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Quest Means Business

Federal Reserve Chair In The Hot Seat; W.H.O. Says Omicron Could Infect Half Of Europe; Emirates CEO Says Things Are Looking Better After Two Years; Novak Djokovic Returns To Training Amid Visa Drama; Ken Griffin Selling $1.2 Billion Stake In Citadel; Inside Expo 2020; Dubai Oyster Project. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 11, 2022 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Investors breathe a sigh of relief, all in a show of confidence from the Fed Chair. We're seeing modest gains

across all the major indices. The NASDAQ is up more than one percent, and there, you see -- you can see exactly where the comments started, the

reaction behind them and it is not often you get that sort of instant view, but we talk about it.

Those are the markets, and these are the main events. Jay Powell says he has got it covered. The Fed Chair vows to do whatever is necessary to

tackle inflation.

Don't bet against Dubai, he tells us -- the Chairman of Emirates Airlines - - as he isn't planning a merger with Etihad. He tells us that, too.

And we hear -- our businessmen here is using his discarded oyster shells to save coral reefs. We don't even have an oyster or two on the set.

We are tonight live in Dubai on Tuesday, it is January 11th. I'm Richard Quest, and yes, at Expo 2020, I most certainly mean business.

And a very evening to you from Dubai. Day 2 of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS here live from Expo 2020. Now, interestingly, sort of -- it's midnight now,

midnight here, so things are quietening down a bit. The thing is closing, but it's still lit up and it is still looking very beautiful, all 190 odd

pavilions, quite a spectacular achievement here.

It's halfway through and it has got another, I think, 79 days still to go.

Millions of people have flocked to Dubai to see this grand spectacle of the World Expo as the Chairman of the UAE's largest airlines, Emirates, Sheikh

Ahmed, he is in charge of getting many of them here and he told me how his country did it.


AHMED BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM, CEO, EMIRATES GROUP: Look how many people have flocked to Dubai during the pandemic? You know why? Because we kept the

country open with rules and regulations.


QUEST: And you'll hear the full interview with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed in just a few moments from now. We're also talking to the Minister who is

steering the country's huge investment into artificial intelligence, and we'll see literally the most surreal attraction in both name and perhaps


First, though, we begin in Washington, where the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has warned high inflation is a severe threat, and the Chair

promised that the Fed will get it under control.

Powell was on Capitol Hill, it is part of his confirmation hearings. He is defending his first term and making the case for a second. He was first

nominated by former President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Senate confirmed him in 2018 by an overwhelming vote, only four Republicans and nine Democrats opposed his nomination. Twelve of them are

still senators, the other is now, Vice President Kamala Harris.

At today's hearing, Jay Powell told senators, the Fed will tame inflation no matter how many times it needs to raise rates.


JEROME POWELL, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: If we see inflation persisting at high levels longer than expected, then we will -- you know,

then we will -- if we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will. We will use our tools to get inflation back.


QUEST: Now one word that is being used to judge Powell's first term in office -- transitory. Remember? That is how Jay Powell repeatedly described



POWELL: Twelve-month measures of inflation are likely to move well above two percent over the next few months as the very low inflation readings

recorded in March and April of last year dropped out of the calculation and they'll disappear over the following months, and it will be transitory.

They carry no implication for the rate of inflation in later periods.

As these transitory supply effects abate, inflation is expected to drop back toward our longer run goal.

The durable goods alone contributed about one percent to the latest 12- month measures of headline and core inflation.


Energy prices, which rebounded with the strong recovery and another eight- tenths of a percent to headline inflation.

And from long experience, we expect the inflation effects of these increases to be transitory.


QUEST: Transitory, transitory, transitory -- last month, Jay Powell said the Fed was retiring the word. New numbers from the O.E.C.D. show inflation

is surging across developed economies.

Consumer prices are at 5.8 percent in November, year-over-year. That's the highest rates since 1996, and Powell's German counterpart, the Bundesbank,

the new Bundesbank President, Joachim Nagel has warned at his inauguration today that inflation is likely to last longer than expected.

