Expo Champions|

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb

“By collaboration and connecting sectors we make a difference when it comes to a sustainable world. The Netherlands lodges great technology and knowledge!

We are a small country and we cannot feed the world, we don’t have the space for it, but we have great technology and knowledge to show what we’re good at when it comes to water, energy and food.

We all strive for a safe and stable society. That is our (daily) work in progress. The challenges we face, whether they are economic, social or environmental, have to be met in collaboration with all our citizens. In times when people tend to be divided in groups, it is important to build bridges and understanding for the common good."

Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam

Transcript Rotterdam Mayor Aboutaleb Expo champion


By working together and connecting sectors with one another we’re making a difference…


when it comes to creating a sustainable world.


My Name is Ahmed Aboutaleb.


I’m mayor of the beautiful city of Rotterdam…


and I’m also Expo Champion for the Netherlands at EXPO 2020 in Dubai.


The World Expo.


It’s the place where the Netherlands has a platform of its own.


The place where we have our own pavilion to show the world what we’re good at.


As an innovative nation…


as a creative nation in the areas of water, energy and food.


The place to be for everyone in the world who’s active in these areas.


So come to the EXPO and show what you’re good at!


Not just as a business, but perhaps as a sector, working together.


The place to show what the Netherlands is good at.


We’re a small country. We can’t feed the world. We don’t have enough space for that…


but we do have fantastic technology and knowledge, and can showcase our strengths…


when it comes to water, energy and food.


A great place to also check out the competition.


Not only to show but to learn too.


So come to Dubai and, who knows, maybe we’ll see each other there!



Ahmed Aboutaleb (born 1961 in Beni Sidel, Morocco) has been Mayor of Rotterdam since 2009.

As mayor of a big city and the largest port of Europe Ahmed Aboutaleb has a strong international mindset. He strongly believes the challenges we are facing can only be met by sharing knowledge and working together. Mayor Aboutaleb is a frequent speaker on the topics of water, energy and food combining his experience on the city level with his global view. He is a proud ambassador of the Dutch expertise in water management, feeding people and is very committed to realise the energy transition. The ‘next economy’ will be digital and circular so the urgency to innovate is high. Making combinations between interrelated sectors will deliver the desired sustainable growth.

Mayor Aboutaleb strongly promotes free trade and international cooperation as its contributes to peace and stability in the world.

Previously, he represented the PvdA (Labour Party) as State Secretary for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the fourth Balkenende cabinet (2007-2008) and as an City Council member in Amsterdam (2004-2007). At the age of fifteen, Aboutaleb came to the Netherlands for family reunification. The family resided in The Hague, where Aboutaleb successively attended Junior Technical School, Intermediate Technical School and Technical College, graduating in Telecommunications in 1987. Ahmed Aboutaleb is a poetry enthusiast.

Rotterdam Mayor Aboutaleb strongly advocates the values enshrined in the Dutch Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the principle of non-discrimination. In his view, obtaining Dutch citizenship entails a responsibility to respect and uphold those values and to take part in building the ‘We Society’. The more people take part in this, the stronger and more resilient that society will be, both in good and bad times. He’ll regularly take neighbourhood strolls throughout Rotterdam to talk with residents about what concerns them.

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