The UAE and the BIE

The UAE has a long history with World Expo stretching back four decades to Abu Dhabi's participation in the 1970 Expo in Osaka, Japan.

The relationship continued at Expo Milano 2015, under the heading 'Food for Thought'. The UAE Pavilion for Milan embraced the Expo 2015 theme in all its exciting and challenging facets, using the country's own experience of living in a region where water is more important than oil and where the focus now is on alternative energy.

World Expo Shanghai in 2010 was also a highlight for the UAE, with its iconic structure comprising two dune-shaped peaks – the highest reaching 20 metres – attracting almost two million visitors. Now permanently located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, the Pavilion is a landmark exhibition centre. Praised for its sustainable design, the Foster + Partners-designed pavilion won awards from the Illinois Society of Structural Engineers and the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations.

With Dubai Expo 2020 marking the first time a World Expo is to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, the UAE now has the chance to create a truly transformative World Expo, that takes the Expo's core goals and showcases global innovations to the region and beyond, that truly engages the global community and drives advancements and innovative solutions in the fields of mobility, sustainability and economic development and one that fully embraces the positive halo effect of the Dubai Expo 2020 to leave behind a strong transformative social and economic legacy across the region, and indeed, the world.

About Dubai and the UAE

An Expo to reinforce Dubai's position as a world hub

Expo 2020 Dubai will mark the 50th anniversary of the UAE, serving as a springboard from which to inaugurate a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades. In just a short time, Dubai has become one of the world's most modern, innovative and technologically advanced cities in the world, attracting investors and workers from over 200 countries.

With a target of over 25 million visitors for Dubai Expo 2020, of which 17 million are expected to come from overseas, the emirate aims to use the event to reinforce its position as the foremost global business and tourism hub. A part of the site itself will contribute to this goal as it will transform into the Dubai Trade Centre Jebel Ali conference and exhibitions facility after the Expo.

Dubai, an international crossroads

Dubai is currently ranked 7th in the world for international arrivals. In 2013, the city welcomed 11 million international hotel guests and just over 12 million international visitors, registering a 10% growth in volumes over 2012. With 1/3 of the world's population within a 4-hour flight and 2/3 within 8 hours, Dubai provides a truly global hub for Expo 2020. This is further bolstered by its Dubai International Airport - set to become the world's busiest airport by 2015, overtaking London Heathrow – and its Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, which on final completion can accommodate up to 220 million passengers per year.

A strong Experience in hosting events

Thanks to its modern infrastructures and connectivity, Dubai has become a regular host of major international events such as IMF/World Bank, the Dubai Airshow and the Dubai International Film Festival thus contributing to the UAE's well-established track record of events.

Over the years, Dubai has also developed an important cultural and artistic scene with the opening of cultural districts and independent galleries, as well as major international events including Art Dubai, The Emirates Festival of Literature and the Dubai Jazz Festival.

The experience

The key words that will drive the Master Plan and the design of the Expo site are Innovation, Sustainability and Legacy. Dubai's ambition is to create a worldwide discussion platform and a true springboard for creativity through innovative pavilions and activities.

The essence of the Master Plan is to facilitate this global dialogue on-ground during the Expo, bringing to life the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and seamlessly integrating the three sub-themes Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity. The spatial organisation of the site embodies these concepts, drawing deep inspiration from local urban design, architecture and the natural environment.

At the core of the Expo 2020 Dubai Master Plan for the enclosed Expo area, are three distinct zones, each dedicated to one of the sub-themes. The three zones will converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza, the figurative and literal heart of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Sustainability is also a core facet of the Expo 2020 Dubai Master Plan design. Detailed targets and overarching strategies have been developed to ensure that sustainability is optimized in the design of Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions and related buildings and infrastructure, focusing on demand reduction, use of alternative sources, re-use and recycling across energy, water, waste, materials and supply.

A key ambition of Expo 2020 Dubai is to supply at least 50% of the Expo site's energy needs over its six-month duration with energy from renewable sources. Emphasis will be placed on integrating solar energy technologies into the Master Plan.

The Expo will take place on a 438-hectare site that includes an enclosed 200-hectare Expo area, and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone on the southwestern edge of the emirate, between the two main city hubs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It will be easily accessible from both Emirates and located next to the new Al Maktoum International Airport in the heart of Dubai World Central – a vast 'aerotropolis' that embodies the future of aviation urban design.