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As curtains rise on the global community nestled on the grounds of Expo Milano 2015, the six-month long world exhibition will also serve as a sampler for Dubai’s turn in the spotlight five years ahead.

Etihad Airways, along with airline partner Alitalia, is offering discounts on fares to expats looking to travel to Italy for the World Expo; meanwhile, the Dubai-based Vasco Worldwide is offering travel packages to Milan starting at Dh700 for a 48-hour expo sampler.

As official carriers of Expo Milano 2015, Etihad Airways, which own a 49 per cent stake in Italy’s flagship airline, has launched the ‘Made of Italians’ programme to offer exclusive discounts to Italian expatriates who are travelling to Italy for Expo.

Under the promotion, a 15 per cent discount on return tickets to Italy is being offered from a range of destinations worldwide, including the UAE and the GCC, along with Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, China,Japan and Australia.

The promotion is available until October 31 (the final day of the World Expo), with eligible travellers required to enroll into the ‘Made of Italians’ programme and purchase a ticket for Expo Milano 2015.

Meanwhile, Vasco Worldwide is also offering discounted tickets to Expo Milano 2015, with a 48-hour sampler pack starting at Dh700 and go up to Dh10,500 for an Armani hotel.

“Coming five years before the next global expo, which will be held in Dubai, it is natural there is a huge number of people encompassing entrepreneurs, officials, etc looking forward to attending Expo Milano 2015 since it will give them firsthand overview of the global trade expo,” said Shankear Kannaiyan, Senior Vice President - Operations, with the company.

Split across three grade of travel packages, the Exclusive will provide a single Expo entry ticket, a fast track VIP pass, travel insurance, meet and greet at the airport, a local SIM card and a travel kit.

The comfort package, does away with the airport meet and greet, while the hotel accommodation packages are further sub-divided into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze, depending on the grade of hotels that are selected.

Held every five years, Expo Milano 2015 will lead us into Expo 2020 Dubai, an exhibition that is described as ‘a key meeting point for the global community to share innovations and make progress on issues of international importance such as the global economy, sustainable development and improved quality of life for the world’s population’.

Under the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, the UAE Pavilion is being touted as one of the largest at this year’s global expo, inspired by the sand dunes of its desert landscape, with the pavilion itself tucked away in its midst to resemble a secluded heritage oasis nestled between shaded palm trees.