When we're talking inflation, we do we need to hear from? Rana Foroohar joins me from New York. You're just the person we need to --

I listened to and read a lot of what Jay Powell says. I'm sorry, here is a man who told us this wasn't going to play out this way, and now, he has the

chutzpah to go before Congress and say, it's really bad. I'll do whatever I can. I'm going to deal with it.

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: You know, Richard, he is in a tough spot, right? I mean, the Fed has been propping up the economy with

low rates and easy money, since it has to be said, way before Jay Powell's term.

Now, that's not to say that he shouldn't have some regrets for saying, this is transitory it's going away, you know, being so certain about that.

Because, as you and I know, you could have argued this case, either way.

You know, there are a lot of very inflationary trends in the economy right now. There is really only one deflationary trend, which is technology. And

you know, that plays out over years, decades, not just each quarter.

So I think he is in a very tough spot. The question is, has he acted too late? Is the Fed behind the curve? And I'm worried that the answer is yes.

QUEST: Why are you worried the answer is yes? The answer is yes. Inflation is expected to be -- the next numbers will be seven percent, the highest in

30 to 40 years.

Now, when you've got Goldman saying this week four hikes this year, which is more -- one more than the dot plot, we are in a territory of can they

move fast enough?

FOROOHAR: Right. And, you know, I think that the big question for how the economy overall looks at the end of the year, and particularly for the

midterms, is what the market does in reaction to this.

To be honest with you, Richard, I would have thought that the NASDAQ would have stayed down a little bit more, you know, we're still seeing some of

this buying the dip.

I mean, how long are people going to buy the dip? Are they going to buy the dip after the first rate hike? The second? The fourth? You know, I'm

concerned about that, because I think that way too much of the spending and the optimism and the demand in the economy, which by the way, you know, Jay

Powell, when questioned by Senator Liz Warren, about companies raising prices during the testimony today said, "There is plenty of demand."

Well, we'll see how much demand there is when the stock market starts to go down and when housing prices start to crack, that's a big worry to me.

QUEST: Okay, but Rana, stock market going down, I can understand the punchbowl is being taken away. Therefore, the economy slows, PE ratios, all

of that sort of thing. But there is no real reason, bearing in mind what the Chair said today, there is no reason to assume the market would

collapse, the economy remains strong.

FOROOHAR: Well, the economy remains strong, in part because we've seen a lot of stimulus. We've just come out of a pandemic, I think, Richard, if we

were starting to see this rate hike without the stimulus we've seen, without some of the social spending that we've seen, I'm not so sure the

market would be as strong as it is now.

I think, and, you know, I wrote me on my first book about this whole topic, that the markets and the real economy have been very, very disconnected for

some time now. I'm really concerned about what happens not to say that we shouldn't take the punchbowl away, I've been arguing we should for years.

But what happens when the Fed does stop, you know, the easy money flowing? It's going to be unprecedented. I think, this is going to be a very scary

year. I'm going to be on your show a lot, I think.

QUEST: Well, yes. Well, that's a given. I'm looking forward to that. Just don't go to a party at Rana's because, she is one of those people who says

she'll take the punchbowl away early, as she is suggesting.

FOROOHAR: I know. I'm watching you, Richard.

QUEST: Thank you. Rana, good to have you. Thank you, Rana Foroohar with us.


As Chairman Powell seeks a second term, the Vice Chair at the U.S. Fed, Richard Clarida is leaving the bank's Board of Governors early. He

announced he would be leaving this Friday, instead of at the end of the month, when his term expires.

Trades that he made early in the pandemic -- stock trade he made are now under heavy scrutiny. And Chair Powell said Richard Clarida's contributions

would have a lasting impact on central banking.

Richard Clarida has always been a welcome guest on this program and will continue to be in the future.

In July of 2020, we spoke about what the role meant.


RICHARD CLARIDA, VICE CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: The Fed is an incredible institution. It's more than a hundred years old, and it is has enormous

resources in terms of talent and perspective, and it is an honor that I've been given to serve as Vice Chair for these last two years.

But I agree, it's very important to maintain that credibility.


QUEST: Richard Clarida there. Interesting, one thought does occur to me, you look at the background of where I was sitting in my living room,

working from home, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from the lounge, and look where we are today, Dubai Expo 2020. Change.

