The World Expo in Dubai is quickly approaching and will soon make history as the first world fair ever held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA region). Anticipated to be the “World’s Greatest Show,” it will bring over 190 countries together, along with various creators, businesses and academic institutions, for 182 days of unique multicultural experiences in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Just this past month, more than 370 delegates including Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, and Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Director General of Dubai World Trade Center Authority, attended the final International Participants Meeting (IPM).
Following the meeting, Al Marri said, “Since inception, Dubai has exemplified what it means to succeed against all odds, rising with dignity and determination to become an economic engine and a vibrant hub for travellers from all over the world. Setting new benchmarks is ingrained in our ethos, and to this end, we see Expo 2020 Dubai as a global pivot given where we all are today.”
World Expo 2020 will not only represent a major breakthrough in the Middle East, but mark the largest event ever held in the Arab World and the first major global event post COVID-19. As of late April, it was also recognized as the most sustainable World Expo yet for scoring the highest possible rating from CEEQUAL, the world’s first sustainability assessment for civil engineering.
While the fair was originally planned to kick off in 2020, the Bureau International Des Expositions decided to postpone the expo for a year due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the significant delay, it maintains the name “Expo 2020 Dubai” and expo organisers expect to see over 25 million visitors travel to Dubai, with 70% coming from abroad.
Dubai’s World Expo will now be held from October 2021 to March 2022 and provide a global platform for international trade, innovation and cultural exchange. Under the official theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” it will embody the UAE’s ongoing efforts to develop effective solutions to the world’s greatest challenges including the lasting impact of COVID-19.
The six-month long program is set to showcase three main thematic districts:
- The Mobility District
- The Sustainability District
- The Opportunity District
The United States and Israel will be among the 192 country pavilions on site. Each pavilion will fall under one of the three main sub-themes and provide an authentic glimpse into each nation’s best and brightest accomplishments, ideas, and innovations thus far.
The World Expo will also coincide with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, a national celebration dedicated to the country’s 50th founding anniversary. This will give visitors from around the world a once in a lifetime opportunity to join the young nation in celebrating this historic milestone and developing a future vision for the next 50 years.
In addition to the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, some of the most notable attractions include the Al Wasl Plaza, the Museum of the Future, Aladdin City, Dubai Theme parks and the first Emirati opera performance in UAE history.
Once the global fair is over, the remaining infrastructure will be transformed into “District 2020,” a futuristic smart city that guarantees seamless living through cutting-edge technology and innovation. Through this initiative, the UAE hopes to set the global standard for future smart cities and help Dubai reach its ultimate goal of becoming the smartest city in the world.