Expo 2020.. Dubai Hosts the World

The dream has come true‭, ‬and the sun of the future has risen from Danat Al-Dunya‭, ‬Dubai‭, ‬to announce to all mankind the launch of the activities of‭ “‬Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭”, ‬the largest global event that creates a new world and reshapes the future‭, ‬under the title‭ “‬Connecting Minds‭, ‬Creating the Future‭”. ‬Because the global event‭, ‬which giant countries compete to spend billions to host every 5‭ ‬years‭, ‬is organized in Dubai‭, ‬its opening ceremony on September 30‭, ‬2021‭ ‬had to reflect the importance of the city and befit the prestigious size of the host country that stunned the world and attracted the attention of millions in an amazing‭ , ‬solemn‭ ‬and unique ceremony‭.

‬It was attended by a host of Their Highnesses Sheikhs‭, ‬Their Excellencies Ministers‭, ‬senior officials‭, ‬members of the diplomatic corps in the country‭, ‬and a large crowd of local and international media representatives‭.‬

In the forefront of the grand ceremony inaugurated in‭ “‬Al Wasl Square‭”, ‬were the beating heart of‭ “‬Expo 2020‭”, ‬His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‭, ‬Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai‭, “‬may God protect him‭”, ‬and his‭ “‬Brother‭”, ‬His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan‭, ‬Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces‭.‬

The opening ceremony included a speech by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan‭, ‬Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence‭, ‬Commissioner-General of Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬and a speech by His Excellency Dimitri Kerkentzes‭, ‬Secretary-General of the International Bureau of Exhibitions‭, ‬the organizer of World Expo events‭.‬

After that‭, ‬His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‭, ‬Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai‭, ‬welcomed the guests of the event‭, ‬officially announcing the opening of Expo 2020‭.‬

‭”‬Ceremony of the Century‭”‬

The spectacular opening ceremony‭, ‬which lasted for 90‭ ‬minutes and was called the‭ “‬Century Ceremony‭”, ‬included innovative performances that tell the stories of the UAE’s historical achievements in bringing the world together on its soil‭. ‬The ceremony was the culmination of 10‭ ‬years of planning and preparation efforts to host the first World Expo‭, ‬the most diverse ever in the 170-year history of the international event‭.‬

The great media uproar that accompanied the launch of‭ “‬Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭” ‬and its unique opening ceremony‭, ‬raised many questions about what this international event is‭, ‬its importance and the difference between it and other global events‭, ‬and this is very natural given the diversity of the exhibition’s specializations‭, ‬and because it is organized and hosted for the first time in the‭ ‬region‭. ‬The Middle East‭, ‬Africa and South Asia and hosted by Danat Al Dunya Dubai‭, ‬the Arab city famous for taking the first places‭.‬

A rich history

The idea of‭ ‬launching the first World Expo goes back to Prince Albert‭, ‬husband of Queen Victoria‭, ‬in London 170‭ ‬years ago‭, ‬when he was trying to introduce the world to the outcomes of the industrial and technological revolution and bring them closer to the public‭.‬

The first edition of the international event‭, ‬which was inaugurated by Queen‭ ‬“Victoria”‭ ‬on May 1‭, ‬1851‭, ‬was launched at the Crystal Palace in London under the slogan‭ ‬“Exhibition of Industrial Works from All Countries”‭ ‬and it was called‭ ‬“The Great Exhibition”‭. ‬At that time‭, ‬it was one of the distinguished events aimed at strengthening international relations‭, ‬celebrating cultural diversity‭, ‬appreciating technological and architectural innovations‭, ‬various inventions and investment and economic opportunities‭.‬

After the impressive success of the idea‭, ‬which was unparalleled in the world‭, ‬the Expo‭, ‬which was attended by about 6‭ ‬million visitors at that time‭, ‬turned into an event competing to be hosted by various countries‭, ‬and the most important inventors and scientists are keen to attend‭.‬

The Great Exhibition in London had a great positive impact on the future of humanity‭, ‬as it laid the foundation stone for what is known today as the International Expo‭, ‬which in all its editions presented innovations that left their mark in various fields‭ ‬of our cultural‭, ‬technological and architectural life‭.‬