Now, then we go on to talk about what is coming up later on. Plenty on the program. We'll be here and we will be here at Expo talking about what's

really happening.


QUEST: They call it surreal, and it really is.


QUEST: I got a chance to visit one of Expo 2020's most talked about attractions, after the break.


QUEST: The World Health Organization is warning that Europe's omicron tsunami is set to crush over the continent in the next few weeks. Its top

European official says one model shows a staggering number of people getting infected by early March.



DR. HANS KLUGE, W.H.O. REGIONAL DIRECTOR TO EUROPE: At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that more than 50

percent of the population in the region will be infected with omicron in the next six to eight weeks.


QUEST: CNN's Jim Bittermann is with us from France where officials have just reported an alarming spike in new cases. Jim, as the spike goes up, we

know that hospitalizations and deaths are rising, but by much less, but has that latter number started to cause concern simply by dint of weight of


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Richard. I mean, you've got France, where the exact count from the last 24 hours was

368,000 cases. That's far more than anything we've seen during the pandemic. And that caseload leads to a lot of cases that more serious than

others, the hospitalizations are up. The number of people in ICU beds is around 75 percent, COVID patients in France.

All of those things -- just overwhelmed by the sheer weight of these numbers that are coming in every day. I mean, Italy, for example, the 24-

hour period that ended yesterday, they came in with more than 220,000 cases, a record for Italy.

So it is that tsunami, that tidal wave that the W.H.O. is talking about looks like it's definitely on its way -- Richard.

QUEST: But Jim, what do we do about it? I mean, I've seen the incremental rules, vaccinations, boosters, you've got to have certificates or

passports, but nobody wants or is talking about, or is countenancing lockdowns.

So how do policymakers square that circle?

BITTERMANN: Well, that's a good question, and a lot of them are not managing very well. Here in France, one of the things that is overshadowing

all of that, we have a presidential election coming up in just a couple of months, and so a lockdown is politically very, very difficult, and it is

politically difficult elsewhere as well.

So the idea of a lockdown, maybe not, but everything else is heading in that direction. You look at the schools, for example, the teachers here are

going to go on strike on Thursday, because they just hate the way the government has handled the fluctuating in-classroom, out-of-classroom

situation. They say it's not a way to teach students, they are grappling under the rules.

The government has been very confusing about what kind of testing will be necessary to reopen schools. So, it is a very confused situation for just

about everybody.

And like you say, the numbers just keep going up. There doesn't seem to be anything that is working too well. I mean, we have a mask rule here. You're

supposed to be wearing masks outside. I took a look today, it was probably one person in three that was not wearing a mask. There were two out of

three that were wearing masks, but still, you know the cases keep going up -- Richard.

QUEST: Jim Bittermann who is in Paris this evening for us. Thank you, sir.

Now the surge of omicron is creating even more disruptions for the airline industry. United Airlines in the United States says it is reducing near-

term flight schedules because many of its workers are getting sick.

Across the United States, thousands of flights have been canceled this weekend because of staff shortages. And in the United Kingdom, Heathrow

Airport says more than 600,000 people cancelled travel plans last month, as new restrictions were imposed.

Emirates Airline here in Dubai is offering a free one day Expo pass to its fliers to Dubai through the end of the March when the thing comes to an end

-- Expo that is.

I spoke to the Emirates Group CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He has an exclusive interview here at Expo, and Sheikh Ahmed who is one of the

leading people in the country, he began his aviation career in 1985 as President of Dubai Department of Civil Aviation. He then moved on and

launched Emirates Airline with two aircraft and two destinations.

Emirates since then is the world's largest fleet of both 777s and Airbus A380 and indeed, as you'll know, recently received its last A380 in

December. It's been profitable for the last 30 years.


AL MAKTOUM: If we think about the two years we've been in the pandemic now, things are looking much better. It took us two years.

Because first of all, at the start with the vaccine, vaccinating most of the population, more than 92 percent of the UAE population, over 22 million

people, we are talking about the company we have also more than 90-plus percent of the total staff of the company who have been vaccinated.


We have also to think that we have to take care of ourselves, and also the people around us, our family, and we have to follow the rules.

QUEST: As the Chair, the man in charge, how do you see Emirates post pandemic being different to the airline pre-pandemic? Strategically, how

would you see it differently?

