Expo 2020 Dubai: Bringing the world together in the new normal

Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The first World Expo ever held in the MEASA region kicking-off on 01 October 2021 is seen as a beacon of hope for future generations and the global business community 

The futuristic city of Dubai is welcoming the world on October 1, 2021 as it hosts the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East Africa and South Asia region. Expo 2020 Dubai is one of the first major in-person global events to take place since the pandemic disrupted the world order more than a year ago and ushered what we now observe as the new normal.

Some 191 countries are participating in this major event running through 31 March 2022, in parallel with major businesses, multilateral organizations and educational institutions and other stakeholders, working on the event’s theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

Described as the most diverse World Expo ever held, Dubai and the rest of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates are thrilled to potentially welcome millions of visitors from across the world to the six-month event celebrating human ingenuity, innovation, progress and culture.

Marvelous Logistics

Each of the 191 countries participating in the event must build their own pavilion revolving around the Expo’s key subthemes – Opportunity (unlocking human potential to promote growth), Mobility (movement of people and goods while harnessing technology) and Sustainability (clean environment while protecting the planet).

Inside the Expo site is a city itself—residential areas, parks, entertainment centers and other facilities typically found in an urban smart area.

Since the UAE won the bid to host the Expo years ago, construction had silently begun at the site and so did the work for each country building their own unique pavilions.

This involved massive logistics on air, land and sea transportation to haul construction supplies and building materials. For delicate materials and equipment, including high-value artifact, cargo planes were mainly utilized for different projects and special features that will be showcased throughout the six-month event.

Consider these: 21-meter high portals overlooking the Expo entry ways, giant screens, unique architectural pieces, high-tech robots, pricey artifacts, and so on.

Hundreds of cargo specialists, logisticians, loadmasters, IT experts and other highly-skilled people involved in the air cargo and logistics industries worldwide, were needless to say, silent participants to this global event apart from numerous engineering and architectural firms that were commissioned to build pavilions, and thousands of others in different fields who will run the pavilions once it’s officially opened to the public.

UAE ready to welcome the world

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has reaffirmed the UAE’s readiness to welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai and herald a new era of international collaboration.

His Highness made these remarks as he visited the Expo 2020 Dubai site with by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, among other officials, weeks before the doors were opened to the world’s largest cultural event.

Sheikh Mohammed praised the efforts of Expo 2020’s employees, and commended all local and federal government entities for their support to deliver a successful mega-event that befits the status and reputation of the UAE.

“We look forward to receiving delegations from 191 countries as well as businesses, multilateral organizations and educational institutions, who will join in the making of a better tomorrow for humanity. Amid this critical phase in the history of mankind, Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a unique opportunity for the world to come together, exchange knowledge and develop innovative solutions for a better future,” His Highness said.

During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed also inspected two new landmarks – the Expo 2020 Water Feature and the Garden in the Sky observation tower. An award-winning composer was involved in crafting the original musical score for the Expo 2020 Water Feature, which includes water, earth and fire features.

Meanwhile, the Garden in the Sky observation tower, built at a height of 55 metres, will offer breathtaking 360-degree views of Expo 2020 Dubai, including the site’s icons and pavilions representing 191 participating countries, many of whom will have their own pavilion for the first time in the 170-year history of World Expos.

The Expo 2020 Water Feature and the Garden in the Sky observation tower are both set to appeal to millions of visitors during Expo 2020 and will continue to serve as major attractions even after the event closes its doors.

Expo 2020 Passport

Dubai residents and international visitors alike will get a special passport as a souvenir while exploring the 200-plus participating pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The passport will encourage visitors to see as many pavilions as possible during the 182-day event, while allowing them to look back and relive the memories of their experiences after they visit, said a press release issued by Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday.

Since its introduction at the 1967 World Expo in Montreal, the passport has become one of the most popular Expo souvenirs for visitors who want to keep track of all the different international pavilions they visit, collecting pavilion stamps as a memento.

The Expo 2020 version is inspired by the UAE’s heritage, linking the past with the present. Shaped like an official passport, the 50-page booklet contains designs and pictures of the three Thematic Pavilions (Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion, Alif – The Mobility Pavilion and Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion), as well as Al Wasl Plaza – the crown jewel of the Expo site – plus other Dubai landmarks, such as the city’s iconic skyline, and other elements relating to the UAE.

The yellow, customisable passport also comes with its own enhanced security features – a unique number, an area to include a passport-sized photo, personal details and hidden watermarked images on each of its pages, ensuring that no two documents are alike.

With the UAE currently celebrating its Golden Jubilee year, the passport pays homage to the nation’s Founding Father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with a special page stamped in gold foil, and a photograph dating from 1971, when the UAE celebrated the birth of the nation. On 2nd December, visitors to Expo will also receive an exclusive stamp in commemoration of the UAE’s 50th Anniversary.

Priced at AED20, the Expo 2020 Dubai passport is available for purchase from all official Expo 2020 Dubai stores located across the Expo site, the Expo 2020 Dubai store located in Dubai Airports’ Terminal 3 and expo2020dubai.com/onlinestore. Photos & Text Source: WAM