The exhibition represents a major meeting point for the international community to share innovations and make progress on issues‭ ‬of concern to the world such as the global economy‭, ‬sustainable development‭, ‬and improving the standard of living of the peoples of different countries of the world‭.‬

In 1928‭, ‬the Bureau of International Exhibitions was established in Paris to be the party that votes for the winner of hosting international exhibitions‭, ‬with the membership of 167‭ ‬countries‭. ‬Since 1995‭, ‬the Expo has been organized every 5‭ ‬years and for a‭ ‬period of 6‭ ‬months‭.‬

The exhibition depends on the participating countries establishing their pavilions to promote everything produced by their governmental and private companies‭. ‬Its importance lies in the role and position of the organized city in displaying its capabilities‭ ‬in various fields that improve the quality of life and build for future generations a better future‭. ‬It is also customary for this event to leave a legacy on the land that is held on it‭.‬

A long legacy and a deep impact

Every time the World Expo was held‭, ‬he left a long-standing legacy and a deep impact on various aspects of life‭. ‬Perhaps the most prominent elements of the ancient legacy of the International Exhibition are the Crystal Palace in London 1851‭, ‬the Eiffel Tower in Paris 1889‭, ‬and the Ferris wheel entertainment In Chicago 1893‭, ‬the Atomium in Brussels 1958‭, ‬the Space Needle Tower in Seattle 1962‭, ‬the Columbus Monument‭ (‬Columbus Monument‭) ‬in Barcelona 1888‭, ‬the Temple of Human Passions in Brussels in 1897‭, ‬and the Milan Aquarium in Milan 1906‭, ‬the Astoria Hotel in Brussels 1910‭, ‬the Jewel Tower in San Francisco 1915‭, ‬the Chaillot Palace‭ ‬in Paris 1937‭, ‬the Space Needle in Seattle 1962‭, ‬and Habitat 67‭ ‬in Montreal in 1967‭.‬

Inventions that changed the face of humanity

As for the effects produced by the World Expo‭, ‬it constitutes a roadmap for the most prominent products‭, ‬technologies‭, ‬industries and services that will shape the future of human civilization‭, ‬where previous exhibitions witnessed prototypes of devices and‭ ‬technologies‭, ‬some of which developed our ways of life‭, ‬and others changed their course‭, ‬to the extent that many aspects of life‭ ‬could not continue without the use of inventions and innovations that were rolled out and produced by the exhibition to serve humanity‭. ‬Over the course of its long history‭, ‬it showcased more than 100,000‭ ‬inventions and innovations that changed the face of‭ ‬humanity‭.‬
The history of the exhibition is replete with stories and events that tell impressive achievements without which the world would‭ ‬not have reached the level of development‭, ‬progress and prosperity that it has reached today‭. ‬In the various editions of this international event‭, ‬various discoveries and inventions appeared to the world‭, ‬such as fixed and mobile phones‭, ‬television and huge high-definition displays‭, ‬also known as high-definition television‭, ‬touch screens‭, ‬and an audio cinema projector‭.‬

The event also witnessed the emergence of electricity‭, ‬X-rays‭, ‬wireless technologies‭, ‬the typewriter‭, ‬the calculator‭, ‬the first‭ ‬computer‭, ‬the first washing machine‭, ‬and the first elevator‭. ‬It also revealed many of the means of transportation we use today‭, ‬the first oil-operated vehicles‭, ‬the electric vehicle‭, ‬the tram‭, ‬and the grass mower‭, ‬and the talking doll‭.‬

Many food innovations were launched at the International Expos that satiated the tastes of visitors‭, ‬including popcorn‭, ‬the famous‭ ‬“Heinz”‭ ‬or‭ ‬“ketchup”‭ ‬tomato sauce‭, ‬and ice cream cones‭, ‬the chocolatier‭, ‬Côte d’Or‭, ‬also produced chocolate samples during one of the editions of this international fair‭.‬

Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai

Today‭, ‬the world is eagerly looking forward to know what Dubai has prepared to host the major international event‭, ‬especially since this emirate is famous for its dazzling surprises and is led by a ruler who loves excellence and primacy and does not recognize the impossible‭. ‬Therefore‭, ‬choosing Dubai on November 27‭, ‬2013‭ ‬to organize this exhibition was not at random‭, ‬but based on factors and strong foundations prompted the International Bureau of Exhibitions in the French capital‭, ‬Paris‭, ‬to decide‭, ‬with the‭ ‬support of 116‭ ‬members‭, ‬to choose Dubai to outperform cities from Brazil‭, ‬Russia and Turkey‭.‬

These factors and foundations came as a result of strategic plans‭, ‬insightful visions‭, ‬and tireless work carried out by the wise‭ ‬leadership of the UAE since its establishment‭, ‬to keep its banner high at all times and at various levels and fields‭.‬

Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai is currently organized in its unique version under the main slogan‭ ‬“Connecting Minds‭, ‬Creating the Future”‭, ‬and three sub-themes emerge from it‭ (‬sustainability‭, ‬opportunities‭, ‬and mobility‭), ‬thus becoming a center for influential ideas‭, ‬and inspiring humanity towards finding the best solutions to the most complex problems and the most difficult challenges‭.

The exhibition includes a series of various programs that address many issues over a period of 182‭ ‬days‭, ‬the most prominent of which is the‭ ‬“Man and Planet Earth”‭ ‬program‭, ‬whose activities will cover the six months of the international event‭, ‬and include 10‭ ‬specialized weeks dealing with various topics‭, ‬18‭ ‬international days and many other events‭, ‬each one of these events and occasions deals with major issues of global importance through 220‭ ‬events that combine forums‭, ‬conferences‭, ‬seminars‭, ‬workshops and purposeful and inspiring talks‭, ‬where the program represents the latest contribution of the UAE in the pursuit of a better‭, ‬safer and healthier future for humanity‭.‬

The exhibition will also organize other programs‭, ‬which are‭: ‬“Expo Live”‭ – ‬the Partnership and Innovation Program at Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬the Expo 2020‭ ‬Program for International Best Practices‭, ‬the Expo 2020‭ ‬Program for Educational Institutions‭, ‬and Expo 2020‭ ‬for Schools‭.‬

This global event is a unique occasion for explorers and adventure enthusiasts‭, ‬foodies‭, ‬cultured people‭, ‬children and the elderly‭.‬

Participants and pavilions

By hosting the Expo 2020‭, ‬the Emirate of Dubai has proven its excellence and ability to organize this event in a way unprecedented in the history of international exhibitions for 170‭ ‬years‭, ‬and the best evidence of this is that‭ ‬“Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai”‭ ‬has become the most comprehensive and largest event in terms of international participation‭. ‬More than 192‭ ‬countries will participate in it‭, ‬and for the first time in the history of the event‭, ‬each country will have its independent pavilion‭, ‬so that visitors can discover the uniqueness of each country‭.‬

The participating countries will be able to display their national achievements‭, ‬ambitions and diverse cultures in their pavilions through contents and experiences related to the sub-themes of Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬sustainability‭, ‬mobility and opportunities‭, ‬as‭ ‬these topics are essential pillars for shaping the future of the world and major platforms for highlighting human innovations‭, ‬and inspiring visitors of the exhibition‭.‬

The national pavilions will also be able to participate in the various activities of Expo 2020‭’‬s programmes‭, ‬by participating in‭ ‬performances in public spaces‭.‬

Many international organizations‭, ‬civil society organizations and giant companies participate in the pavilions of‭ “‬Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭”, ‬as well as special pavilions that provide various services that meet the requirements of visitors and combine education and‭ ‬entertainment‭.‬

The participants in the exhibition view this international event in light of the pandemic conditions that the world is experiencing today a precious and invaluable opportunity to showcase the best that each country has to offer‭, ‬communicate with millions of visitors from around the world‭, ‬and promote the cultural‭, ‬tourism‭, ‬social and economic benefits of each country‭, ‬as well as reviewing and exploiting investment opportunities‭, ‬forming cooperation relations‭, ‬and building strategic partnerships with various‭ ‬authorities‭.‬