AL MAKTOUM: Look, we always take it, if we did it before the pandemic, what is the reason we cannot do it after the pandemic? We have to be fast.

QUEST: Why don't you just merge Emirates and Etihad? Now, the two CEOs, Tony Douglas and Sir Tim, both say it is above their pay grade. But that is

your pay grade.

AL MAKTOUM: Yes, but also when we talk, I mean, if you're thinking about, let's say you're talking about the UAE and you want to merge the two, how

many airlines around the world exists in one country.

QUEST: I take your point.

AL MAKTOUM: You see. Let's look, if you want to -- I'll give an example. Let's talk about the U.K., let's talk about Australia, let's talk about

China -- would you think that let's just get rid, get all the airline as one, and then what are we talking about? You're talking about competition.

Competition is healthy, it's good.

QUEST: Yes, but with respect. The examples that you give have domestic populations in the tens of millions, therefore justify the expense of two

carriers and geographical spread greater than a hundred miles.


QUEST: Wouldn't it make more sense -- and I guess why I'm asking this, sir is, it is post pandemic, whatever you might have thought pre, post

pandemic, doesn't it makes sense?

AL MAKTOUM: Yes, it's true. But we are not standing in one place. The population is growing, the business is growing, the surrounding area and

what we can do with the other. And this is why we prove, I mean, even during the pandemic, look what we have achieved.

If we are talking about Emirates, we moved vaccine, we moved cargo, perishable goods -- you name it; people, you know.

And that has been done because we have an airline, strong, resilient, that they can do the job, and we still going to prove to the world, you know,

that we can do it. We did it before and we'll do it after the pandemic.

QUEST: You have a sizable pavilion here at Expo. Why is this?

AL MAKTOUM: You know, first of all, to have this pavilion for Emirates Airline. It showcases what we've been doing in terms of the service that we

provide, first of all, to our customer, and also to look into the Dubai future of aviation, and this is -- will explain it all.

QUEST: Do you still get excited by aviation?

AL MAKTOUM: I do, all the time, you know, because there is so much that you can do. I think, looking at this VR, this is an experience for all

people to interact, and to see what product that we will have in the future.

QUEST: If you could make one change, what would it be?

AL MAKTOUM: You know, I think we have to always look at the future with an open eye. And we'll say, okay, we're going to do it and give it also enough

time to be studied.

QUEST: A lot of people have lost out in the past betting against Dubai.

AL MAKTOUM: Yes. And they will always continue to lose against Dubai.

QUEST: You think so?

AL MAKTOUM: Yes. Dubai is the place, Dubai is the brand.

QUEST: What is the brand?

AL MAKTOUM: The brand is what you see here when you come to Dubai. Look how many people have flooded to Dubai during the pandemic? You know, why?

Because we kept the country open with rules and regulation.

And also, I must say the help is coming out. So from the people who live here, who really follow the rules and when we come with any rule, it may be

good for ourselves and for them and protecting them.

QUEST: And does that brand post pandemic thrive? Does it need to change?

AL MAKTOUM: You know, Richard, always we are in a world that we have to change all the time to something, which will be better for tomorrow.



QUEST: That's Sheikh Ahmed talking to me here at Expo.

Of course Dubai is already a leader in aviation. Now, the UAE is pushing to become a global leader in the digital economy.

Earlier this evening, I sat down with the Minister for Artificial Intelligence, AI, digital economy and remote work applications.

It is Omar Al Olama and I asked him how to build AI in a responsible and accountable way.



that really everyone is paying attention to is the Highness's and Science Chief Mohammed, specifically who is the Prime Minister, is very active on

social media, and you know this. He listens to people, he posts himself.

And what happens is, if people are dissatisfied, and they post on social media and His Highness sees it, he will take action. You take corrective

action on the service or on the individual that is leading this effort if it goes haywire for its people.

The second thing is, we consciously in the beginning put a motto for ourselves, which was BRAIN. It is an acronym of BRAIN which is Building a

Responsible Artificial Intelligence Nation.

