Wallonia-Brussels week

From 6 to 12 November 2021

The Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) and Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI) will organise the Wallonia-Brussels Visibility Week at the Belgian pavilion on the Expo site. This event aims to take advantage of the exceptional showcase offered by Expo 2020 to present the expertise and excellence of Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation to visitors from around the world.

The week in brief...

Based on the major themes of the World Expo and the key economic sectors of the United Arab Emirates, WBI and the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency will organise activities for the general public based around culture and industry (space, agri-food, digital, design, equine, etc.).
Other activities aimed at a specific public (universities, companies, official delegations) will take place in the Business Centre of the Belgian pavilion. These targeted activities will aim to bring together key contacts with a view to creating synergies with Walloon and international participants.

Agri-food

Haïssam Jijakli, Extraordinary Professor of urban and peri-urban agriculture at the University of Liège, will hold a masterclass on the primary production of fruits and vegetables from innovative systems based above ground (hydroponics, aquaponics, rooftop cultivation, container cultivation) including Arom@home, the Smart aquaponics application and the Optibiomass process.

BellaVie will then lead a workshop on the role of diet in health and the importance of healthy and diversified microbiota thanks to foods rich in probiotics.

Chocolate

The Belvas chocolate makers and the company Linatelle, which creates healthy gourmet products in the Be-nat range, will offer a discovery workshop on chocolate and sweet delicacies, which are undoubtedly some of the wonderful things from our region.

Belvas chocolate will focus on the Bean to Bar process, which involves making their own chocolate from cocoa beans. This process is used by a handful of Belgian craftsmen who have chosen quality and craftsmanship starting with the selection of the beans, through roasting, grinding and conching.

Linatelle will present the features of the ingredients used in the recipes for its cookies and spreads and the advantages of organic products. Participants will also be invited to taste and smell ingredients.

Diamonds

Diamonds are highly prized by the Emiratis and we are fortunate in Wallonia to have one of the world's greatest jewellers in the person of Pino Spitaleri, who is currently creating a workshop/boutique in Saudi Arabia whose concept is to include the customer in the design of the jewellery. He also moved to Dubai in January 2021 and wants to establish a setting workshop there.

Pino Spitaleri will hold a masterclass in the form of workshops in the pavilion over two full days. Presentation of a diamond TIARA (headdress) and the different stages in its realization: design, 3D printer, platinum castings, polisher. Design schools in the Emirates will be able to benefit from this sharing of knowledge and advanced techniques.

The first day will conclude with a prestigious evening event on the panoramic terrace of the pavilion, with showcases of jewellery pieces.

Equine

Equisfair, the equestrian sector cluster in Wallonia, will present a masterclass featuring the strengths of our region, which is one of the world leaders in this sector. Wallonia is indeed a strategic partner for the sector's professionals. Firstly in terms of logistics, with Liège airport specialising in the transport of horses. Voted best cargo airport in the world for 2020, in particular because of its flexibility in the midst of a health crisis (the airport was chosen by the WHO as a logistics hub),Liège Airport specialises in the transport of perishable foodstuffs and animals. Racehorses are treated like kings, with a 5-star hotel with 24-hour personalised services: the Horse Inn. Secondly, in terms of tourism, there are large numbers of nature and sports activities related to horses that can be done alone or with the family. And lastly, in terms of the health of the horses and their optimisation at the sporting level. The company Kataklop will present its mobile application offering a complete service dedicated to riders, riding schools, stables and their instructors, as well as to specialised brands and companies.

The masterclass will end with the testimony of international rider Lara De Liedekerke. Recently crowned Belgian Champion for the fifth consecutive year, she has also won the Nations Cup team event.

Image & Digital

The TWIST cluster will organise a seminar at the Business Centre to present the Walloon "Live Sport & Entertainment" sector and the business opportunities with the UAE. The venue will then be transformed into a veritable theme park where visitors will be able to take full advantage of the playful side of all these cutting-edge technologies through animations produced by the Walloon companies Dirty Monitor (virtual reality), Ionnyk (the first connected art frame in the world) and Vigo Universal (augmented and virtual reality).

Fashion & Design

Fashion and design are very popular sectors in the United Arab Emirates and are also among the assets that the Wallonia-Brussels Federation wishes to highlight during this visibility week. This week comes at the same time as Dubaï Design Week , which will be held from 8 to 12 November 2021. It is an opportunity for the Walloon participants to see the opportunities on site.