What will Dubai and the UAE benefit from Expo 2020‭?‬

It is estimated that Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬which will last for 6‭ ‬months‭, ‬will attract about 25‭ ‬million visitors from around the world‭, ‬so it will be the focus of attention of businessmen‭, ‬investors and traders‭, ‬thanks to Dubai’s position‭, ‬which is one of the most important regional and global centers in the fields of business and finance‭. ‬

This international event also represents a strong catalyst for many economic sectors‭, ‬as it will certainly achieve huge financial returns‭. ‬The exhibition will also create job opportunities and economic recovery for many sectors such as tourism‭, ‬hotels‭, ‬real estate‭, ‬airlines‭, ‬transportation‭, ‬technology‭, ‬and many other basic sectors‭, ‬not in Dubai alone‭, ‬but in all parts of the Emirates‭.‬

On the other hand‭, ‬benefits from Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai exceed the direct economic returns‭, ‬as it is one of the most sustainable exhibitions in the history of the World Expo‭, ‬and a practical example of innovation in its various aspects‭, ‬and its significant positive impact will extend to the cultural and social sectors‭, ‬leaving a valuable impact and a great legacy for the city of Dubai in‭ ‬particular‭, ‬and the UAE in general‭.‬

After the event ends on March 31‭, ‬2021‭, ‬the exhibition area will turn into‭ ‬“District 2020”‭, ‬a developed economic‭, ‬tourist and residential attraction‭, ‬working with the best technological solutions in the world‭, ‬and equipped with the best educational facilities and the most beautiful gardens‭.‬

In addition‭, ‬Al Wasl Square‭, ‬which is the beating heart of Expo and the largest unsupported dome in the world‭, ‬will remain‭, ‬after the curtain falls on the exhibition‭, ‬an exceptional center in the‭ ‬“District 2020”‭ ‬area‭.‬

Safety and Security

The United Arab Emirates‭, ‬with its various cities and emirates‭, ‬has long occupied the first ranks among the safest countries in‭ ‬the world‭, ‬according to the most important international indicators and reports that are based on strict and significant criteria in classifying countries and cities‭.‬

In this context‭, ‬the UAE government will focus and give priority to the security and safety of the major global event‭, ‬its visitors and participants‭. ‬The wise leadership has prepared strict plans and measures to secure the international event and achieve national goals of global leadership in various fields‭, ‬including organizing the largest activities‭.‬

Giant security teams and committees from various departments‭, ‬authorities and institutions are participating in securing the activities of Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬at the local and federal levels‭, ‬to perform various tasks aimed at providing an exceptional experience for visitors to the event and the countries participating in it‭, ‬while harnessing the events of smart technologies and artificial intelligence systems to ensure the highest levels of safety for the event‭.‬

Safety and health measures

Safety measures and the prevention of disease and epidemic outbreaks have become a top priority when organizing any event or activity‭. ‬Because‭ ‬“Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai”‭ ‬is not like any other event‭, ‬the UAE and the event’s organizers have given the issue of public health the utmost importance‭, ‬and strict procedures and rules have been put in place‭ ‬to preserve the health and safety of all visitors‭. ‬The event organizers required all Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai employees‭, ‬participating‭ ‬international staff‭, ‬contractors and service providers to receive the vaccination‭.‬

Visitors over the age of 18‭ ‬will have to provide proof of any vaccination approved by the governments of their countries or a negative result of the nasal swab test‭ (‬PCR‭), ‬provided that the examination was conducted 72‭ ‬hours before the visit date at the most‭.‬

