Expo 2017 Astana celebrates BIE Day

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has paid tribute to Organisers and Participants alike as part of BIE Day at Expo 2017 Astana. Taking place on the penultimate day of the Expo, BIE Day is an opportunity for the BIE and its Member States to celebrate the Expo as it draws to a close, involving all those who have contributed to its success.

After celebrating their own national days throughout the duration of the Expo, BIE Day is an occasion for Member States to gather alongside BIE officials and Expo 2017 representatives to look back on what has been achieved. As the BIE is responsible for overseeing Expos from their candidature phase through to their execution and legacy, the event also symbolises the continuity of Expos, and involves the host countries of upcoming Expos – China, host of Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing and the United Arab Emirates, host of World Expo 2020 Dubai.

The ceremony featured high-level participation from the Organisers of Expo 2017, demonstrating their longstanding cooperation with the BIE. Addressing attendees on the National Day stage, following the flag ceremony, the Chairman of the Board of Astana Expo 2017 National Company, Akhmetzhan Yessimov stated "Expo 2017 is a unique mega-event not only for Kazakhstan, but also for the whole post-Soviet region and for Central Asia."

Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the BIE

The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes, thanked “all those who have made Expo 2017 Astana such a success.” Mr. Kerkentzes added: “organisers and participants, with the cooperation and guidance of the BIE, have created an event that has improved our understanding of the energy challenges facing us and future generations.”

Expo 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev then took to the National Day stage, adding: “Expo 2017 Astana has become not just a platform for innovative technologies, but also a place for negotiations, meetings of different cultures and discussions”. 

Steen Christensen, President of the General Assembly of the BIE

President of the General Assembly of the BIE, Steen Christensen, emphasised the importance of the “Future Energy” theme, calling on all participants to “commit to actionable measures and consider the next steps in relation to this theme.”

The ceremony included a cultural programme featuring dancers from Astana, as well as performances by China and the United Arab Emirates.

Concluding the festivities, the BIE Day Awards Ceremony will be held this evening in the Energy Hall, in an event featuring a rich array of Kazakh cultural performances. The Awards ceremony includes the announcement of the recipients of the Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards, the BIE-Cosmos Prize and BIE Medals and Certificates.

The winners of the Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards are based on the decision of an international jury, which has assessed each pavilion’s exhibition design, and development of the “Future Energy” theme. The BIE-Cosmos Prize, jointly awarded by the BIE, the Expo ‘90 Foundation and Expo 2017 Astana, is a grant attributed to a not-for-profit project working in the field of “Future Energy”. BIE Medals and Certificates are awarded by the BIE to individuals and organisations who have made major contributions to the success of the Expo. 

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation embodying the commitment of its 170 Member States to lead, promote and foster International Exhibitions for the benefit of the citizens of the international community. In 2012, BIE Member States elected the Republic of Kazakhstan as the host of Specialised Expo 2017.

Shortlisted projects for BIE-Cosmos Prize showcased at Expo 2017

Six not-for-profit projects from across the world have been shortlisted to receive the BIE-Cosmos Prize, organised in partnership with the Expo ’90 Foundation and Expo 2017 Astana. The prize rewards not-for-profit citizen and group initiatives working in fields related to the theme of the Expo – “Future Energy”.

The six projects are being presented in the Energy Best Practices Area at Expo 2017 Astana, bringing international attention to their respective causes. A jury, appointed by the BIE, Expo 2017 and the Expo ’90 Foundation, will select one winning project to receive a donation of 20,000 euros. The announcement will be made on BIE Day, held on 9 September, the penultimate day of the Expo. 

The selected projects include a solar oven promotion scheme in Burundi (ASEPE), a solar project to use solar energy to power a technical school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (OCEAN), a university project to design and construct low-cost solar collectors in Lesotho (NUL), a rehabilitation centre’s eco-friendly initiatives in Lithuania (Full Home Community), a research project in Romania to improve solar panel efficiency using energy from bacteria (UMPH), and an engineering project in Spain to store energy using compressed air (Energy’s Engineer Entrepreneurs).

