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News : New Providence Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

Dubai Expo 2020 Is the Olympics of Creativity and Ingenuity: Bahamas Participating with a Pavilion
By Azaleta Ishmael-Newry
Sep 12, 2016 - 6:32:53 PM

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Shown in the architectural rending above, is the winning design of Expo 2020’s structure.

Nassau, Bahamas - “Innovation can come from anyone and anywhere” was the key message regarding Expo 2020 that was recently shared with the Bahamas Society of Engineers by Non-Resident Ambassador to Qatar and UAE, Tony Joudi.

On Friday September 9, 2016, The Bahamas Society of Engineers held a “Mix and Mingle” sponsored by The Pointe Nassau at the Hilton British Colonial. Professional Engineers, Architects and Contractors discussed updates on that project as well as the much-anticipated Expo 2020. Ambassador Joudi, alongside local architect Michael Diggiss, focused their talks on opportunities for Bahamians in innovation, business ventures, and entrepreneurship.

The six-month Expo will be held in Dubai starting in October 2020 and will comprise of two distinct opportunities for Bahamians to showcase their talents in unique ways. Realizing that great strides can be made through working together. A Pavilion will be set up for each participating country that will allow them to showcase their culture through the arts, history, culinary sciences, and music. To generate unique solutions facing humanity, Dubai is also planning Expo Live – a €100,000,000.00 grant pool that individuals and companies may apply for. Proposals for the Expo Live Grant should be submitted by September 30, 2016 and more information can be found on the website www.expo2020dubai.ae.

Leonard Sands, president of the Bahamian Contractors’ Association (left), H.E. Tony Joudi, Non-resident Ambassador for The Bahamas to the UAE and the State of Qatar middle and architect Michael Diggiss, (right) pose for a photo at the recent Bahamas Society of Engineers Mix and Mingle where one of the key topics was Dubai Expo 2020. Photo by Azaleta Ishmael-Newry

The Bahamas is positioning itself for participation and to showcase their talent through a partnership with the College of The Bahamas. A national committee established by several government agencies headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as private sector and civil society, will oversee the implementation of the design of the Pavilion for The Bahamas. This committee will ensure that the very essence of The Bahamas will radiate through the Expo.

Architectural students at the College of The Bahamas are submitting proposals for the construction and design competition for The Bahamas Pavilion that will be built by a Dubai team with consultation from Bahamians. “That design competition starts the process in the spirit of the theme, “Connecting minds and creating the future,” said Joudi.

“Expo 2020 Live is open to innovators, inventors or persons with dreams and good ideas that they want to develop and share with the world. With the Bahamas’ great Olympic wins, I am linking those historic moments to Dubai’s Expo 2020 as the Olympics of creativity and ingenuity,” he told the professionals at the presentation.

The Bahamas has won many awards in tourism, culture, and food competitions and they are positioning themselves for Expo 2020 with the proposed pavilion.  Students from the architecture department, the art department, and the culinary department of the College of The Bahamas are preparing plans for the competition. Twenty five (25) million visitors from around the world are expected to visit the Expo.

Ambassador Joudi is a professional Civil Engineer, a member of the society of Bahamian Engineers, and a Trustee at the Board of The Bahamas Contractors’ Association (BCA).  Leonard Sands who is the head of the Bahamian Contractors’ Association was on hand for the presentation and said, “The information regarding the Expo 2020 is an exciting opportunity for Architects, Engineers and Contractors to work together in an even more deliberate manner. The BCA s very pleased to be a part of this major initiative."

Speaking on behalf of The Bahamas Society of Engineers, President DeCosta Bethel expressed that they too are excited about the Expo and the initiatives. “We believe that they can act to stimulate innovative thought, services and products that serve the people of The Bahamas and its economy,” said Bethel.

Ambassador Joudi wrapped up by stating, “We are a country rich in culture, arts, history, and sports. Having these ingredients will enable us to shine among our peers.”

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