Expo Makes History
Expo 2020, the first ever World Expo hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, is showcasing the best examples of collaboration, cooperation and innovation from around the world
Writer: Jack Salter
For over 170 years, World Expos have provided a platform to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped the world we live in today.
Taking place quinquennially and lasting for six months, World Expos are one of the oldest and largest international events on the planet. They are a once-in-a-lifetime experience that attracts millions of visitors, who are invited to explore the wide variety of pavilions, exhibits and cultural events staged by hundreds of participants.
Expo 2020 is the 35th edition of the famous exhibition, currently being held in Dubai until the end of March 2022 having been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has it made history as the very first World Expo to take place in the MEASA region, but Expo 2020 is also expected to be the first in which the majority of visitors are from overseas, with organisers aiming to stage the largest global gathering since the pandemic began.
As a result, it has been heralded as the most inclusive and international Expo to date, with the UAE placing itself at the forefront of the world stage as it welcomes the global community. The UAE hopes to have attracted 25 million visitors to Dubai by the end of the event, bolstering tourism and investment in the emirate in doing so.
More than 200 countries, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational institutions are showcasing the world’s most inventive ideas, inspiring architecture, creative art, exotic cuisines and enthralling entertainment at Expo 2020, and in another World Expo first for the event, each participating nation has its own pavilion.
Saudi Arabia has even managed to break three world records with its pavilion. Featuring the world’s longest interactive water feature, largest interactive lighting display and largest LED mirror screen display, it has unsurprisingly become one of the main attractions at Expo 2020.
Inspiring collective and meaningful action to address the world’s most critical challenges and opportunities is Expo 2020’s Programme for People and Planet, a platform for the free and open exchange of new ideas and innovations.
The Programme for People and Planet is designed to help reimagine the global economy, place equality, universal respect and human dignity at the centre of human progress, and instil a sense of responsibility to live in harmony and balance with the natural world.
It is therefore building a global community of action, exploring humanity’s most pressing challenges through a cultural, social, environmental and economic lens.
Indeed, at the heart of Expo 2020 lies a belief in the power of partnerships and collaborations in pioneering new paths of development and innovation, reflected in the event’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ through the three subsequent subthemes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity.
When it comes to sustainability, a key pillar of Expo 2020 is to leave a meaningful and lasting impact in the region, with 80 percent of Expo-built buildings and structures set to find new life in the thriving future city of District 2020.
Evolving from the conclusion of Expo 2020 as a smart and sustainable city centred on the needs of its urban community, District 2020 will provide a curated business ecosystem that brings together global minds and embraces technology and digital innovation to support industry growth.
This will be the legacy of Expo 2020, whose doors will never truly be closed.