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Expo 2020 in Dubai, All You Need to Know

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Expo 2020 in Dubai, All You Need to Know

The Dubai Expo 2020 is predicted to be one of the biggest expos in the world’s history. The scale of the Expo and its budget is unprecedented. The Expo will also be a first in the United Arab Emirates and the region. It is the hallmark of UAE’s vision to be the number one global capital of finance and business as well as a world-class destination for tourists and locals alike. The Dubai Expo 2020 is open for six months and will open Dubai and the UAE to the world. The Expo is participated by more than 192 nations that are showcasing the best of what they have to offer to the rest of the world.

The Dubai Expo 2020 marks a significant event because it is the first Expo in the region and has generated a lot of excitement and anticipation in the international stage. Expectations are running high as the Expo Pavilions are slowly taking shape, and the construction sites are slowly taking shape. The location of the Expo is situated right between the two cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, making it easily accessible for visitors from overseas.

The Dubai Expo 2020 is on an area of more than 438 hectares allowing the organizers to reach for the stars in their design. The main features of the site include a central plaza that is enclosed by three themed pavilions. Each Pavilion is dedicated to one of the sub-themes of the Expo 2020: opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. The Pavilions aims to highlight and showcase Dubai, and importantly, the UAE’s commitment towards a more green, eco-friendly, and sustainable future.

The centerpiece of the Expo is three main sub-theme pavilions from the host country. Each country will have its Pavilion in the sprawling expo grounds that will provide the country the opportunity to showcase the best products, fashionable and exotic destinations and more importantly give a glimpse of its culture to guests and visitors.

The Theme of the Dubai Expo 2020 is Connecting Minds, Celebrating the Future which is a celebration of culture and heritage at the same time focuses on a green future by highlighting sustainability and through using technology to provide eco-solutions for a greener future.

What is Expo 2020

What is Expo 2020
photo by Expo 2020

The first-ever world exposition was inaugurated and held in 1851 in Crystal Palace Hyde’s Park, London, United Kingdom with the theme “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. The goal of the exhibition was to showcase the different cultures of the different countries of the world as well as the products of industry.

Expositions are generally regarded as cultural exchanges between the host and participating nation that aims to promote diversity of the world cultures and promotes the unity of the people. New inventions are usually introduced during world expos like the first public convenience designed by George Jennings that debuted in the Expo 1851 in London.

Today, the World Exposition has changed from just simply showcasing the products of each nation to being an important forum where important innovations to address important global issues and problems like environmental sustainability of resources, the global economy, sustainable urban development and improving the general quality of life, especially for those living in conflict zones. Dubai also plans to introduce to the world to one of the largest solar power project in Dubai, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park which will power the Expo site, as a sign of its commitment to green and sustainable energy.

World Expos are very much like the Olympics, with the objective of promoting friendship and solidarity and showcasing the best of what the host country and participating countries have to offer. However, for World Expos, they are held once every five years instead of the 4-year frequency of the Olympics. The World Expos are expensive and require host countries to bid for it against other countries. They also need significant expenses in terms of Capital, Manpower, and time; however, these costs are considered investments as the event is predicted to attract millions of visitors from across the globe. Visitors flock to the various exhibitions, cultural events, and pavilions of the participating countries, businesses, and other non-government organizations.

World Expos help spur the economy of the Host nation because of the massive influx of visitors and tourists who come to visit the Expo. The Expo also showcases what the host nation has to offer and attracts significant investments from foreign countries, helping the economy grow. A great example of the positive effects of the World Expo is the Expo in Milan, Italy, last 2015. The theme of the Milan Expo “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” The Expo showcases what Italy has to offer and opened it up to more investments while in turn, highlights and promotes solutions to help world hunger through sustainable means.

The Expo 2020 Dubai will follow the trend left off by Milan and build on it with a theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” The Expo 2020 will also focus on three main sub-themes that focus on creating sustainable, eco-friendly solutions together and moving forward along as a global community. The information about Expo 2020 can be found on the official website at; www.expo2020dubai.com. World Expo is also known officially as the International Registered Exhibitions.

Dates and Location

Dates and Location Expo 2020
photo by Expo 2020

The Expo 2020 Dubai start date is on October 20, 2020, and will run for six months, up until April 10, 2021. The Expo 2020 location in Dubai is in the South District near the Al Maktoum International Airport and is also easily accessible from Abu Dhabi. The Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to host more than 25 million visitors.

The site of the Expo is over 4.38 kilometers and can easily be located near the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road near the Dubai Investment Park-1, and the sit is just 16 minutes away from the Dubai Marina. It is tough to miss the site’s four massive gates that have the capacity to handle more than 15,000 visitors per hour. The enormous square, the Al Wasl Plaza, is the center of the site, which is then flanked by the three main pavilions, Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability, which have a combined floor area of more than 220,000 square meters.

The winning design of the Expo 2020 logo was revealed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai and the Vice President of the UAE in a star-studded event. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed explained that “the design of the logo is inspired by a civilization that existed 4,000 years ago in an area extending from Baynounah in Abu Dhabi to Saroug Al Hadeed in Dubai and from Maliha Valley in Sharjah to the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. This land connected ancient civilizations, and we will continue to be the hub that connects the world.”

