Breaking Travel News interview: Sumathi Ramanathan, director, destination marketing, Expo 2020 Dubai

breaking travel news interview sumathi ramanathan director destination marketing expo 2020 dubai

When I spoke to Sumathi Ramanathan, director of destination marketing for Expo 2020 Dubai, in April last year, the rapid spread of Covid-19 had already thrown the event into doubt.

A one-year delay was duly confirmed by the Bureau International des Expositions in May, with the show now set to open in October this year.

Alongside the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020, Expo 2020 Dubai was perhaps the largest event to fall victim to the pandemic, with millions of guests forced to rearrange their trips to the Middle Eastern destination.

The United Arab Emirates itself, however, weathered the Covid-19 storm well, recoding just over 750 deaths to date.

With Dubai having reopened to tourism in July last year, and key hospitality personnel currently receiving vaccinations against the virus, there is growing hope the event can be hosted in something approaching a normal environment this year.

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Ramanathan tells Breaking Travel News: “We are very confident we can host Expo 2020 in Dubai this year.

“I am sure you and your readers are aware that Dubai was one of the first cities to reopen to international tourism.

“Everything is progressing as planned, and we have more than 190 countries which have committed to the event.

“The site continues to progress beautifully, with the majority of the construction completed.

“There is still some work to do on individual national pavilions, but a lot of incredible buildings have now been completed.

“Saudi Arabia, Spain and Japan are some of the standouts so far, with many more to come on the site.

“We are excited – the project is coming to life.”

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