It has been more than a century since London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 – the first World Expo that showed how a science and technology world could look like. Since then, World Expos have
showcased life-changing inventions and cultural treasures – the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Seattle Space Needle, the typewriter, television, and even Heinz Tomato Ketchup are a few examples of the things that World Expos have given us. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the inter-governmental organization that regulates and oversees World Expos, preserving the core values of education, innovation, and cooperation. The last Expo was held in Milan in 2015, its theme being – ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.
Dubai opened the gates of Expo 2020 in October to a world still reeling from the pandemic. The futuristic extravaganza with individual pavilions felt like an entire city, built on what were once rolling dunes on Dubai’s southern edges. Rising from the desert on the outskirts of the UAE’s financial capital is a new city twice the size of Monaco, and in less than 40 weeks, Expo 2020 is indeed a “Middle East Miracle”. At the heart of the venue is Al Wasl Plaza, with a translucent dome among fountains, waterfalls, and palm-lined courtyards. Historically, Dubai was called Al Wasl, or the “Connection”, because it connected people from all over the region.
The exhibition celebrates innovation and ingenuity in keeping with the major theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, alongside sub-themes of ‘Opportunity’,‘Mobility’ and ‘Sustainability’. Dubai Expo 2020 is expecting to attract at least 25 million visitors during its six-month run, with 70% of those coming from outside the Emirates. It serves
as an excellent opportunity for people to connect from different corners of the world, to experience the best of art, culture, geography, science, technology, innovation, and invention,
and to set into motion millions of new thoughts and ideas that will make a lasting impact in our lives. Throughout its history, the UAE has shown the world what is possible through its
remarkable development. With Expo 2020, Dubai has taken yet another step further in inspiring the next generation to spark innovations that will underline the next 50 years of human progress.
Inspired by a ring found at the Saroug Al Hadeed archaeological site, the Expo 2020 logo bearing its theme is truly a celebration of human brilliance and achievement. An international event in terms of size, scale, duration, and visitor numbers enables the development of innovative businesses in the UAE. It also focuses on the power of youth to unlock the potential of one of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing populations.
The Expo also seeks to address issues in healthcare and digital connectivity, which have grown in importance this year. At least 80% of the site will also be repurposed after the event into
districts focused on technology and innovation, with planners seeking to avoid the wasteful and expensive mistakes of Expo events in the past. The Expo School Programme has been engaging
with students from around the country creating a meaningful and sustainable legacy that can be carried forward for generations to come, in the UAE, the region, and beyond.
An extremely engaging and educational experience awaited our students from Westford at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Visitor Centre. Students were encouraged to explore specially curated content and
learn what to expect in 2020
- First, the Sustainability District threw light on the various efforts being taken to preserve our environment and co-exist harmoniously.
- The Mobility District, on the other hand, illustrated ways to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds showcasing the latest advancements in mobility — from autonomous vehicles to space travel.
- The third component of the triad — the Opportunity District introduced the changemakers who are making a difference whilst encouraging ideation,collaboration, and an exchange of ideas.
- At the heart of the Expo 2020 site was the Al Wasl Plaza – the focal point for the celebrations over six months.
Hands-on, fun, and informative activities were created to inspire people’s imaginations. Designed to complement students’ learning across multiple age groups, the specially curated Visitor Centre offered a glimpse of what to expect at Expo 2020, while also exploring the legacy of World Expos and the world-changing innovations that have been revealed during the series’ 167-year history. The Expo School Programme offered a range of initiatives and resources designed to enable students to learn about Expo 2020 Dubai’s impact and global vision, as part of its commitment to contribute to education in the UAE.
Expo 2020 Dubai continues this history with a promise to hold an inclusive and global event with more than 200 participants from around the world – from unlocking development opportunities for the next generation to reimagining how people move and connect, to finding sustainable solutions around energy and water. Today, innovations are being created that, five
years ago, would have been unimaginable. The engines of growth are no longer steam-powered. Instead, collaboration and partnership have taken their place, becoming the driving force behind
new developments. The event showcases