UAE 19 March 2019: Expo 2020 Dubai team members have lent their support as volunteers at Special Olympics World Games 2019 this. Based at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) the volunteers have used the opportunity to take away key learnings from the largest sports and humanitarian event of the year.

As part of the official Observer Program, Expo 2020’s Rita Penteado, Vice President - Human Resources Workforce and Volunteers, and Michael Joannou, Head of Training, Engagement and Internal Communications, attended ADNEC to meet key personnel, including the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the World Games.

A number of other senior operations and events staff from Expo 2020 also visited ADNEC as part of the collaborative work between the two international events.

There are less than 600 days to go until Dubai hosts the next World Expo. With 25 million visitors expected to attend the event, the Observer Program is key to ensuring the smooth running of the event and allows staff and officials to share knowledge and expertise from two of the biggest events held in the UAE in its 48-year history.

The Expo 2020 operations team transferred 35 people to the World Games’ volunteer program to gain operational experience of a global event, including venue management and problem resolution, while also offering their own expert advice.

The Expo 2020 volunteers are participating in a number of key areas, including workforce, credentialing, protocol, spectator services and venue communications, during their time at the World Games.

The Observer Program is closely tied to legacy plans for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, with key staff from the LOC able to be redeployed to Expo 2020 to ensure the ongoing promotion and development of talent within the UAE.

Khalfan Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said: “The experience, knowledge and expertise gained through Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the World Games will be hugely beneficial to the smooth operation of Expo 2020.

“Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and Expo 2020 are both incredibly important legacy events that will have an impact on the UAE, the region and the world for generations to come.

“It is therefore of huge importance that key staff from both events work closely with each other and adopt a symbiotic relationship that ensures knowledge is shared and excellence is achieved.”

Expo 2020’s Rita Penteado, said: “We are creating one of the most inclusive World Expos in history, welcoming people from all walks of life and nationalities with various abilities, talents and perspectives. The World Games shares this philosophy and, as another international event with the support of the nation’s leadership, it is an ideal setting in which the Expo 2020 team can learn.

 “We are inviting the entire world, including people of determination, to join us at Expo for six months, from 20 October, 2020, with an open and creative mind and to witness the UAE host the biggest event ever held in the Arab world.”

Sharan Sunner