It was supposed to take place in October 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic decided otherwise. In the end, the health crisis did not have the last word and it is after a year's delay that the 2020 World Expo opened its doors to the general public in Dubai. The first World Expo in the Middle East, Dubai hopes to welcome 25 million visitors in six months. A look back at the first moments of the event.
An event that the world has been waiting for for over a year
Expo 2020 is one of the great ambitions of Dubai, which is trying to string together festivities and records in order to attract eyes and tourists, such as its Burj Khalifa tower, which is 828 metres high and considered to be the highest in the world.
— Expo 2020 Dubai (@expo2020dubai) September 30, 2021
This time, postponed for a year due to the health crisis, it is the turn of the Universal Expo to make the Kingdom shine throughout the world and in the eyes of impatient visitors. It was then on Friday 1 October, in the middle of the desert on the outskirts of Dubai, that Expo 2020 promised to unveil the architectural, local and artisanal wonders and technological innovations of each pavilion and each country represented during these six months.
And this adventure, one year ahead of the World Cup in neighbouring Qatar, promises to be the biggest ever seen in the Middle East!
Building tomorrow’s world for a sustainable future
The aim of this new edition is to promote human progress in a sustainable way. These six months will be an opportunity for visitors to discover the solutions for building tomorrow’s world and a sustainable future.
The Universal Expo promises to be a springboard for global innovation, capable of inspiring and accelerating the creation of original and evolving solutions to make the economy greener and more sustainable and to respond to the world’s greatest challenges and opportunities.
Finally, the objective is to challenge and address key current issues such as ecological transition, responsible production or ethical fashion.
Visitors eager to discover the Expo programme
Expo 2020 Dubai will bring 192 nations together for the first time in the 170-year history of World Expos. Each of them will be represented by its own exhibition under the policy of “one nation, one pavilion.”
Among the expected attractions: the Harlem Globetrotters and a Chinese panda robot. Fans of futuristic travel will be able to visit a Hyperloop cabin, while history buffs will have the opportunity to discover and visit an ancient sarcophagus in the Egyptian pavilion. While China boasted one of the largest pavilions and designed it in the shape of a light bulb, Morocco decided to build its pavilion in the ground for environmental reasons. The Dutch will have a pyramid covered with edible plants and irrigated by solar rainwater.
A grand opening ceremony
The opening ceremony was attended by members of the royal family such as the Emirate’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, who officially opened the seven billion dollar event in style…
“The whole world is gathering in the United Arab Emirates as we inaugurate Dubai Expo-2020 together, with the blessing of Allah” he said before the start of the festivities.
As Expo 2020 Dubai officially starts today, the doors to the greatest gathering will be opened by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020. pic.twitter.com/eCxpZUZagV
— Expo 2020 Dubai (@expo2020dubai) October 1, 2021
More than 900 actors, representing 64 nations including the United Arab Emirates, took part in the ceremony. Performers from around the world, dressed in sophisticated costumes, and spectacular, high-tech attractions also contributed to the spectacle.
Projections and lighting effects then illuminated the Al-Wasl Plaza, a futuristic domed enclosure, a symbol of Islamic architecture. Concerts followed, including those of the famous Emirati diva Ahlam and the British singer Ellie Goulding. Chinese pianist Lang Lang was also among the featured performers, as was Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who closed the show in front of the Emirati leaders.
Curious to find out what’s in store for you during these six months? Go directly to the website!