Expo 2020 Dubai, set to open on 1 October and run to 31 March 2022 under the slogan ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, is expected to attract more than 25 million visitors from all over the world to drive collaboration and innovation to develop real-life solutions as the world heads into a post-pandemic economic recovery.
The UAE is the first country in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to host a World Expo in what will be the largest global gathering since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was postponed by a year by the pandemic but has retained the Expo 2020 Dubai name.
More than 200 nations, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational establishments will come together to develop innovative solutions to pressing challenges facing the world. The diversity of participating nations and organizations makes Expo 2020 Dubai the most inclusive and international World Expo ever to be organised.
“Expo 2020 Dubai will provide the space for the largest and most inclusive cultural and knowledge exchange in the world,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“The global community is preparing for a new stage of collaboration by harnessing science and technology to combat the pandemic. Expo 2020 Dubai provides the platform for sharing knowledge and innovations. Expo 2020 Dubai will pave the roadmap for key economic, development and cultural trends of the post-COVID-19 era.”
The site is in the Dubai South area, near Al Maktoum International Airport, and covers a total of 438 hectares. The site is divided into three districts to represent the Expo’s key subthemes – Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity – areas seen as essential to building a better future for humanity. Every participating nation will have its own pavilion, which will be clustered not by their geography but under the subthemes.
Three massive six-storey gateways, designed by the UK designer Asif Khan and spun from carbon fibre and resin, mark the entrances to the three theme districts. The districts are all linked to the central Al Wasl Plaza where a 360-degree dome, which has a diameter of more than 100 metres, will provide the world’s largest 360-degree immersive projection. It is surrounded by five hotel and office buildings. All were designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.
The Sustainability Pavilion, designed by Grimshaw and named ‘Terra’, is covered with more than 1,000 photovoltaic panels and surrounded by ‘solar trees’ – carbon fibre structures that support additional PV panels and follow the sun through the sky. The filigreed canopy spans 130-metres and will capture energy from the sun, helping to generate more than 4 gigawatt hours of alternative energy a year.
The Mobility Pavilion, designed by Foster and Partners, includes the world’s largest passenger lift, which can carry more than 160 people at a time, and a 330-metre track runs around this pavilion for robots and self-driving vehicles.
The Opportunity Pavilion by Madrid-based AGi Architects is focused on self-improvement. The massive Dubai Exhibition Centre can be divided into nine halls capable of hosting between 300 and 20,000 people.
The Sustainability, Mobility pavilions, the Al Wasl Plaza and the Dubai Exhibition Centre will all remain after Expo ends.
Over 50,000 workers have helped to set up 192 pavilions, and 30,000 volunteers, Emiratis and residents, will assist visitors to the event. Expo’s construction workforce and staff are drawn from 71 nationalities.
The UAE is to host the event with tight COVID-19 precautionary measures and a safe environment where about 90% of the population have been vaccinated against COVID-19, positioning the country among the top five nations in the vaccine distribution rate.
Expo 2020 Dubai coincides with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, presenting an excellent opportunity to share the UAE’s successful experience and inspiring story with the world. Through the event, the UAE will forge new partnerships with multinational and international corporations to drive its development journey for the next 50 years.
National carrier Emirates Airline is offering free tickets to the mega-event on all return tickets that include a flight to or through Dubai, for travel dates between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. The offer is applicable to tickets purchased in First Class, Business Class and Economy Class and extends to tickets booked through Emirates for flights on flydubai and customers travelling to anywhere on Emirates’ global network with a connection time of at least six hours in Dubai.
One-way ticket holders whose journey originates outside the UAE are also entitled to receive the complimentary Expo Day Pass if travelling to Dubai or onwards to other destinations if the minimum connection time is met.
There are three tiers of tickets on sale: one-day tickets for AED95, multi-day passes offering entry for 30 consecutive days for AED195, and season passes with unlimited entry for six months for AED495. Tickets are available online at expo2020dubai.com. They will also be available through more than 2,400 ticket resellers.