Expo 2020 Dubai: a microcosm of the UAE’s global spirit

Manal AlBayat, SVP – Content and Programming, Expo 2020 Dubai

In less than two years, millions of people from every corner of the globe will gatherat Expo 2020 Dubai for a once-in-a-lifetime experiencethat blends cultural experiences, cutting-edge technologies, gastronomic journeys,thought-provoking exhibits, entertainment, stunning architecture and so much more.

We are delighted to welcome the world to our doorstep for this six-month celebration of collaboration, creativity and innovation. It will be the largest event ever staged in the Arab world and we intend for Expo 2020 to create meaningful and sustainable impacts for the UAE, the region and beyond.   

The UAE is renowned as a place where people of all backgrounds and nationalities come to live in unity, harmony and prosperity. It is a nation that thrives on imagination and human ingenuity to achieve the impossible time and again. 

Expo 2020 Dubai is effectively a microcosm of the UAE’s global spirit, very much rooted in Emirati tradition. The Expo 2020 team, comprising more than 660 individuals of 60-plusnationalities,is likewise a fitting testament to this ethos of collaboration across cultures. 

More than 30,000 volunteers, both locals and expats, also will demonstrate this as they act as the face of Expo 2020, offering millions of visitors the warm welcome for which we are renown.

What a privilege it is for our nation to add the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to its impressive list of historic achievements. We are looking forward to showcasing the UAE’s warm hospitality and celebrating with the world from 20 October, 2020. 

What is a World Expo?

World Expos encourage individualsof diverse backgrounds to foster mutual understanding through learning, innovation and enjoyment – ultimately leaving a lasting positive impact on humanity. They provide a platform where people, culture, trade and state-of-the-art science and technology from around the world are brought together.

Since the first World Expowas held in London in 1851, each Expo has captured the spirit of its era to leave a lasting impact on the path of human progress.

Innovations launched at World Expos include: the telephone (Philadelphia, 1876), the Ferris wheel (Chicago, 1893), the diesel engine (Paris, 1900), the X-Ray machine (Buffalo, 1901), the ice cream cone (St Louis, 1904), the commercial broadcast television (New York, 1939), IMAX (Osaka, 1970), touchscreens (Knoxville, 1982) and the humanoid robot (Nagoya, 2005). 

What can we expect from Expo 2020?

Expo 2020 Dubai is guided by the belief that innovation and progress are the result of people and ideas combining in new ways. Its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’provides a platform to encourage creativity, innovation and collaboration.

Expo’s subthemes of OpportunityMobility and Sustainability will be illustrated through three respective Thematic Pavilions, while each country pavilion will showcase its nation’s unique culture, innovations and aspirations.  

Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and will feature more than 200 participants including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational institutions.

It will run from 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021 and is expected to attract 25 million visits, with 70 per cent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the history of World Expos. 

Where are we up to?

With less than 700 days to go until Expo 2020 Dubai, the site is rapidly taking shape. The outlines of the first Thematic Pavilions can be seen, while participating countries are beginning to reveal the remarkable designs and themes of their pavilions. 

To date, 190 countries have confirmed their participation in Expo 2020 and we have signed up 11 premier partners, plus two official partners (including Emaar Hospitality Group) and two official providers. These commercial partners are playing an active role in helping us create an exceptional Expo. 

Companies are also benefitting, with more than 25,000 suppliers from 149 countries registered to do business with Expo 2020. Meanwhile theOnline Marketplace, an interactive global platform, has launched to streamline tender processes, reduce business costs and facilitate better communication.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Visitor Centre is designed to provide school groups with exclusive activities to engage with the Expo themes and provide a glimpse of what to expect in 2020. 

Exciting developments are taking place every day. To stay up-to-date, visit www.expo2020dubai.com

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