UK’s major year of sport and culture to be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai with Culture Secretary visit

The culture secretary will visit the UK Pavilion at Dubai Expo on UK National Day. Photo credit: UK Gov

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Minister for Exports Mike Freer will promote the UK’s blockbuster year of sport and cultural events at Expo 2020 Dubai on UK National Day as the Queen’s Baton Relay makes an historic visit to the region.

Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and Unboxed: Creativity in the UK will showcase global Britain on the world stage and be a driving force for international tourism, trade and investment to the UK this year.

Their visit comes as the government confirms the UK is now one of the strongest and most open economies in Europe, as testing and quarantine restrictions end for fully vaccinated visitors.

As part of the Birmingham 2022 showcase at Expo, the Queen’s Baton Relay will attend UK National Day alongside His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge to bring Commonwealth nations attending Expo 2020 Dubai together in anticipation for the upcoming Games. After Expo 2020, the Baton will continue on its 72-nation tour before arriving in Birmingham for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on 28 July.

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, says:

2022 is set to be an incredible year of celebration for the UK, with three amazing global events on home soil. The arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Dubai will help build excitement about Birmingham 2022, the Platinum Jubilee and Unboxed.

As world leaders convene at Expo 2020 Dubai, I’m proud to be promoting the very best of global Britain at UK National Day, encouraging people to come and experience our spectacular year of sport and culture.

UK National Day will feature new and diverse music, theatre, arts, poetry, comedy, film, food and innovation across the whole Expo 2020 site, inviting the world to see things differently about the UK as it celebrates extraordinary UK talent.

Laura Faulkner OBE, UK Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai, says:

UK National Day will be the highlight of our participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, offering visitors from 191 countries the opportunity to see things differently, to celebrate our extraordinary talent from the UK and discover how we innovate all over the world.

I’m delighted to see the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is officially part of the celebrations, combining the strong relationships we have with each and every Commonwealth nation with an opportunity to appreciate the world-class sporting talents we have in the UK.

Ten years on from London 2012, the UK is also hosting the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, the Rugby League World Cup and the World Gymnastics Championships, in addition to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The visit to Expo 2020 Dubai is part of a wider international programme across the Gulf region from 7-11 February, including a major keynote address from the Culture Secretary at the formal launch of VisitBritain’s newly-announced £10 million international GREAT Britain marketing campaign, promoting the blockbuster year of 2022 to the UK’s most valuable markets.

The Culture Secretary will also speak at the ‘Culture and Sport in the Global Economy’ event (9 February) alongside global sporting organisations including Qatar 2022, the Global E-sports Federation, Rugby League World Cup, City of Gold Coast and World Games 2022. The summit will explore the transformational impact the major cultural and sporting events of 2022 will have on the social and economic recovery of the UK.

This event is hosted by the West Midlands Growth Company and is part of a series of events across the UAE for Birmingham 2022’s Business and Tourism programme – a £24 million central and local government investment into the West Midlands – to demonstrate the scale of the economic opportunity available in the Games’ host city and long-term capital investment potential of the region.

In addition to the programme of activity with the Culture Secretary, Minister for Exports Mike Freer will be attending Expo, and talking to the business community to promote the Government’s Export Strategy published at the end of last year and the ‘Race to £1 Trillion’ target to boost exports and ensure the UK recovers from the pandemic and builds back better and greener.

His visit to the region follows the closure of the Department of International Trade’s public consultation on a new trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which the UAE is a founding member, with the intention of negotiations on a new agreement being launched this year. The UK government already has a strong trading relationship worth £32.5 billion with the large, diverse and vibrant group of the GCC countries. A new deal will take this a step further, helping the UK become a truly Global Britain, breaking down barriers to trade and supporting growth and jobs for UK workers.


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