Sehwag and Misbah delight Dubai Expo site workers

By Rajive Singh

DUBAI 2 February 2019: Two teams of Expo site workers were joined by international cricket stars Misbah-ul-Haq and Virender Sehwag for the Expo 2020 Dubai Cricket Tournament Final 2018/19.

For the past three months, 32 teams of Expo site workers have been competing in cricket matches for the chance to take home the winners trophy. Al Futtaim Carillion defeated Laing O’Rourke by five wickets, off the last ball of the game, in the nail-biting final, which was played in front of a 10,000-strong crowd of their colleagues at Dubai International Stadium, Dubai Sports City.

The second annual cricket competition forms part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s commitment to advance worker welfare and health, safety, quality and environment (HSQE) standards for everyone involved in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (Measa) region’s first ever World Expo.

To achieve this goal, Expo 2020’s dedicated Worker Welfare team, which is made up of sector and regional specialists, has devised a robust strategy known as ‘Better Together’. This programme is based on Care, Respect and Pride – core values that permeate the entire Expo ecosystem from top to bottom, ensuring that all employees and stakeholders share the same goals.

Tony Aikenhead, Chief Real Estate and Assurance Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Better Together is based on the belief that we can only ensure world-class HSQE and worker welfare standards through close collaboration. This involves sharing knowledge and making continuous improvements side by side with our delivery partners, but it also means celebrating our achievements together. That is what the Expo 2020 Dubai Cricket Tournament is all about.”

Dr Rob Cooling, Vice President – Health, Safety and Environment, Real Estate and Delivery, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Cricket is a passion for many of the people working at Expo 2020, so this competition offers a fun and exciting way to celebrate their ongoing efforts to deliver our 4.38 sqkm site safely, securely and effectively. We were delighted to be joined by Misbah-ul-Haq and Virender Sehwag, who are sporting heroes to millions of people around the world – not least this year’s finalists.”

In addition to presenting the tournament’s Best Bowler and Best Batsman awards, Expo’s celebrity guests mentored the finalists ahead of the big match. During the course of his career, Misbah led Pakistan to 26 test wins, making him the country’s most successful captain. Sehwag, widely considered to be one of the best batsmen of all time, secured multiple records while playing for India, including the fastest triple century in the history of international cricket.

All 31 matches of the Expo 2020 Dubai Cricket Tournament 2018/19 have been played at Dubai Sports City’s ICC Cricket Academy and Dubai International Stadium venues. Dubai Sports City said it was proud to host and manage the event.

With less than two years to go before its opening ceremony, Expo 2020 Dubai is coordinating hundreds of projects, and working with more than 200 partners and international participants, to create a destination that will welcome millions of visitors from around the world.

A total of 10 main contractors and approximately 200 subcontractors are currently collaborating to build the World Expo, and about 40,000 workers are expected to be active on the Expo 2020 site during peak construction. More than 60 million work hours have already been completed, and this figure is expected to rise to about 130 million by the time construction is completed.

In collaboration with its partners and UAE federal entities, Expo 2020 is working to ensure the health, safety, dignity and welfare of everyone helping to deliver this global destination. Through its collaborative Better Together strategy, Expo aims to influence the wider operations of its contractors and other stakeholders, causing a ripple effect that helps to advance standards throughout the industry for years to come.

Expo 2020 expects to attract 25 million visits between 20 October, 2020 and 10 April, 2021, and 70 per cent of its visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos.

More than 200 participants, including countries, corporations, multinational organisations and educational institutions, will come together for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress, bringing to life Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Dubai Gazette