Finland’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai was confirmed today by the Commissioner General of Finland for Dubai Expo Severi Keinälä and Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, executive director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.
They were joined at a press conference by Riitta Swan, the Finnish Ambassador to the UAE, said a statement.
Keinälä said: “Finland engages in international dialogue and seeks solutions through cooperation. Dubai Expo 2020 offers an incredible opportunity to strengthen existing ties and establish new connections with partners in the UAE, Arabic world and globally.”
“Finland is the greenest country in the world: fresh air, pure water, green forests, clean energy and clean technology. Our Nordic nature inspires us to find creative and sustainable solutions and the Finland Pavilion provides a cool shaded refuge for making connections,” he said.
The unique Finland Pavilion takes inspiration from Finnish nature and design. The pavilion building is incorporating visually both Finnish and Arabic cultures. The exterior of the pavilion is white as snow with an entrance that gives an impression of arriving in an Arabic tent. The snow in the exterior blankets the interior full of surprises for the visitor. In the middle the calm and natural Gorge provides a peaceful escape from the noise of the Expo world, while the exhibition itself is providing abundance of experiences and information about continuous innovation and sustainable solutions, it said.
The pavilion will showcase the country’s competences and expertise across various business sectors including sustainability, technology and tourism with innovative content provided by our partners, it added.
There are strong business ties between Finland and the UAE. The National Partners represented in the Finland Pavilion – Kone Corporation, Konecranes and Outotec, are heavily involved in major projects across the region.
Kone is a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry. The company operates in over 60 countries and has distributors in over 100 countries. In the Middle East, KONE has grown from a challenger to become the market leader, with operations in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain.
The Expo 2020 Dubai further strengthens Kone’s leading position and will help the company broaden its long relationships with companies and partners in the region. Kone provides industry-leading elevators, escalators, and innovative solutions for maintenance and modernisation, and its mission is to improve the flow of urban life. In addition to being a National Partner, Kone has also been selected to equip some of the most prominent sites at the World Expo with its safe and energy-efficient people flow solutions.
Konecranes, a leading group of lifting businesses is located in 50 countries around the world. Konecranes is the largest producer and service provider to the Middle East for cranes, lifting equipment and hoists.
The company’s focus is on new technology with a vision of making machines intelligent and aware of their condition for enhanced safety and productivity. Konecranes recently signed a new contract to supply 54 Automated Rail Mounted Gantry (ARMG) cranes as part of the expansion of Khalifa Port Container Terminal (KPCT).
Outotec is the world’s 5th most sustainable company on the Global 100 list. Outotec is an industry pioneer in the development of leading technologies and services for the mining, metal, energy and chemical industries. Outotec has designed and delivered various technology solutions for minerals processing, alumina refining and aluminium smelters in the United Arab Emirates, most recently two alumina calcination plants to Emirates Global and aluminium smelter technology to EMAL.
In addition to technology and sustainability, the UAE and Finland are also continuing to strengthen ties from a tourism perspective. Finnish national carrier, Finnair operates a service between October and March and Flydubai recently announced a year-round daily service to the Finnish capital Helsinki. Together they provide a solid bridge between our countries. Finnair also offers extensive connections from Helsinki onwards to northern and central Finland.
Nature continues to be Finland’s top attraction. In 2017 Lonely Planet selected Finland as the third best destination and last year Finland was also named the safest travel destination in the world by the World Economic Forum.
Finland can offer unique experiences to a range of different travellers year-round. Finland is full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the Midnight Sun and winter darkness, urban and rural, East and West.
New aspects of nature travel are the healing power of nature and well-being tourism that is built around nature experiences and services. Today, Finland is also regarded as a destination with a fascinating and unique urban culture. The new Finnish food scene and Helsinki’s design district are excellent examples of this.
Joonas Halla, PR and media coordinator, VisitFinland, said: “As a result of increased connectivity and dedicated marketing campaigns to the Middle East we’ve seen a huge rise in interest in Finland, particularly from the UAE where visitors increased by 30 per cent in 2017, and with figures earlier in the year indicating an even stronger performance in 2018 we fully expect numbers, and receipts, to exceed 2017 levels.”
“As a year-round destination, we have a portfolio offering that is unmatched by any other country in the world and this is why we believe we are in a prime position to attract increased numbers of Middle East visitors to our wonderful country,” he added.
The focus on pure nature and sustainability is also seen across Finland’s tourism industry. More than 75 per cent of hotel rooms in Helsinki are certified as environmentally friendly, exemplified by Helsinki-based luxury hotel group, Kämp Collection Hotels, which has received the International Green Key certification for each of its 10 hotels, it stated.