How has Dubai Won?

How did Dubai win
photo by Expo 2020

The bid for Expo 2020 started in early 2011 with Dubai making a last-minute entry before the bidding closed on November 2, 2011. These five cities bidding for the opportunity in 2020, namely Izmir Turkey, Yekaterinburg Russia, Sao Paulo Brazil, Ayutthaya Thailand, and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates.

The criteria for selecting the winning bid is based on the feasibility and viability of the Expo project as determined by the inquiry mission. The requirements also take into account the appeal of the proposed Expo theme by the candidate as well as the ability of the nation to push through with Expo.

The bid for the host nation of the Expo was made during a vote by the 168 member nations of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). Sao Paulo and Ayutthaya were eliminated during the first round of voting while Izmir was removed during the second round. The Final round saw Yekaterinburg of Russia and Duba of the United Arab Emirates competing for the bid to be the host nation of Expo 2020.

Dubai won against Yekaterinburg with 116 votes in favor of Dubai and only 47 votes in support of the latter. The results of the voting session were announced on November 27, 2013, and were greeted by a nationwide celebration. Fireworks lit the skyline of Dubai during the proclamation of the results. The world’s tallest building, the Burj of Khalifa became the centerpiece of a beautiful fireworks display to mark the country’s jubilation.

The result of the winning bid was greeted by a nationwide celebration with His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, congratulating His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The nation’s leader proclaimed, “Our Joy in the UAE doubled by the win as it coincides with the celebrations of the 42nd National Day.”

The Managing Director for Dubai’s Expo committee, Reem Al Hashimi, also provided a statement highlighting Dubai’s commitment to a successful expo with a pledge of loyalty from the government. Dubai’s winning bid in the Expo opens doors to many technological and economic developments in the region. Dubai is the first to win the effort in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, South Africa) region bolstering its prestige and cementing its place as the leader in innovation.

Expo 2020 Dubai will have its own metro station.

The Expo metro station is a sign of Dubai’s commitment to the success of the Expo 2020 is the creation of a dedicated metro line and station for the Expo site. The train line will have a capacity of 23,00 passengers per hour in both directions in anticipation for the thousands of guests that will be visiting the website and its pavilions.

Dubai 2020 for visitors

Dubai Expo 2020 for visitors
photo by Expo 2020

During the 6-month long Expo, more than 25 million visitors are expected to arrive and visit the pavilions. Dedicated infrastructure like the metro railway lines in the expo site and improved transportation hubs are already in place to cope with the influx of guests and visitors in Dubai. The Expo site itself can handle thousands of visitors with more than 438 hectares that are filled with pavilions from 190 different countries.

The centerpiece of the Expo site in the three pavilions of the Sub-themes Opportunity, Sustainability, and Mobility. The Dubai Expo will also have hundreds of other pavilions from participating countries like Austria, Brazil, Japan, and many more.

Preparations for the last two years

Since the announcement of the winning bid for hosting the Expo 2020, last November 2013, Dubai has been hard at work building and developing the Expo site. The Expo 2020 Pavilions have been beautifully completed, and pavilions from participating countries are being completed every month. Dubai is clearly committed to delivering to the world one of the grandest and biggest world expos with no expenses spared to dazzle and enchant visitors from around the globe.

The Opportunity Pavilion


The Opportunity Pavilion is one of the three key pavilions of the Expo. The pavilion focuses on the world’s opportunity to create and develop solutions and innovations to tackle pressing global problems. The pavilion is constructed from organic materials and is built from at least 2500 tons of stones, and 100 kilometers of woven wrote. The pavilion highlights the use of eco-friendly materials. The Pavilion also shows visitors through interactive displays how small individual actions can affect global issues.

The Mobility Pavilion


The Mobility Pavilion highlights the significant and innovative advances of technology like artificial intelligence and how they transform the future of transportation. The Pavilion also highlights the positive effects of robotics and smart information on the sustainability of our transportation infrastructure.

Sustainability Pavilion


The Sustainability Pavilion focuses on our impact on our environment and how we can make changes to lessen the negative effect of our consumption on our surroundings. The Pavilion highlights how much plastic waste we generate and the impact of the trash on our oceans.

Pavilions from other Countries

Pavilions from other Countries
photo by Expo 2020

Notable Pavilions from participating countries like the United Kingdom pavilion which is inspired by the famous scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking, The Luxembourg Pavilion that resembles a Mobius strip, and other countries have already completed their pavilions. Only time will tell on how beautiful these pavilions will be.

What will the legacy be?

Only time will surely tell if Expo 2020 will be a success but despite the opening still a year away, significant positive impacts and changes can already be felt in Dubai and the surrounding regions. As the construction of the Expo 2020 site brings in more, this, in turn, will help the economy grow. The additional infrastructure to support the Expo 2020 is already being used by the workforce responsible for building the pavilions and the site.

The Expo 2020 Dubai will highlight Dubai and the UAE’s role as the technological and financial leader in the region. The Expo 2020 also affirms its status as a global hub that connects the European and Asian continent.