Mossad chief Yossi Cohen arranged the participation of an Israeli delegation to Expo 2020, to be hosted starting October 20, 2020 in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, Kan 11 reported Tuesday night. Israel’s name is prominently displayed on the list of participating countries (no. 48).
The contacts between senior UAE officials and the Mossad took place recently, according to the report, and also included technical details regarding the arrival of Israelis in Dubai, and security concerns during their stay. World Expos last a maximum of seven months, according to the rules established by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly in Paris, which awarded Dubai the hosting on November 27, 2013.
There are no diplomatic ties between Dubai and Israel, and following the Israeli foreign ministry’s announcement of Israel’s participation in the fair, the UAE organizers clarified to Kan 11 that “the invitation to attend the Expo 2020 does not mark a change in relations between the UAE and Israel, on the diplomatic or on any other level.”
The Mossad was blamed for the January 19, 2010, assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the co-founder of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in a hotel room in Dubai. Al-Mabhouh had been wanted by the Israeli government for the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers in 1989 as well as for purchasing arms from Iran for use in Gaza. Mossad never admitted responsibility, but the assassination attracted international attention due to allegations that the Mossad agents were holding fake or fraudulently obtained passports from several European countries and Australia, stolen Israelis with dual citizenship.
The main site of Expo Dubai 2020 will be on 1083 acres located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The master plan, designed by the American firm HOK, is organized around a central plaza, Al Wasl, enclosed by three large pavilions which will be built by Al-Futtaim Carillion, each one dedicated to a sub-theme.
Dubai has been emphasizing investments in various sectors such as economic growth, real estate, environmental avenues and public affairs. In recent times, Dubai has made major investments in Real Estate and introduced the world’s largest Solar Power Project which is all set to start by the opening bell of Expo 2020. The initiative Dubai Happiness Agenda features 16 programs under four themes that include 82 projects to be set in the city with an aim to make it city the happiest place on Earth by 2020.
However, reports in the Asian real estate press have suggested that the fact that the Expo 2020 PR machine has been very quiet recently could mean that, like many other projects in Dubai, at least some of the Expo 2020 projects have already been cancelled.