So the deployment of AI that we have, we look at noncontroversial uses. We look at deploying AI in oil and gas. We look at deploying AI in traffic,

for example, understanding how do we improve the traffic situation in the UAE without having to invest in more infrastructure, or as much more


Energy is another one. For example, healthcare, diagnosing diseases, we're getting more out of the scans that we already have, so things like that.

QUEST: It's all over the place here. I mean, it bristles with AI and technology. But you want to be more than that. You want to be a regional

hub, a regional leader, what do you need for that?

AL OLAMA: We are currently a regional leader in the development of technology, if you exclude Israel, for example. And we are a regional

leader in terms of attracting investments from around the world into our digital companies, so out of $2.73 billion that are invested in the Middle

East, in 2021, fifty one percent came to the UAE. So it just shows you how much excitement there is around this.

The challenge we have today is the size of the market. The size of the market in the UAE is great, but it is not as big as we want it to be for

this company to accommodate this --

QUEST: So what market are you looking at?

AL OLAMA: So we're not looking at just the regional market. We're looking at creating global companies from the UAE that really expand to the rest of

the world.

We've had some such examples, which I think are great. So for example, which was bought by a consortium in 2017, was a global advertising

giant. It was worth $500 million. But we want a lot more of these examples.

QUEST: Your new BFF in the region, Israel, you can -- you're planning greater cooperation? It's not a question. It's a statement. You're planning

greater cooperation with Israel as a way of getting that leverage.

AL OLAMA: Israel is an incredible partner, but you need to understand as well, the new direction the UAE is taking as a country.

From a diplomacy perspective, we are trying to become the Switzerland of the Middle East. What that entails is we work with everyone, we ensure that

we provide value for everyone as well. So if I use Israel as an example, Israel is a phenomenal example of a startup nation, a nation where its

people are creating incredible outputs.

However, how can we bring the diversity that we have with 200 nationalities, the ability to attract people from around the world to come

to the UAE, and have a value add for Israel, while at the same time learning from Israel and creating such stuff from the UAE that can expand

them and become global.

QUEST: In terms of AI and technology, do you see Israel as an important future partner to reach that goal of global companies based essentially all

in the region?

AL OLAMA: So if you're talking specifically about the region, we're actually seeing every single country around us as a country that has an

opportunity for us and we can bring something to the table for it.

If you're talking about globally by the way, globally, Israel is a very important player, but we're also in talks with Singapore, we are in talks

with Canada, with the U.S., with the U.K., China, and others, and we want to make sure that we have a non-biased approach when it comes to working

with everyone to first push the envelope when it comes to AI development, and second, bring joint benefits for both countries.


QUEST: There you have it, the Switzerland of the region.

Coming up, we still don't know if Novak Djokovic will take part in the Australian Open. There may be a new snag in this high profile drama.




QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from Dubai as we continue.

A new twist in the drama concerning the tennis star Novak Djokovic, the Australian authorities looking into whether he lied on his entry forms.

Then we'll take you on a tour of this place. Eleni Giokos will bring us from Australia, to Singapore, to Saudi Arabia and she will do so without

leaving these grounds but after I've updated you on what's going on in the world, because this is CNN and on this network, the news always comes



(voice-over): Kazakhstan's parliament has confirmed a new prime minister, the former prime minister resigned last week amid violent protests that

killed more than 160 people. Meanwhile, the president says Russian led troops are preparing to withdraw from Kazakhstan after they helped put down

the unrest.

The United States says it's temporarily grounding some flights along its West Coast on Monday after North Korea tested a suspected missile. The FAA

says the ground stop was done as a precaution. The U.S. determined the launch wasn't a threat but it called Pyongyang's actions destabilizing


Doctors at the University of Maryland have performed a medical first on Friday, they transplanted a genetically modified pig heart into a man with

a terminal heart disease. Before the surgery, the 57-year-old patient, David Bennett, said it was either die or get the transplant. Doctors are

monitoring him and say, so far, he is doing well.


And now, the twist in the drama surrounding the tennis star Novak Djokovic.


