Expos in 2015, 2020 ‘to boost construction ties’ between Italy, UAE

World Expos in Milan and Dubai set to strengthen ties in building industry, officials said during visit by more than 50 construction firms to the Emirates

PHOTO: Umberto Bernardo (left), the deputy head of mission at the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, spoke at an event in Dubai with Massimo Rustico of the Italian contractors' association ANCE. Credit:

The World Expos scheduled to be held in Milan and Dubai are set to boost ties between the construction sectors of Italy and the UAE, a high-profile delegation said last week.

Massimo Rustico, head of international business development at the Associazione Nazionale Costruttori Edili (ANCE), an Italian association of private construction contractors, said the Expo Milano 2015 and Expo Dubai 2020 have “great potential” to boost business between the two cities.

“We hope to work on substantial new projects… The aim is to bring new Italian companies to the UAE and vice versa. We have to have the support of both the Italian and the UAE government,” Rustico said.

“There will be a tremendous partnership between Expo Milano 2015 and Expo Dubai 2020. There will be a lot of cooperation between the two teams,” he added.

Rustico was speaking at a recent press event in Dubai, held to mark the visit of more than 50 Italian construction companies to the UAE.

The planned World Expos in both Milan and Dubai are expected to attract millions of visitors to each city.

But the success of the events will partly depend on the UAE and Italy sharing ideas for development, said Umberto Bernardo, deputy head of mission of the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“There is a very strong partnership between the UAE’s construction companies historically operating with the Italian ones, and now gigantic projects are on their way,” he said. “Expo 2020 will be the further driver of economic development in the UAE… New Italian-UAE company connections will be announced soon.”

Bernardo added that he expects the number of Italians living in the UAE to increase in the coming years.

“There is no other place the Italians would like to work in like the UAE. In the 60s and 70s, you would talk about New York as you found good business there. Now, you will talk about UAE,” he said.

“There are over 10,000 Italians in the UAE… With more partnerships between UAE and Italy, the number of Italians will surely increase.”

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