It will also be possible for non-vaccinated Expo 2020‭ ‬ticket holders who have not undergone a corona test during the specified period to use the examination center located near the site of Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬or in a number of examination centers spread throughout the city of Dubai‭, ‬and when submitting an Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai valid ticket‭, ‬single day ticket or multiple entry‭, ‬examination will be free‭. ‬Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai is implementing on-site safety procedures‭, ‬which include regularly cleaning and sterilizing all public places and areas‭, ‬and providing the best types of sterilization units on a large scale‭, ‬as event organizers contracted with‭ ‬Dettol to provide the best hygiene products throughout Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai‭, ‬as well as obligating everyone wear masks and maintain physical distancing‭.‬

Thermal cameras are also available at the event site to check the temperature of visitors before they enter the site‭, ‬in addition to providing adequate facilities and specialized staff to address any potential medical issues‭.‬

Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai site

Expo 2020‭ ‬is located in Dubai South‭, ‬adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport‭, ‬and its strategic location is easily accessible from Dubai International Airport‭, ‬Abu Dhabi International Airport‭, ‬Dubai cruise ship berth‭, ‬and Abu Dhabi cruise ship terminal‭.‬

The Expo 2020‭ ‬site is easily accessible by public transportation‭, ‬including the extension of the Dubai Metro line‭ “‬Route 2020‭” ‬and the Expo Buses‭, ‬which are free public buses designated for the international event‭.‬

The Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai site occupies a total area of‭ ‬4.38‭ ‬square kilometres‭. ‬The classified display area occupies approximately two square kilometers of the site‭, ‬while the remaining 2.4‭ ‬kilometers will include various facilities and support buildings‭.‬

Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai is also one of the most technically interconnected sites in the world‭, ‬as it is the city of the future supported‭ ‬by the latest innovations that will connect the various aspects of the international event to ensure that visitors enjoy a distinctive experience‭.‬

Theme areas include exhibition spaces‭, ‬innovation galleries‭, ‬art installations‭, ‬and outdoor parks and gardens‭. ‬Each one is centered around a specific theme pavilion‭ (‬World of Opportunity‭ – ‬Opportunity Pavilion‭, ‬Alef‭ – ‬Mobility Pavilion‭, ‬Terra‭ – ‬Sustainability Pavilion‭).‬

As for Al Wasl Square‭, ‬it is the beating heart of Expo 2020‭ ‬the centerpiece of the international event and the focal point of celebrations during its course‭. ‬Its steel dome is the largest 360-degree projection screen in the world‭.‬

Made of carbon fibre‭, ‬the Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai entry gates are interlocking mashrabiya-inspired structures‭, ‬each 21‭ ‬meters high‭, ‬giving visitors a first glimpse of the incredible architecture and innovations they will experience throughout the event‭.‬

Opening times and tickets

Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai will open its doors from October 1‭, ‬2021‭ ‬to March 31‭, ‬2022‭, ‬seven days a week from 10:00‭ ‬am to 12:00‭ ‬pm‭, ‬from Saturday to Wednesday‭, ‬and from 10:00‭ ‬am to 2:00‭ ‬am on Thursday and Friday‭, ‬Note that working hours may change according to special occasions and circumstances‭.‬

Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai grants the elderly‭ (‬over 60‭ ‬years old‭), ‬children and youth‭ (‬6-17‭ ‬years old‭), ‬people of determination and students who hold a valid student card from any academic institution in the world‭, ‬free entry to the event grounds‭, ‬while adults(18‭ ‬to‭ ‬59‭ ‬years old‭) ‬will have to purchase a ticket to enter‭.‬

To meet all needs‭, ‬Expo 2020‭ ‬Dubai sets multiple options for purchasing tickets‭, ‬as it provides those wishing to enter the global event with seasonal tickets‭, ‬multiple entry tickets‭, ‬a one-day ticket‭, ‬and a premium ticket‭, ‬in addition to providing several‭ ‬family packages‭.‬

Tickets can be purchased via www.expo2020dubai.com and over 2,500‭ ‬authorized ticket outlets‭, ‬including online travel agents‭, ‬tour operators‭, ‬hotel groups and airlines from more than 100‭ ‬markets worldwide‭.‬

By‭: ‬Ikram‭ ‬Ban dalla‭ ‬‭(‬Military affairs researcher‭)‬

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