CNN learned Australian authorities are now investigating whether Djokovic submitted a false travel declaration and of his arrival in Melbourne. On

Monday, you'll recall, of course, a federal judge overturned the cancellation of Djokovic's visa. Now, as Paula Hancocks tells us,

immigration officials and the immigration minister are still deciding whether to deport him.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nine-time Australian Open champion back in his natural habitat; this time, no media or fans

invited. A Channel 9News van catches a glimpse of the world number one. Novak Djokovic focuses on tennis while the visa saga continues to swell

around him.

Australia's immigration minister is still considering whether to cancel his visa and ban him from the country for three years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because you're rich and famous, why should you be treated anybody else?

HANCOCKS (voice-over): A point for government here has hammered home: rules are rules. All have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to come into

the country or have a watertight medical exemption.

Now the tennis star may have fallen afoul of another of Australia's rules. The Australian Border Force is investigating whether Djokovic submitted a

false travel declaration before his arrival, a source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN.

In answer to a question whether the visa holder has traveled or will travel during the two-week period ahead of arrival, Djokovic ticked "no."

But pictures posted to social media appear to show the world number one in both Spain and Serbia during that time.

Tennis Australia filled out the forms for their defending champion; the wrong box checked may be an honest mistake. But with the Australian

government smarting from a legal loss overturning his visa cancellation, Djokovic's stay here is tenuous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I probably have an unpopular opinion. I don't mind it. I thought it was good for him to be here and good for the spirit of the


HANCOCKS (voice-over): With the tournament less than a week away, we still don't know whether the defending champion will be returning to Centre Court

or returning home -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Melbourne, Australia.


QUEST: There is a rally on Wall Street after yesterday's sharp falls, the Dow set to reverse its four-day slide over concerns of inflation and rate


It's interesting you see this, because the chair of the Fed actually says the central bank is ready to raise rates as much as needed to curb

inflation. The market takes that as an element of certainty. The hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin says his Citadel Securities have sold a minority

stake to two venture capital firms.

Sequoia and Paradigm are investing nearly $1.2 billion in the market maker. Reportedly they plan to take it public. There'll be a value if it did,

with these valuations of $22 billion. Paul La Monica is with us.

Paul, why would they do this deal?

What's behind it?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's very fascinating, Richard, because it is the first time that Ken Griffin's

Citadel Security's union would be taking any outside money.

And we need to, you know, quickly point out to viewers that Citadel Security is not the same entity as Ken Griffin's Citadel hedge funds. So

it's the securities unit that could potentially go public through this deal.

I think it's a recognition that, when you are looking at a potential IPO of a company, you do want to have backing from very formidable investors and

Sequoia is well known as one of the most successful early stage growth investing companies, invested in the likes of Apple, Google, Airbnb.

This is a legitimate venture capital, Silicon Valley legendary firm.

QUEST: Right. But Citadel will be familiar to those who watch this program when we're done with the exchange. They have a large presence there, maybe

more PR than actual trading. But the actual Citadel area, so we are familiar with what they do.

But for Sequoia and the others, why would they want this particular?

It's been at this a long time, it's not like it's a newbie.

LA MONICA: No, exactly. Clearly, if Citadel feels that they were willing to accept outside money, this may have been the first time that they were

actually looking to do so and a company like Sequoia may have been chomping at the bit to actually put in some cash into a company of Citadel's, you

know, market --


-- but of course, there's been controversy with Citadel. A lot of people on Reddit blame them for the whole controversy last year with RobinHood and

how you had certain meme stocks that got shut down on RobinHood. And a lot of people think that that was at the behest of market-making firms like



They stood to lose potentially some money from all that meme mania happening at the early part of last year.

QUEST: Don't remind me, it will reopen the wounds. Paul La Monica, thank you.

Expo 2020 here in Dubai, it is the place where I can visit every country without getting on a plane or a boat. The wonders here never cease.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: What truly binds this Expo together is the Al Wasl dome, it is the largest 360 degree projection dome in the

world. And it comes to life as the sun goes down.

QUEST (voice-over): And that is what you are seeing right behind me, the lights which we get them to leave on in the evening, we'll take you on a

tour after the break.




QUEST: Back with you live from Expo 2020. Now remember last night, I told you all about (INAUDIBLE) in me longjohns, in me long underwear. And I

could hear you all laughing. So I deliberately didn't wear me long underwear tonight. And it's only 62 here. It's 18 degrees and it's

downright chilly with the wind coming in. That will teach me.