The programme for Wallonia-Brussels Week includes two sessions focusing on the creativity and excellence of Belgian talent.

The NIYONA, design studio, specialising in high quality custom-made leather goods, will offer a participative workshop during which the brand will share its unique expertise and its passion for the leather goods trade.

The design studio MLSTUDIO will offer a workshop entitled "Design the life you love", which will allow participants to experiment with the creative process of mood-boards and discuss this experience.

Space

The Wallonia Export-Investment Agency-WBI joint platform in Research and Innovation has entrusted several scientists from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation with the development of our space sector.

Astrophysicists Sarah Baatout and Vladimir Pletser will lead an inspiring, dynamic dialogue on space exploration in Wallonia. Sarah Baatout will explain how technologies developed in Wallonia and tested in space can benefit life on Earth.

The projects presented will be interspersed with artistic vignettes on the theme of space. It is an original concept that will put stars in your eyes thanks to five artists from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation whose performances will be filmed in the space setting of the Euro Space Center: Olivier Lamboray, Isabelle Arpin, Daniel Vivès-Lynch, Daniel Van Quickelberghe & Pierre-Emmanuel Paulis.

The afternoon of this space day will be dedicated to young people, with an animation organised by the Euro Space Center..

Tourism

Wallonia is full of attractive tourist treasures for nationals of the Gulf State. Through its three tourist centres (recreational, nature & culture), Wallonia has infrastructures and services of an international standing to attract and welcome a demanding clientele such as visitors from the UAE.

Wallonia Belgium Tourism will offer a 360° immersion day in Wallonia. The morning will be devoted to a workshop for the press and professionals of the tourism sector. This workshop will present Wallonia's tourism assets as well as Visit Wallonia, the new brand set up to revive the sector following the COVID-19 crisis. 360-degree virtual reality films will be shown to Emirati tour operators so that they can experience Wallonia as if they were there through this sensory experience.

The public and potential tourists will be able to enjoy this VR animation during the afternoon.

Water and energy

The Walloon Minister in charge of climate and energy, Mr Philippe Henry, will carry out a mission to Abu Dhabi in January 2022 as part of the IRENA General Assembly and the WFES (World Future Energy Summit) to be held in Abu Dhabi from 17 to 19 January 2022. He will also respond to an invitation from John Cockerill, a company heavily involved in the construction of solar power plants in the United Arab Emirates. This theme will therefore not be presented during Wallonia-Brussels week in November.

The cultural programme

Wallonia-Brussels week will be interspersed by several daily artistic performances in front of the Belgian pavilion.

The talent of the following providers will be honoured:

  • Laurent Blondiau and the band Määk. A Belgian musician and jazz trumpetist, he received the best European musician prize in 2009 awarded by the Jazz Academy.
  • The Namur Stilt Walkers
  • In the Air - Promotional & technological magic

Magicians Clément Kerstenne and Philippe Bougard will spice up this Wallonia-Brussels week for the enjoyment of young and old.

A gala evening will also be held at La Perle (the permanent show of the Walloon Franco Dragone, within the Al Habtoor City hotel complex.

Copyright : Skuds-Simon Fusillier

The multisectoral economic mission

The Wallonia Export-Investment Agency will also organise a multi-sector economic mission on the same dates, in parallel with Wallonia-Brussels Week. The main purpose of this mission will be to take advantage of the context of the World Expo to allow Walloon companies to actively prospect for business throughout the United Arab Emirates.

The programme for this mission will include company visits, B2B meetings, seminars, participative workshops and more. Participating companies will have the opportunity to benefit from the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency's network, expertise and logistical organisation to meet key prospects directly on the ground in a business-friendly climate. To maximise the economic impact of this mission, it will focus exclusively on the different sectors highlighted during Wallonia-Brussels Week.

Events will be held throughout the six months of the Expo by BelExpo, the organiser of Belgium's participation in the Expo, as well as by its regional partners and its sponsors and suppliers.

Some key dates in the Belgian pavilion:

  • Flemish Week: 24 to 28 October 2021
  • Wallonia-Brussels Week: 6 to 12 November 2021
  • Brussels Week: 31 January to 4 February 2022
  • Belgian National Day: 5 February 2022

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