The BIE-Cosmos Prize is a collaboration between the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the Expo ’90 Foundation, which commemorates the International Horticultural Expo 1990 in Osaka, Japan. At each World Expo and Specialised Expo since 2008, the BIE-Cosmos Prize has been awarded to projects linked to the theme of the Expo to encourage citizen participation. Each prize gives financial support to one project whose development is considered part of each Expo’s grassroots legacy.

At World Expo 2015 in Milan, which was organised under the theme “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”, the BIE-Cosmos Prize was awarded to the “Nutritious Diet and Sustainable future for Haiti’s Children” project, submitted by non-governmental organisation CESAL.

Short descriptions of the selected not-for-profit projects may be found below:


ASEPE - Burundi

The Association Ensemble pour la Protection de l’Environnement (ASEPE) is an environmental NGO in Burundi aimed at promoting eco-awareness and protecting the environment. The NGO is seeking to promote the use of solar ovens in Kamenge district of Bujumbura, as a way to reduce the use of wood as a cooking fuel. This will reduce deforestation and is a sustainable and accessible form of energy in an area where electricity access is low.

OCEAN -  Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Organisation Concertée des Ecologistes et Amis de la Nature (OCEAN) is an environmental NGO aimed at restoring ecological balance while promoting socio-economic development. The project is to install solar panels to provide clean and reliable energy to the Kitomesa Institute, a technical school in the suburbs of Kinshasa that only receives electricity for an average of 2-3 days per month. The project aims to cut pollution and deforestation while contributing to the more widespread use of solar power in the country.

NUL - Lesotho

The Department of Physics and Electronics at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) is seeking to promote the local production of low cost flat plate collector solar panels. The project aims to provide energy in rural areas of Lesotho where poverty is widespread and where energy for water purification, heating and lighting, is obtained from paraffin or wood, which has consequences on development and health. The project seeks to provide training about designing and producing solar panels using locally available resources.

Full Home Community - Lithuania 

The Full Home Community in Panura Village, Lithuania, provides free-of-charge rehabilitation and consultations for individuals who suffer from drug addictions, and their families. The association has partnered with the Lithuanian scientific community to create an organic herb farm that makes use of a herb desiccator with an integrated solar panel. The Full Home Community is also developing an electrical energy storage system and has built high-energy efficiency buildings certified by the Passivhaus Institut.

UMPH, Cluj-Napoca – Romania

UMPH Cluj-Napoca is a leading medical university in Romania with rapidly growing spectrum of research niches. Researchers at the university have conceived a project focused on renewable energy: using cyanobacteria, a bacterium found in most habitats on earth. The project involves the use of hybrid solar panels that generate more electricity than standard solar panels by capturing the energy produced by bacteria. 

Energy’s Engineer Entrepreneurs - Spain 

Energy’s Engineer Entrepreneurs is a group of industrial technology engineers from the University of Vigo in Spain. Their project would focus on clean energy storage as a substitute for batteries and fossil fuels, which are not sustainable. The new energy storage system relies on the potential energy of compressed air, which produces energy when it is released by using an air motor, and would be of particular use in providing electricity to remote areas.

International jury visits Expo 2017 Astana pavilions

An international jury composed of nine members has started a four-day visit of Expo 2017 Astana in order to decide the winners of the Expo 2017 Official Participant Awards, which will be announced on BIE Day, on 9 September. Members of the jury are assessing both the display and presentation of the pavilions of Official Participants, as well as their interpretation of “Future Energy”, the theme of Expo 2017 Astana.


