DUBAI, 30 November 2021 – Belize celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 today (30 November) with an impressive line-up of cultural and entertainment activities – including live performances and traditional eats – at Al Wasl Plaza, the Belize Pavilion and at venues across the Expo site.
Dr Leroy Almendarez, Commissioner General of Belize, accompanied by the Honorable Anthony Mahler, Belize’s Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, were welcomed by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Commissioner General Office, Expo 2020 Dubai.
Anthony Mahler said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is a global event and Belize is part of a global community, and we want to signal to the world that we are open for business and we are serious about improving our economy and advancing our people. By being a part of this event, we can learn. We can exchange cultures and we can do a lot of things for our country as we move forward, just like how the UAE has done for the past 50 years. So just being here and learning is a good thing for us.”
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali said: “Belize’s pavilion presents it as a ‘natural niche with endless opportunities’ in tourism, investment, the sustainable use of biodiversity and sustainable business practices. The exhibition content epitomises the opportunity for potential business investors to view potential ventures that are tied to innovative eco-friendly practices.
“Visitors to the pavilion will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural and natural richness of Belize, as well as learn about how it is championing biodiversity and sustainability in order to protect the natural landscape with which it has been blessed, and for that I would like to extend our gratitude to you, Honorable Minister Mahler, and to Dr Leroy Almendarez, Commissioner General of Belize, and his team, for Belize’s exemplary participation in this Expo.”
As part of the celebrations, the Garifuna Collective Band of Belize performed their music and dance show throughout the day on the Earth Stage, Jubilee Stage and Sun Stage. The group have performed in more than 25 countries, with appearances at Grand Performances in Los Angeles, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Expo 2020 Dubai marks the first time Belize has participated in a World Expo with its own pavilion. Located in the Opportunity District, the pavilion showcases the country’s tourism opportunities: Mayan ruins, extensive biodiversity, distinctive ecosystems and one of the longest barrier reefs in the world. The pavilion highlights the opportunities available in this small country, tucked between the Caribbean Sea and the rainforest on the eastern coast of Central America.
National Days and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming. Each features a flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza, followed by speeches and cultural performances.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.