Jamaica celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai today (18 February) by underlining its standing as a growing maritime hub that offers immense investment opportunities, as well as hosting a lively performance that showcased its strong music heritage, centring around reggae.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo 2020 Dubai Commissioner General Office, welcomed Her Excellency Senator Hon Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, accompanied by His Excellency Hon Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism; Her Excellency Ambassador Alison Stone Roofe, Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board; and Diane Edwards, President, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali said: “Jamaica’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai highlights the significant influence that the country has had on the world through music, culture and sport, while also showcasing Jamaica as a strategic global logistics hub and an ideal destination for business, tourism and investments.
“We are proud of the prospering relations we share with Jamaica, and aim to explore new frameworks for further collaboration in areas of common interest, such as logistics, maritime activities and cultural cooperation, with the purpose of building bridges between our people and ensuring their collective well-being.”
HE Senator Hon Kamina Johnson Smith said: “We came to this Expo with the overarching objectives of deepening the strong ties and enduring bilateral relationship with the United Arab Emirates, building on dynamic cultural exchanges, exploring and capitalising on new potential tourism, trade and investment opportunities and, of course, enhancing engagements with our growing diaspora in the Middle East.
“Jamaica has proven to be a prime location for good long-term investments. With a large maritime space, we are geographically and strategically located on the main aviation trade routes between North and South America. And logistically we connect Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam. The opportunities practically present themselves.”
A group representing various cultural areas from Jamaica came together for a performance at Al Wasl Plaza, taking visitors on a journey to the island’s roots of rock and reggae, while celebrating the rhythm and movement of Jamaica. Among them was a cadre of professional dancers; reggae artist Abijah; the melodic sounds of singers Sherieta Lewis and Sevana; and renowned trumpeter and singer Dwight Richards. The singers rounded off the show with a spirited rendition of Bob Marley’s big hit Three Little Birds, perhaps best known for its iconic line: “Every little thing is gonna be alright.”
Richards is also set to perform his iconic reggae sounds later today at Al Wasl Plaza. With three albums to his name, Richards can also be heard on songs by Lauryn Hill, Tarrus Riley, Stephen Marley, Toots Hibbert, UB40 and Aswad.
His Excellency Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, and HE Hon Bartlett were present as the first Global Tourism Resilience Day was launched at Expo 2020 Dubai yesterday (17 February), to help the industry find ways to recover from damaging events, while being better prepared for them in the future.
Situated in the Mobility District, the shipping container-shaped Jamaica Pavilion showcases the spirit of a spontaneous street party, allowing Expo 2020 Dubai visitors to feel the “riddim” that moves and connects the world. From the country’s extraordinary Blue Mountain Coffee – the most expensive coffee in the world – to its iconic musicians, artists and producers, the pavilion offers a taste of the Caribbean island-state’s iconic culture.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.