Thousands of people came to Dubai's Expo 2020 on the opening day on Friday, braving hot temperatures as the Covid-delayed world fair finally opened its doors one year late.
On Saturday, 2nd of October, the France’s National Day ceremony kicked off, the first of 191 national days to be celebrated at the exhibition site.
France is among the one hundred and ninety-two countries that has a pavilion at the Expo 2020 exhibition site, which has been built on the outskirts of Dubai, one of the UAE's (United Arab Emirates) seven emirates.
An airshow by the French Air Force - Patrouille de France - opened the France’s National Day ceremony on Saturday. A delegation from France, including its Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Minister Delegate of Foreign Trade Franck Riester, attended the festivities.
The Emirates are France's leading commercial and cultural partners in the Gulf while there is a permanent French military bases in Abu Dhabi.
"It is a historical partner. And it will last," the French minister for foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said. The country celebrates its 50th anniversary in December and I will be there to show that we want to [develop a presence] into the future in a region that I hope will become peaceful again]
Thomas Pesquet, the Ambassador of the France Pavilion, was also live from the International Space Station where he is in charge for the next month.
Dubai is hoping to attract millions of visitors and to boost its profile during the six-month fair.
More than 200,000 workers helped build the giant showground, which occupies an area twice the size of Monaco.
UAE officials said Sunday that three labourers died from Covid-19 during construction of Dubai's Expo 2020 site, a day after revealing three work-related deaths.
The UAE last month brushed off a European parliament resolution urging member states and businesses to boycott Expo over the country's human rights record.