Estonia celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday with a strong focus on its status as one of the world’s most digitally-advanced societies.
Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia, was welcomed by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai.
On this occasion, President Karis said, “Today, I am proud to confirm that there has never been so many Estonians at one time in Dubai. This is a testament to two things: that Expo 2020 Dubai is truly the ‘world’s greatest show’ and that Estonia’s investment in the UAE, opening an embassy, trade office and pavilion at Expo has caught the interest of our people.”
“I believe that Estonia has also a lot to offer in the field of education and education technology. Our Education Technology solutions enabled us to meet the challenges of hybrid learning during the COVID-19 era. We have a lot to share with the world in the field of digitalisation and technology in education. Estonia is well known for the use of e-services in the public sector and businesses. We coped well with the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis thanks to the high level of IT solutions, which allowed for a smooth shift to digital channels during the lockdowns so that many firms were able to continue their daily business,” he added.
For his side, Sheikh Nahayan said, “Estonia’s participation showcases innovative solutions in the digital sector, including all the e-services that aim to make life easier for everyone, and sheds light on the country’s position as a laboratory where the possibilities for establishing businesses and testing innovative ideas are endless.”
“The UAE and Estonia share a longstanding friendship and partnership, and given our shared focus on e-governance and the digital economy, we look forward to exploring prospects for enhanced collaboration between our two countries, for our mutual benefit,” he added.
A polyphonic performance of four songs by the vocal group Estonian Voices wrapped up the National Day ceremony. The a capella ensemble’s repertoire combines pop, jazz and folk. The six-member group – three men and three women – mesmerised the audience with their stylish renditions, which included jazz covers and a traditional wedding song.
Located in the Mobility District, the Estonia Pavilion showcases the nation’s e-services and e-governance. The pavilion presents the e-solutions the country has embraced, and showcases it as a lab where new ideas can be tried and start-ups can be launched. Visitors can walk under ‘data clouds’ created by a remarkable interior designer, a nod to the ‘cloud’ that plays such a big part in Estonia’s online interactions. For the peckish, the pavilion’s restaurant presents food that is Nordic with a twist – visitors can expect seasonal, fresh and natural produce.