Dubai Expo 2020 Briefing

Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Jim Carr, recently announced that Canada will participate in Dubai Expo 2020 to be held in the United Arab Emirates from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021. This will be the first world expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia.

Over 200 participants from 180 countries are expected, in addition to a number of international organizations, global companies and NGOs. The expo will be set in a region with a collective population of nearly 3 billion people and a GDP of more than CAD 9.8 trillion. Of the 25 million visits expected, an estimated 70% will come from the broader Arab region and South East Asia.

This promises to not only be one of the most significant events hosted in the Middle East and North Africa for years to come, but a unique and tremendous branding, trade and investment promotion opportunity.

Former Ambassador, Carmen Sylvain, presented on the various elements of Canada’s participation including contracting and sponsorship opportunities for Canadian businesses on February 19, 2019 at Gowling WLG Toronto.


In her capacity as Senior Advisor to the Expo Team at Global Affairs Canada, Carmen Sylvain will be in Toronto to speak about Canada’s plans for the Expo project including its proposed themes and approach including the pavilion, business, cultural and public affairs programming, procurement, sponsorship and partnership opportunities.

Carmen is well versed in International Expos, having led Canada’s participation in Expo 2000 in Germany and served as Deputy Commissioner General. She was President of the Executive of the Bureau of International Exhibitions for eight years. She is also familiar with the MENA region, having served as Canada’s Ambassador to Morocco and Assistant Deputy Minister for the Middle East and North Africa within Global Affairs Canada. She is a member of the Executive of the Canada Arab Business Council.