A rendering of the Expo 2020 grounds in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Expo 2020)

Israeli companies are set to take part in the global exhibition in the United Arab Emirates, with which Israel has no official diplomatic relations.

By Naama Barak, ISRAEL21c

Israel has confirmed its participation at Expo 2020, the international mega-event to be held in the United Arab Emirates, the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern country with which Israel has no official diplomatic relations.

On April 25, the Foreign Ministry announced that “the State of Israel will be taking part in the 2020 World Expo, being held in Dubai, UAE. This is the latest World Expo that Israel has participated in, and we look forward to sharing our innovative spirit and the advances our entrepreneurs and innovators are making in the various fields such as water, information and medical technologies.”

World Expos are international fairs dating back to 1851 in which countries showcase innovations and discoveries. Prominent exhibits from past expos include the telephone (Philadelphia, 1876), the Eiffel Tower (Paris, 1889) and the ice cream cone (St. Louis, 1904).

It has not yet been confirmed what Israeli companies, products and innovations will be showcased at the upcoming Expo, the theme of which will be “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” The three main subthemes of the event are set to be opportunity, mobility and sustainability.

According to organizers, the Dubai Expo – the first to be held in the Middle East – is expected to attract some 25 million visitors between October 20, 2020 and April 10, 2021.

While Israel has no formal relations with the United Arab Emirates, cultural and business interactions do take place. Last October, Israeli judoka Sagi Muki won a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, leading to the Israeli national anthem being played in the country for the first time.