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Abu Dhabi, 6 February 2020 – The Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, has called the upcoming World Urban Forum which starts on Saturday a ‘critical’ meeting about ‘one of the most important issues of the 21st century’.

The Executive Director said she wanted the Forum, which focuses on sustainable urbanization, to be as inclusive as possible bringing together everyone including national, regional and local governments, grassroots communities, youth, women, people with disability and urban experts.

“We want action-orientated outcomes and a plan we can implement, measure and report back on during the next World Urban Forum in 2022,” she told a press conference in Abu Dhabi where the meeting which starts on Saturday is being held.

The General Coordinator of WUF10 and Executive Director of Strategic Affairs for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport, Mr Mohamed Al Khadar, said Abu Dhabi was delighted to have been chosen to host the World Urban Forum.

He announced that among the distinguished guests would include the President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji.

Mr Mubarak Al Shamsi, Director of Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said the Bureau balanced transforming Abu Dhabi with maintaining its heritage. He said Abu Dhabi had the first international museum in the region and they were continuing to innovate.

The theme of the World Urban Forum is Cities of Opportunities: Connecting culture and innovation. UN-Habitat’s Executive Director said given the theme, it was fitting to hold the first World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi. “This region features some of the world’s oldest cities and some of the most modern structure,” she said.

A woman takes a photo at the press confernce
[UN-HABITAT / Mirza Azeeem Baig ]