This could be, at the moment, the most diverse spot on the planet, there are 192 nations with pavilions. And it's a spot not much bigger than New

York's Central Park or London's Square Mile. So we need a tour and who better than CNN's Eleni Giokos.



GIOKOS (voice-over): First stop on my day off, we go down under to discover Australia's wonders.

Hello, it's so good to be in Australia.



GIOKOS: OK, so I hear this is one of the most popular pavilions.

SANKARY: This tunnel symbolizes Australian multiculturalism. What you see here in the back is a number of indigenous artists, that came together with

Australian artists and essentially built this tunnel for us, to promote Australia as an open society and an open country, this is what makes

Australia really unique.

GIOKOS: So why is it important for Australia to be represented at Expo Dubai?


SANKARY: So Australia is leveraging both the cultural, the social but also the business and the trading investment --

GIOKOS: So what about the money, right?

SANKARY: It's all about achieving outcomes for Australia.

GIOKOS: What's the cost of setting something like this up?

SANKARY: It's quite diverse, so we have an operational cost, an operational environment and also the assets that we manage. We're looking

primarily at around $30 million to run our pavilion. However, we've had almost over $200 million worth of contracts with (INAUDIBLE) companies.

GIOKOS: The scales make sense.


(voice-over): It's amazing to see all these pavilions and it's hard to visit all 192 countries unless you visit (INAUDIBLE).

Here is Sweden, for example. You've got Lithuania, Brazil, Sardinia, all of the subthemes are opportunity, mobility as well as sustainability.

Next stop, Singapore. This island nation knows how to build tall and here it awes with a spectacular mini forest in the middle of the desert.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the Singapore Pavilion.

GIOKOS (voice-over): Is it the most popular?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I would say the 192 pavilions, this is among the most popular ones but definitely this is the greenest pavilion in the whole

expo --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- its got more than 80,000 plants in a site of 1,500 square meters.

GIOKOS: 80,000 plants?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 80,000 plants, so it's not just the greenest, we are also green in the sense of sustainability. We have 517 solar panels up on

the roof that provide us enough electrical energy for powering the whole pavilion over the next six months.


GIOKOS (voice-over): Billed as the second largest pavilion next to United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia's pavilion is 13,000 square meters. That's the

size of two football fields. So far, three months into Expo, it has had 2.5 million visits.

And as my luck would have it, it's Saudi Day at Expo.




So you're going to show me to the Saudi Arabian pavilion.

(voice-over): Saudi Arabia does nothing small and has broken three Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest interactive light flow (ph),

the longest interactive water feature and this, my favorite, the largest LED mirror screen.

The UAE pavilion is constructed in the shape of falcon wings and they're covered in solar panels and can open up within less than three minutes.

But what truly binds this Expo together is the Al Wasl dome. It is the largest 360 degree projection dome in the world. And it comes to life as

the sun goes down -- Eleni Giokos, CNN, Dubai.


QUEST: It comes alive as the sun goes down. And as long as the lights stay on, you will continue to see it right behind me there.

Now as we continue tonight, how do these, which are, I guess you call them oysters, how do they manage to help conserve and improve?

After the break, this gentlemen is going to tell us why and, hopefully, manage to open one or two of them without doing a mischief to himself or

somebody else, probably me.





QUEST: Fire, water and light: the elements that come together and somehow defy gravity in a massive water feature here at the Dubai Expo. It's become

one of the biggest stars of the show.

Now put a water feature in any place and I will go and have a paddle.



(voice-over): They call it surreal and it really is.

It's the idea of earth, fire, water all coming together.

There is a simplicity and joy to this that's not really describable, because, at the end of the day, it's water being chucked down a hill, with

music written by the same guy who wrote the theme for "Game of Thrones."


Le grand finale.


That was enormously good fun and it caused some mischief in the process.

Coral reefs here in the UAE face exactly the same threats as those around the rest of the world. A 2018 study found that 73 percent of them here have

been wiped out by coral bleaching.

The Dubai Oyster Project is working to restore the city's reefs in an ingenious way. Joining us now the founder of the Dubai Oyster Project and

restaurant group, with me now.

