai. On preparations to rally the support for voting in favour of the UAE to host Expo 2020 in Dubai City, Al Hashimi said: “I’m very optimistic and expect voting in favour of the UAE”, indicating that His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has “planted in us hope to host World Expo 2020 based on our huge potentials and capacity enjoyed by the UAE to qualify it to host the biggest world event in Dubai.” She added that the international voting boosts the international status of the UAE, and this matches the UAE Vision 2012, pointing out that the hosting of World Expo 2020 in Dubai for six months, will woo over 25 million tourists and prompt development of the areas adjacent to the Al Maktoum International Airport. Al Hashimi noted that this area, which covers land area of 400 hectares, is slated to host World Expo. Meanwhile, the cost of the Expo venue is expected to be between $2 billion to $4 billion. Al Hashimi said the project will avail host of business opportunities such as setting up of small and medium enterprises to serve the Expo. More Metro lines, ports, infrastructure services, tourism and entertainment facilities will crop up. She said the theme of Expo Dubai 2020, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, is the motto of the world event. “We believe the way to reach a bright future depends on our ability to interact positively and establish constructive partnerships,” she said. About economic development, Al Hashimi said the UAE has extensive international ties that enables it to access unprecedented opportunities to strike strong partnerships between the private and public sectors. “Expo events are the exemplary launch-pads for the cultural communications among the generations and concepts.” On the capacity of Dubai to meet demands of participants regarding transport and logistics services, she said the UAE is a pioneer and strategic centre for the catering, international logistics centre, citing Jebel Ali as one of the biggest man-made ports in the world. Al Hashimi added that about 200 people from the 160 member states of the World Expo will visit the UAE next year to see the facilities and services available in the UAE in general and Dubai in particular before the final vote in favour of the emirate. About the results of her visit to Paris with the delegation of the Higher Committee for Expo Dubai 2020, the UAE minister said that “the results were positive, encouraging and making us all to be optimistic to host the event”. Al Hashimi said she had reviewed before the General Assembly of the International Bureau of International Exhibitions-headquartered in Paris, the reasons that make Dubai the ideal city to host World Expo 2020.