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Dubai Gears Up For Expo 2020 In The MEASA Region

Dubai is all set to entice the entire world by hosting the first World Expo starting from October 1

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Partha Pratim Ray
Partha Pratim Ray
Senior journalist covering topics related to sports and corporate communication.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. Dubai: Considered as one of the world’s greatest shows, the Expo 2020 Dubai will take place in a 438-hectare area in between the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The theme of Expo 2020 is ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future. The Emirates has roped in Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth to promote the Dubai Expo 2020.

Originally planned for October 2020 inauguration, The Expo 2020 Dubai got postponed till 2021 due to the global outbreak of novel coronavirus. The event will be thrown open to the public from October 1 onwards after an opening ceremony scheduled on September 30.

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Visitors are all set to experience over the 182 days a variety of cultural events while savoring mouth-watering dishes from all over the world being served by more than 200 restaurants set up inside the venue. 191 country pavilions will offer business ventures and opportunities.

The concept and design behind the EXPO

HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering firm created the master plan of the 1,000-plus acre Dubai EXPO 2020 along with Populous and Arup.

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The design inspired by the layout of a traditional Arabic “souk” features three pavilions symbolizing opportunity, sustainability, and mobility organized around a central plaza, entitled Al Wasl, the historic Arab name for Dubai meaning “the connection”. The larger pavilions are located on the outside side while smaller exhibition spaces group together and are placed towards the center to smoothen and streamline visitor movement and interaction.

The Sustainability District

The Sustainability District designed by Grimshaw Architects will showcase ‘what countries are doing to champion sustainability, and experience how the human race can enjoy living in harmony with nature in a high-tech future. In addition to the sustainability pavilion, there will be a Hammour House which explores coral reefs; a 300 seat district stage, and Walkthrough Brazil’s, Czech Republic’s, Singapore’s, Germany’s, UAE’s Sustainability Pavilion  – Terra, and Netherlands’s pavilion.

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The Mobility District

The Mobility District will project ‘connections to drive the world forward, breaking down the divide between the physical and digital worlds’. Designed by architects, Foster, and Partners, the Mobility pavilion hosts the world’s largest passenger lift which is capable of transporting more than 160 people at a time.

The Opportunity District

The Opportunity District will focus on ‘how our lives and actions are interconnected’. The AGi Architects have designed the pavilion that will showcase the interconnectivity of actions and daily lives. It will cover change-makers, idea exchange, social innovators, and youth empowerment activities.

At least half of the Expo’s energy requirements are taken care of by a photovoltaic fabric structure that covers the main walkways and photovoltaic panels on building facades. The Expo is also equipped with infrastructure to recycle wastewater, reuse materials, and monitor the carbon footprint.

The Expo mascots are Latifa, Rashid, Salama, Opti, Alif, and Terra. Latifa and Rashid are 8 and 9-year-old siblings (brother and sister). Salama is a ghaf tree while Terra, Alif, and Opti are the guardian mascots for sustainability, mobility, and opportunity pavilions.

Born in 1978, Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi is an Emirati administrator and the Minister of State and Managing Director for the Dubai World Expo 2020 Bid Committee and Director General of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau. In the year 2013, as Managing Director of Dubai’s World Expo 2020 bid, she oversaw the historic success at the Bureau International des Expositions.

History of world fairs

The first World’s Fair was organized in Prague in 1791. The Bureau International des Expositions has served as an international sanctioning body for international exhibitions after the 1928 Convention Relating to International Exhibitions came into force.

At present, there are two types of international exhibition namely, World Expos and Specialised Expos. The World Expo takes place every five years and lasts up to six months. Specialized Expo takes place between two World Expos and lasts up to three months.

