Dubai’s World Expo marks the first expo to be held in the Mideast and the largest cultural event in the entire world. After just three months, the mega event surpassed 8 million visitors from different walks of life and experiences. As visitor numbers continue to soar, it has quickly become a powerful symbol of the UAE’s mission to bring hope, unity and tolerance to all.
With only two months left, we wanted to take a moment to explore how the universal exhibition has inspired change and a better future worldwide. Here’s a closer look at some of the most influential initiatives and attractions thus far.
UN’s Global Goal Week
For the first time in history, Global Goals Week left the UN General Assembly in New York for Expo 2020 Dubai. Since 2016, this week-long initiative has inspired action, awareness, and accountability in order to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Now referred to as “The World’s Greatest Show,” Dubai’s World Expo presented the perfect opportunity to accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This program has been adopted by all United Nations Members in an effort to achieve 17 SDGs within the next decade. These ambitious goals include everything from clean energy to education reform, climate change and gender equality.
Speaking to this year’s festivities, Maher Nasser, commissioner general of the UN at Expo 2020, stated:
“Expo is currently the world premiere event taking place in the middle of the pandemic, with 10 million people already having come here, and where leaders are coming. We thought that it is probably most appropriate for the Global Goals Week to be held outside of New York for the first time. It is an opportunity in the second year of the Decade of Action to accelerate action towards the SDGs, to sit and reflect on what has been achieved, what are the challenges and how can we overcome those so that by 2030, we can look at the world with no poverty and no hunger.”
This year’s Global Goals Week officially kicked off at the Al Wasl dome, where visitors witnessed the world’s largest 360 degree projection screen come to life. The opening ceremony was followed by a week-long schedule of Global Goals themed events, which were attended by prominent world leaders including Bill Gates and Richard Curtis.
New Perspectives at The Women’s Pavilion
The first of its kind in expo history, the Women’s Pavilion celebrates the important role women have played in creating a better world. In partnership with Cartier, it underlines women’s historic contributions to society, as well as some of the most prominent female change-makers of today.
Operating under the theme “When women thrive, humanity thrives,” the program aims to break stereotypes and reaffirm the UAE’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Through its New Perspectives exhibition, visitors now have the opportunity to explore the following themes:
- Introduction: Reaffirming the pavilion’s overarching mission.
- Achievements: Showcasing women’s historic impact on the world.
- Challenges: Shining light on obstacles that hold women back from reaching their full potential.
- Solutions: Highlighting key initiatives that aim to help modern-day women thrive in today’s society.
- Engaging with visitors: Motivating visitors to become advocates for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The women’s pavilion has sparked meaningful conversations around how women can pave the way for a successful future in the region. It not only challenges the status quo for Arab women, but is sending a message of hope and endless possibilities moving forward.
The Breadth of Humanity Journey
The Breadth of Humanity Journey offered expo visitors the unique opportunity to embrace different cultures and religious traditions throughout history.This immersive journey was launched to showcase the common ideals and values that bind humans together, no matter their background or beliefs.
The curated tour walked visitors through several key organizations and institutions that emphasized tolerance, unity and diversity. This included the following pavilions:
- The Peru Pavilion
- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Pavilion
- The Muslim World League Pavilion
- The Catholic Church’s Holy See Pavilion
- World Expo Museum Pavilion
The Breadth of Humanity Journey played a key role in the expo’s Tolerance and Inclusivity Week. Through this experience, the UAE was able to demonstrate its vision to build an inclusive future for everyone. It was just one of many events launched to promote cultural exchange and strengthen bonds between the global community.
Country Pavilions & Sustainable Design
This is the first time in expo history that every participating country has its own pavilion. With over 190 countries represented, it’s nearly impossible to spotlight just one. So instead, we’ve highlighted just a few of the most sustainable and forward-thinking pavilions on site.
United Arab Emirates
As the host country, the UAE pavilion was designed by the world-renowned Santiago Calatrava and is considered an architectural masterpiece. The stunning structure is shaped as the wings of a falcon, with 28 hydraulic feathers that open to reveal built-in solar panels. Beyond its mere beauty, it consists of three stories and six different zones, making it the largest expo pavilion on site.
The Spanish Pavilion showcases the expo’s very first hyperloop train and the vast potential of sustainable transport. Under the theme “Intelligence for Life,” it also features several eco-friendly projects focused on biology and sustainability. This includes the “Forest of Intelligence,” an artificial 3D printed forest with trees that miraculously transform CO2 into oxygen.
Singapore’s pavilion is covered from head to toe in 8,000 plants from over 170 different species. Designed to resemble an oasis in the desert, the building was constructed as a net-zero energy rainforest that is self-sustaining in the desert climate. Representing the global fight against climate change, the pavilion revolves around three nine-meter tall garden cones inspired by nature and green technology.
In addition to these pavilions, more than 120 buildings at Expo 2020 Dubai have been certified by the US Green Building Councils. These impressive structures are showcasing the exciting future of architecture, design and sustainable innovation.
Celebrating the expo’s rapid success, UAE Minister for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, delivered the following message:
“We enter a new year having built solid friendships that will enable us to drive urgent action on some of the greatest challenges facing us all. Our latest figures are a testament to the determination and hard work of everyone involved in Expo as we pass our halfway mark. And with the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone continuing to be of the highest priority, the numbers also reflect the strength of our ongoing stringent Covid-19 safety measures, which continue to protect visitors, staff and Expo participants alike.”
To learn more about upcoming events and festivities, visit https://www.expo2020dubai.com/en.