Tell me what you're doing and how you're doing it.

JOEY GHAZAL, FOUNDER, DUBAI OYSTER PROJECT: The Dubai Project was founded recently by a joint program between the EMEG, which is Emirates Marine

Environmental Group, and The Arbor School, actually the leading ecological school in the region, focusing on sustainability.

QUEST: So what are you doing -- ?


GHAZAL: We're taking our oysters -- we are actually largest purveyor of oysters in the region -- taking our oyster shells. We discard 50,000 oyster

shells per month and we're sending them to the kids at The Arbor School.

They're taking those oyster shells and putting them back in these illegal fishing nets called gargoors. The government is seizing and we are using

them to create biological building blocks for artificial reefs.

QUEST: Does it work?

GHAZAL: It does work. It's actually inspired by similar U.S. programs, like A Billion Oyster Project, which has actually worked very successfully

over the years to clean up the New York harbor.

QUEST: So your retinue, you have several MAINE restaurants here in Dubai. You, obviously, as you are saying, sell a lot of oysters.

GHAZAL: We do, we've actually donated about 250,000 oysters so far to The Arbor School and those have all been placed back in the Nakheel Waterfront

in the Nantut (ph) reserve.

And what happens when you put them into the waterfront?

GHAZAL: We put them in these illegal fishing nets, as I said, which act as building blocks for these artificial reefs.

QUEST: What do these do?

It filters the water; does it filter --

GHAZAL: Actually, every single oyster that's regenerated, that's recolonized, actually acts as a natural filter.


Each one will filter about 50,000 gallons a day so imagine what 250,000 oysters can do.

QUEST: Wow, (INAUDIBLE) these things.

Do they work?

In other words, there's really something in here?

GHAZAL: There's definitely something in there. They're delicious, especially with Tabasco and --


QUEST: This has got the whole marks of an accident in the home.

GHAZAL: Not really, you just got to know how to do it.

QUEST: Right. And then you take these --

GHAZAL: Well, you consume the oysters in our restaurants but what's weird about this program, is we're actually --

QUEST: So some practicalities, you open the oyster in the restaurant, you would consume the oyster in the restaurant.

GHAZAL: 100 percent. There you go. Very nice.

QUEST: And then what would you do with this?

GHAZAL: We would boil them and we would give them back to the kids at The Arbor School, the class A students as I said. They then place them in these

illegal fishing nets seized by the government. And these fishing nets are then placed back in the natural reserve in Nantut (ph), the Nakheel


QUEST: Can you break open another one, can you?

GHAZAL: Definitely, as many as you want.

QUEST: How is business in this post-pandemic world or this pandemic world, because we know Dubai is booming.

How are you finding business?

GHAZAL: Look, it was a very tough year last year for all the restaurant industry. Honestly, it made us realize how important it is. It's very easy

to take from the planet's resources, not that easy to give back. So this is a program inspired during COVID.

Let me get this for you. I'm shucking oysters on CNN with Richard Quest, this doesn't happen everyday.

QUEST: Well, a bit of a -- thank you, yes, a bit of Tabasco.

And we've got --

GHAZAL: You've got to get some horseradish in there.

QUEST: Oh, horseradish as well. Thank you very much.

We will have a "Profitable Moment" after the break -- thank you.

Oh, that horseradish, oh, oh. That really got them, cleared the old bronchioles -- after the break.




QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment": you've heard several versions tonight of what you might call Dubai's brand. Sheikh Ahmed of Emirates

basically said, don't bet against Dubai; many have tried and most have failed.

And then the minister for AI reminds us of new partnerships with new regional friends like Israel that could create global giants for Dubai. It

all comes together when you look at the sort of things we were talking about with Joey, new restaurants, restaurant chains and the work being done

on conservation.

Now, look, I'm not whitewashing here in terms of what's going on. There are problems in Dubai to be sure and certainly, the place itself has had its

problems, think no more of the time the place went bankrupt.

But there is a spirit and a brand that has to be admired. And you have to look forward and say, they say what they're going to do and somehow they

manage to do it. And that, in itself, is worthy of merit.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in Dubai. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. The

closing bell is ringing on Wall Street. I'll see you tomorrow.