National Day of the Republic of Croatia marked at EXPO 2020 Dubai March 7, 2022 As part of the National Day of the Republic of Croatia at EXPO 2020 Dubai, the Croatian Pavilion received H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Minister of Defence, and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai on March 5th, 2022, where H.H. met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, as well as his delegation. Afterwards, the delegation of the Republic of Croatia, led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, met with H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, in Abu Dhabi. During the meeting, they exchanged views on ways to strengthen bilateral co-operation in the field of economy and investment. On March 6th, the National Day ceremony began at Al Wasl Plaza with the raising of the flags of the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Croatia. In addition to the Prime Minister, the Republic of Croatia was represented by the Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman, and the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, as well as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Croatia to the Arab Republic of Egypt Tomislav Bošnjak, and Consul General and Director of the Croatian Pavilion Jasmin Devlić. H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed the Croatian delegation. In his speech, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan stated that „Croatia’s participation positioned the country as a hub for creatives and visionaries that have impacted the world throughout the centuries“. He also commented on the relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Croatia and pointed out that in the past decade he had witnessed their exponential growth and looked forward to a closer cooperation in order to increase partnerships in commercial, political and cultural areas. In his speech, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, pointed out that the main topic of this EXPO, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, builds on international cooperation in addressing global issues, including climate change, while discussions on sustainable models of development, the efficient use of national resources, and on speeding up the green and energy transition put an emphasis on finding creative and innovative solutions. Each country must focus on innovations to steer its development, find its niche in the world, and ensure a prosperous future for its people. Therefore, Croatia has chosen “Croatia – Inspiring Great Minds” as its main theme. The official ceremony ended with a performance by the ensemble LADO UNESCO, which demonstrated Croatia’s rich cultural heritage, after which the Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković and H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan visited the Croatian Pavilion with their delegations. ) The program of the National Day continued in the United Arab Emirates Pavilion, where the Croatian delegation was welcomed by H.E. Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates and Director General for EXPO 2020 Dubai. As part of their visit to EXPO 2020 Dubai, Andrej Plenković and his delegation also visited the pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Andrej Plenković showed Croatia’s solidarity with Ukraine by visiting their pavilion. “Croatia has taken in over 2000 Ukrainian refugees, and does not plan to stop offering assistance,” said the Prime Minister. In the afternoon, the Croatian Pavilion hosted a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, who visited Dubai as part of the National Day of the United States of America, also marked on March 6th, 2022. Alongside government representatives, numerous Croatian businessmen arrived in Dubai to participate in the „Dubai – Croatia“ Business Forum, which focused on investment opportunities in various sectors, including tourism and hospitality, IT and agriculture. The forum was attended by the President of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Hamad Buamimo, and about a hundred companies from the Republic of Croatia. The guests were welcomed by the President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Luka Burilović. In his speech at the business forum, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković pointed out that cooperation between Croatia and the United Arab Emirates will soon intensify, after which he presented the Croatian economy, emphasizing that Croatia has stable economic growth and the highest investment rating in history. The National Day celebration ended at Jubilee Stage with a performance by LADO Electro, the ensemble that merges traditional national folklore with electronic music.