The jury, composed of international and Kazakhstani experts in a range of relevant fields, includes Steen Christensen, the President of the General Assembly of the BIE, and Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General. The internationally-appointed experts represented on the jury include architect and urban planner, Joan Busquets, Ambassador of Spain to Iran Eduardo López Busquets, and the former Secretary General of Expo 2005 Aichi, Toshio Nakamura. The nationally appointed jury members include the Head of Department of Architecture & City Building of Astana, Kairat Kozhamzharov, the President of Nazarbayev University, Shigeo Katsu, the Chairman of Samruk Energy JSC Almasadam Satkaliev, and Eurasian National University Professor Altay Alomgazin. 

This is the second visit of the jury, following an initial review that took place in July. The recipients of the awards will be announced on BIE Day, held on 9 September, the penultimate day of Expo 2017.

Over 100 international participants are participating in Expo 2017 Astana. Participants either have their own pavilions with a surface of up to 1,000m2, or present their displays in dedicated spaces within joint plazas.

Awarding participation is a longstanding tradition of Expos, dating back to Expo 1851 in London – the Great Exhibition. After a pause during which Expos did not feature awards, they were reintroduced ahead of Expo 2005 Aichi. Expo Awards honour both exhibition design and theme development, and are divided into categories according to the size of pavilion.

World Expo Museum in the spotlight at Expo 2017 Astana

The World Expo Museum (WEM), which has its own pavilion at Expo 2017 Astana, celebrated today its participation at the Expo and called on participants to perpetuate Expo 2017 by donating objects and displays to the Museum.

The pavilion of the World Expo Museum at Expo 2017 Astana

In an event entitled “Amazing Shanghai”, attendees were addressed by WEM Curator Lorelei Liu, and representatives of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, the Chinese Embassy and Astana Expo 2017 National Company. The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes, also spoke, thanking international participants who have already donated exhibits to WEM, and telling attendees that the Museum “encapsulates and promotes the universality of Expo themes, the breadth of the issues addressed, and the shared hopes and concerns of all our nations.”

Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General of the BIE

The World Expo Museum in Shanghai is the only official museum and documentation centre in the world entirely dedicated to Expos and authorised by the BIE. It showcases the history, creation and themes of Expos and highlights their historical impact, their physical significance and their dreams for the future, with the purpose of “inheriting the Expo legacy and retaining the essence and continuation of the World Expo effect.”

WEM has participated in all Expos since the partnership agreement that created the institution was signed by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the People’s Municipal Government of Shanghai in 2010. Its participation at Expo 2017 is the first since the Museum opened to the public in May 2017.

The pavilion of WEM introduces visitors to the concept of the Museum, with the phrase “Everything begins with Expo” written in dozens of languages on the walls. Visitors can then find replicas of major Expo monuments including the Crystal Palace from Expo 1851 London, the Eiffel Tower from Expo 1889 Paris and the China Pavilion from Expo 2010 Shanghai.

WEM pavilion at Expo 2017 Astana

In line with “Future Energy”, the theme of Expo 2017 Astana, WEM’s pavilion pays a special tribute to past Expos that have made significant contributions to energy, transport and sustainability. In addition to the Expos of the past, visitors have the chance to learn about future Expos, with displays dedicated to Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing and World Expo 2020 Dubai.

The pavilion also features a number of touchscreens giving further information about key figures, inventions and buildings from past Expos, as well as a virtual reality experience allowing visitors to fly over the city of Shanghai, including the World Expo Museum itself and the former site of Expo 2010.

Representatives of WEM are also present in Astana throughout the duration of the Expo in order to gather information, photographs and videos, as well as to collect objects and displays from participants that can be showcased as part of the Museum once Expo 2017 closes.

Martin Roth (1955-2017)

Martin Roth, 1955-2017

We are deeply saddened by the death of Martin Roth, a distinguished cultural leader with a global reputation both within the Expo and museum worlds. As Director of Thematic Exhibitions, he raised Expo 2000 Hanover to new heights and continued his advocacy of Expos as vehicles to foster global cooperation as a member of the Expo 2005 Aichi Jury. We will greatly miss Martin, and are profoundly grateful for his considerable contribution to the world of Expos.

