» By: Bashar Akram
The world is awaiting the Expo 2020 exhibition, which is less than 300 days away, and will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates, so that the exceptional event will gain a wide international momentum, with 192 countries participating in independent pavilions participating for the first time in the history of the International Expo. The finest Expo can ever be reached, as the UAE is working to create a platform to promote creativity, innovation and partnerships at the world level through the first international Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and the UAE will have advantage over other countries of the world that organized the exhibition sicnce169 years ago, as it is a meeting place for the Civilizations of the East and West including more than 200 different nationalities who contribute effectively to the achievement of construction and development in the various emirates of the UAE, as well as it turned into an important center of innovation, creativity and knowledge regionally and internationally.
Expo 2020 will be held under the slogan “Connecting Minds and Making the Future” for six months from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021. It is expected that it will attract 25 million visitors, 70% of them from outside the UAE, and this is the largest percentage of international visitors in the history of Expo International exhibitions. About 200 countries from all over the world will participate in the “Dubai Expo 2020”, and so far 192 parties have confirmed their participation.
Al Wasl Square – the beating heart of the Dubai Expo site – will host many live celebrations that will exceed 60 concerts daily, and will link the three main areas of the exhibition and will be the main meeting point for visitors, and the square will include more than 200 outlets to sell food and drinks during the global event.
The global event will celebrate the world’s cultures and their contribution to the path of human development and making the future of the world and provide solutions to its current and future major challenges throughout 173 days in the city of Dubai, as it represents a civilized platform that brings the world under one roof during which its culture, heritage and history are presented in a global spatial space that includes buildings with unique designs on an area of 4.38 square kilometers.
Since the UAE won the competition for hosting the Expo in November 2013 until today, excellent results have been achieved on the site, as more than 160 million working hours have been completed so far at the Expo 2020 site, where all the infrastructure works of the site have been completed at 100% as well as the completion of areas The three concepts at the exhibition site: The concept of the opportunity area, the sustainability area, and the transportation area, as all iron works in the Al-Wasl dome were all completed.
And the site of Expo 2020 Dubai embraces 34 thousand construction workers working on more than 100 projects, while the exhibition records new construction achievements with the arrival of construction works for the main facilities and buildings in advanced stages in the various components of the vast event site on an area of 438 thousand square meters, which is 10% larger than the Milan Expo 2015 space.
Expo values are summed up in the elements of trust, solidarity and prosperity through the commitment of states to create important and fundamental opportunities for all of humanity in order to find brotherhood ties between peoples, provided that the exhibition also takes upon itself joint projects in the spirit of education and communication, believing that it will help build confidence and contribute to strengthening communication between Peoples of the world.
A rich history
Expo International exhibition has a long history, which is considered one of the oldest and largest exhibitions, held every five years and lasts for six months. Countries, international organizations, civil society organizations and companies participate in the exhibition and attend by more than one billion people from around the world since its establishment 169 years ago.
The history of the global exhibition dates back to 1851, when Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, the descendant of Sachs-Coburg and Gotha, initiated the first international exhibition called “The Great Exhibition of World Countries Products” at Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in central London.
Since then, dozens of Expo exhibitions have been organized, 3 of which are in the USA (the last being Vancouver 1986), 27 in Europe (the last being Milan 2015), 8 in Asia (the last being Astana, Kazakhstan 2017), and 2 in Australia (the last being Brisbane 1988).
Over the centuries, the nature of “Expo” has changed, as it was initially intended to display industries and performance and served as a platform to present the achievements of the Industrial Revolution. Countries at international exhibitions have already demonstrated modern technical innovations such as the sewing machine (London 1862), the phone (Philadelphia 1876), or the first escalator (Paris 1900).
Moreover, buildings of impressive architecture played an important role, for example the Crystal Palace in London which hosted the first ever global exhibition or the Eiffel Tower in Paris which was specially built to be the entrance to Expo 1889, but after World War II the main objective from the exhibition was bringing nations together again.
Today, Expo sheds light on one of the global issues to focus on the challenges resulting from it, and to present solutions offered by both the scientific, economic and cultural sectors.
And the Expo exhibitions tried to get involved in the history of the world and draw its creative map, so we notice that the first Expo in the United States of America in 1876 was keen to present its industries and it was famous that the public saw the first phone and the first commercial typewriter and the launch of other industries for the first time in history and Heinz tomato sauce, as St. Louis of the United States hosted 1904 Expo, which was distinguished by its focus on introducing innovations that are related to the daily life of people i.e. small local industries.
Just as Expo exhibitions astonished the world with these scientific innovations and inventions that changed the life of mankind, and became famous for the launch of the second Olympics Games. This was followed by the 1915 Expo in San Francisco that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, and allowed the city to recover from the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 1906.
Among the important elements that were shown in this huge exhibition in Belgium in the 1958 Expo was the focus on the huge “Atomium” made of solid crystal, a landmark in the city of Brussels, while the 1970 Expo focused in the Japanese city of Osaka on the display of the first mobile phone models, and the United States displayed a large moon rock in its pavilion, astronauts of Apollo 12 spacecraft brought it to the Earth in 1969.
The 1967 Expo was held in Montreal, Canada, and was one of the most successful editions in the twentieth century, with 50 million visitors, including Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, Jacqueline Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle.
In the Canadian city of Vancouver, 1986, the Expo focused on transportation, highlighting the electric train system, suspended train, gondola boats and water taxis. Two thousand kilometers of communication wires were used during the construction of the Expo Brisbane site in Australia in 1988, which attracted nearly 16 million visitors.
In 2010, the Expo was held in Shanghai, China, and more than 73 million visitors visited the exhibition, and one day visitors reached more than one million.
Each season of the Expo has its own logo, and this makes it an exceptional experience in itself, along with its symbolic standing between the two most popular international events: the Olympic Games and the World Cup, until its importance exceeded these two events, because visitors of the Expo exhibitions consist of all segments of society and Its audience is not limited to athletes and their elites as in the first two events, meaning its audience is wider than any other audience at all.
Expo 2020: will be held in Dubai, under the slogan (Connecting Minds. Creating the Future)
Expo 2015: held in Milan, under the slogan “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”
Expo 2010: I live in Shanghai, under the slogan (Better City, Better Life)
Expo 2005: held in Japan, under the slogan (the wisdom of nature)
Expo 2000: held in Hanover, under the slogan (Humanity, Nature and Technology).