World Expo 2015 was held in Milan, Italy, from 1 May to 31 October 2015 while Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, held the most recent Specialised Expo in 2017. On 27 November 2013, The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly in Paris named Dubai as the host of the World Expo 2020. Expo 2020 Dubai is the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

Unique Experiences at Expo 2020

  • The Expo 2020 plans to organize nationwide bus tours with the waste partner Dulsco to raise awareness about smart recycling. L’Oreal is the expo’s beauty partner and will host immersive beauty shows, salons, and pop-up studios at the expo.
  • If you’re planning a day trip to Expo 2020, make sure to get along for the daily Colours of the World parade at Ghaf Avenue.
  • Each country will have a national or honour-day celebration during the six months of the event and they will treat audiences to a unique cultural fusion experience.
  • At Al Wasl dome, the centrepiece of the entire site, every morning the visitors will be welcomed with a creative performance by school childrens of UAE.
  • One of the spectacular culinary shows will be ‘The Future of Food: Epochal Banquet’ by London-based creative studio Bompas & Parr, housed in the Sustainability district.
  • Expo Space Week will be celebrated during October 17 to 23, 2022. It will be all about exploring new frontiers, the Red Planet, space pioneers and applying space lessons to fight climate change.
  • Renouned musician AR Rahman will put together an all-female line-up from the Arab world to create the Firdaus Orchestra on October 23 , 2021 .
  • Ireland will host the Samhain Gaelic Festival at the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre with a special performance by Siamsa Tire, an Irish folk theatre group to mark Halloween on October 31, 2021.
  • The FIDE World Chess Championship, will take place in Dubai this year from November 24 to December 16, 2021.
  • The Expo will host the UAE Golden Jubilee celebrations on December 2, 2021 to mark UAE National Day.
  • The Expo will host three special events to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2021.
  • A musical New Year’s Eve is planned at Jubilee Park on December 31, 2021.
  • A grand procession and celebration on January 26, 2022, to mark the 73rd anniversary of India Republic Day.  
  • Hungarian violinist Radics Ferenc and his band will play at Expo 2020 on February 18, 2022.

The must see Pavilions at Expo 2020

  • India Pavilion: The four-storeyed pavilion has been designed to showcase the nation’s 75th anniversary of Independence. The façade of the pavilion consists of 600 colourful kinetic-capable blocks to present the theme ‘India on the Move’.
  • UAE Pavilion: Located in the Opportunity district, the falcon shaped pavilion is designed by Santiago Calatrava. The visitors get to know about the rich Emirati culture and achievements as they go through the exhibitions.
  • The Netherlands Pavilion: Designed like a biotope, the pavilion combines technology, environment and aesthetics through its design and exhibitions. Enjoy a kaleidoscopic play of colours as natural light filters through the specially made solar panel roof.
  • Ethiopia Pavilion: The pavilion takes the visitors through the country’s pre-historic phase and end in a modern factory highlighting Ethopia’s manufacturing industry.
  • Italy Pavilion: The pavilion hosts a life-size replica of Michelangelo’s David using one of the world’s largest 3D printers.

Architectural Marvels to look for

  • Visitors to the Expo will be able to get a bird’s eye view of the Expo from the top of the rotating observation tower.
  • The falcon-shaped UAE Pavilion is a visual treat and an architectural masterpiece.
  • The arch themed dome of the Belgium Pavilion, designed by Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures is bound to surprise all.
  • Conceptualized by Gordon Gill Architecture and Adrian Smith, Al Wasl Dome will offer the biggest 360 degree projection surface in the world.
  • The Hammour House showcases a coral reef, a 300 seater stage and a walk through the waterfall.

Towards a sustainable future for Youth

The six-month event is expected to witness millions of footfall before it concludes on March 31, 2022. Celebrating the UAE Vision 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai hopes to create the world’s largest meeting place aiming to increase awareness about the challenges faced by humanity on a global scale. After the Expo is over, the site will be transformed into District 2020 which has the aim of contributing towards a knowledge-based economy. District 2020 will be a connected global centre for youth and future generations of innovators and pioneers. The Sustainability Pavilion will be turned into a science Exploratorium. The conference and exhibition campus will become an event and exhibition space. The mobility pavilion will be transformed into luxurious office spaces.

To catch hold of the latest and related sports news please visit the Travel Section of Transcontinental times.


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