Prime Minister Philip Davis traveled to Dubai on Friday at the invitation of the Royal families of the United Arab Emirates, which covered the cost of his trip, the Gallery has learned.
During his stay in the UAE, Davis is expected to meet with the Chairman of Emirates, the largest airline in the world, as the Davis Administration seeks to lead the Bahamas out of the economic crisis that has ruined Bahamian businesses and put countless Bahamians out of work over the last two years.
High-level meetings scheduled with major investors on the sidelines of Expo 2020 could be a huge turning point for the Bahamas, which is one of 191 nations participating in the major event.
Though successive governments have talked about spurring economic growth through new investments, the Davis Administration has taken decisive steps to make this happen, according to officials.
Three months into the expo, more than 250,000 business movers and shakers from around the world have visited the Bahamian pavilion. That number is expected to grow exponentially over the next three months as more than 10 million visitors are expected over the course of the six-month event.
Though members of the one-term Minnis Administration have sought to discredit the value of the event in a blatant attempt to score political brownie points, what they neglected to mention is that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and his cabinet had committed to spending $1.7 million on the Bahamas’ participation in the expo, which is held every five years.
Upon taking office, the Davis Administration managed to cut costs, bringing expenses down to under $1 million. The UAE government spent $3.5 million to ensure the Bahamas’ participation while the Bahamian private sector invested $500,000 in associated costs.
This is not the first time a large Bahamian delegation has traveled to Dubai to promote investment opportunities.
In 2018, then-Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle and a huge delegation attended the First United Arab Emirates Caribbean Cooperation Forum in Dubai.
Over 20 Bahamians, including then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield and then-FNM MP Reuben Rahming accompanied Rolle to the event.
In 2019, then-Minister of Financial Investments Elsworth Johnson traveled with a sizable group to Dubai where he not only attended an industry briefing at the Dubai International Financial Centre but also toured the future site of Expo 2020.