Expo 2020 Dubai has demonstrated that it is ready to fully open its doors to the world later this year, after safely and successfully welcoming more than 100,000 visitors to experience Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion.
Running from 22 January until 10 April, the limited-time showcase was an opportunity for the UAE community to preview one of Expo 2020’s signature visitor experiences, providing a glimpse of what is to come when the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region welcomes visitors from around the world from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai said: “As we continue to navigate this period of unprecedented change, we are delighted to have offered the UAE community the chance to preview the Sustainability Pavilion, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to bringing the world together and finding answers to our most pressing challenges.
“Supported by our world-class partners, we have showcased our readiness to safely welcome the world and host a global event that not only excites and inspires, but also serves as a unique opportunity for humanity to come together in a spirit of optimism, hope and shared purpose.”
Terra’s emotive visitor experience uncovers the hidden harmful impacts of our personal choices and seeks to empower all who visit to become agents of change, consider how their behaviour impacts the environment and break the cycle of consumerism.
During the preview, a number of health and safety best practices – from social distancing and capacity controls to on-site rapid testing for staff and vendors – were incorporated across the site, aligned closely with the world’s leading medical authorities and scientific advice, to ensure the well-being of all involved.
According to Expo 2020’s Pavilions Premiere Satisfaction Survey, guests ranked on-site health and safety precautions above eight on a scale of one to nine, highlighting Expo’s readiness to safely host the world when it opens its doors on 1 October. Visitors were similarly impressed with the service and cleanliness of Expo Rider, a dedicated, free of charge, public bus service that ferried visitors between Dubai Mall and Expo 2020 every 30 minutes.
Following their visit to Terra, more than 90 per cent of those surveyed also said they were inspired to change their behaviour, from saving water to making a conscious effort to use less plastic.
Throughout the three-month showcase, supported by Expo’s Official Partners and International Participants, Expo perfected a range of event-time systems and approaches to enhance and safeguard the visitor experience.
Gerardo Canta, Senior Managing Director at Accenture in the Middle East, said: “As the Digital Services Partner and Systems Integrator of Expo 2020, Accenture played an important role in delivering a safe, secure and successful preview of Terra. Alongside Etisalat Digital, Accenture applied best-in-class systems and combined multiple Expo 2020 technologies to create an intelligent, integrated and seamless visitor experience, such as managing the digital services for the onboarding and accreditation of volunteers, contractors, and staff members and providing Expo’s on-ground teams with 360-degree visibility through smart operation platforms.”
Shukri Eid, Managing Director, Cisco Gulf region, said: “During this special preview, we witnessed a great deal of public interest in what Expo 2020 has to offer, and our collective responsibility to look after the planet. Having the right technological infrastructure ready in time for the opening proved crucial, enabling interactive and educational visitor experiences to take place.”
Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communication, Etisalat, said: “As the Official Telecommunications and Digital Services Premier Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Etisalat is proud to have supported Pavilions Premiere and the debut of Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion. We delivered state-of-art telecommunications and digital services with highly redundant Wi-Fi and 5G connectivity, providing a superior visitor experience thanks to the fastest network on earth. We are looking forward to when the doors open to one of the most inclusive and digitally advanced World Expos ever held, gathering visitors from around the globe to witness history in the making with this unique celebration.”
Khalid Elgibali, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, Mastercard, said: “As the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020, we continue to collaborate with Expo to set the stage for connecting and inspiring millions of people – reimagining the future through collaboration, human-centric solutions, and inclusivity.
The successful conclusion of this special preview is a testament to the extraordinary efforts of the Expo 2020 team in harnessing the power and endless possibilities of collaboration and technology. We commend everyone involved for the seamless way they ensured public safety, while offering a host of initiatives to captivate and inspire.”
Food and beverages
Sergio Maccotta, SAP SVP Middle East South, said: “We are proud to partner with Expo 2020 to present Terra, with retailers and food-and-beverage vendors integrating their points of sale with SAP’s Customer Checkout and S/4HANA solutions. I had the opportunity to see how organisers and vendors could seamlessly integrate their sales and financial data for real-time decision-making – ensuring fast and secure payments for visitors and better insights for vendors on their customers and products.”
Helmut von Struve, CEO of Siemens in the UAE and the Middle East, said: “Expo 2020 is a prime example for what can be achieved through partnerships. By leveraging technology with purpose, together we were able to deliver an urban environment that’s smarter, more sustainable and more resilient. We see Expo 2020 as a blueprint for future smart cities and are proud that it will live on as one of Dubai’s major urban clusters for decades to come.”
Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Turkey, said: “As the first single official printing and imaging provider for any Expo, we are extremely proud to be part of Expo 2020 and contributing not only to reimagining the visitor experience, but also enhancing security measures. With cyber-security being of paramount importance at Expo 2020, our robust hardware and cyber-secure networks and procedures ensured that all participants felt safe, secure and confident that their information was protected throughout the entire printing and imaging process. We commend all Partners, organisers and the entire Expo 2020 team on a tremendously successful special preview.”
Ali Bahlooq, General Manager, Esharah Etisalat Security Solutions, said: “As a leading systems integrator, we are honoured to be the Official Secure Systems Provider of Expo 2020, which will undoubtedly prove an extraordinary occasion for the world. We are proud that the state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and end-user devices – supporting volunteers, security staff and first responders across Expo – ensured a safe and secure experience for everyone involved.”
Expo 2020 Dubai will run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, inviting visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as they discover life-changing innovations that will have a meaningful, positive impact on both people and planet.