(C)The Jane Goodall Institute

Expo’90 Foundation announces laureate of the 2017 International Cosmos Prize

The Expo ’90 Foundation (The Commemorative Foundation for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition, Osaka, Japan, 1990) has announced that Dr. Jane Goodall has been selected as the winner of the 2017 International Cosmos Prize, the 25th edition of the award.

(C)The Jane Goodall Institute

Established to commemorate International Horticultural Expo 1990 in Osaka, the Expo ’90 Foundation is responsible for the management of commemorative funds and the promotion of activities that develop the theme of the Expo – "The Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind."

The Expo ’90 Foundation selected Dr. Jane Goodall (83), DBE, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace, as the winner of the 2017 (25th) International Cosmos Prize, for her continuous research and lifelong contributions.

The International Cosmos Prize Committee indicated: “Ever since 1960, when Dr. Jane Goodall first began to study wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania, she has remained dedicated to her research. By clarifying the ecology and behaviour of wild chimpanzees, she has illuminated the true nature of humans.”

The Expo’90 Foundation is recognising her continuous fieldwork and pioneering research rooted in ethological observations of individually recognised animals as well as the practical conservation initiatives, such as tree-planting programs, environmental education activities, that she created via the Jane Goodall Institute and through Roots & Shoots.

Since 2008, the Expo '90 Foundation has collaborated with the BIE through a separate initiative, the BIE-Cosmos Prize. This prize is given out at each World Expo and Specialised Expo, rewarding projects linked to the theme of the Expo and encouraging citizen participation.
At Expo 2015 in Milan, the BIE-Cosmos Prize was awarded to the “Nutritious Diet and Sustainable future for Haiti’s Children” project, submitted by non-governmental organisation CESAL.

For more information regarding the 2017 edition of the International Cosmos Prize and the winner, please visit the Expo ’90 Foundation website.

World Expo 2025 candidates present vision to BIE delegates

The four countries seeking to organise World Expo 2025 – France (Greater Paris), Japan (Osaka), Russia (Ekaterinburg) and Azerbaijan (Baku) – presented their Expo projects to the 161st General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 14 June 2017.

The General Assembly was the first opportunity for BIE Member States to hear from all four candidates, following the closing of the candidate list on 22 May 2017. The four candidates are due to submit their bid dossiers in September 2017, which will be followed up by BIE Enquiry Missions in early 2018. Member States of the BIE will vote for the host country of World Expo 2025 during the 164th General Assembly in November 2018. 

Greater Paris

Presenting France’s candidature for Expo 2025, Pascal Lamy, the Interministerial delegate in charge of the bid, stressed the key role of young people in the Expo project, specifying that they were instrumental in choosing the proposed theme, “Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for our Planet.” The theme is aimed at new generations, according to Mr. Lamy, who added that 2025 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Expo would thus be an opportunity to measure what has been achieved and what can still be done. Jean-Christophe Fromantin, President of the ExpoFrance association, also emphasised the importance of mobilising young people, in France and across the world, to support France’s Expo project.

Pascal Lamy, the Interministerial delegate in charge of France's bid for Expo 2025

Delegates were also addressed by former Minister and astronaut Claudie Haigneré, who described France’s Expo bid as a “superb adventure”, and by Erik Orsenna, a member of the Académie Française, who declared that World Expos can help us to find “the universality of our planet” once again. Demonstrating the support of local authorities, a video was shown in which the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the President of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, and the President of the Metropolis of Greater Paris, Patrick Ollier, express their support for the Expo 2025 project.


“Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, Japan’s proposed theme for Expo 2025 in Osaka, was presented to BIE delegates by Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman of the 2025 Japan World Expo Committee and Chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). Mr. Sakakibara told the General Assembly that the theme ties in with “Society 5.0”, a project that draws support from both the private and public sectors and aims to create a future where technology such as robotics, IoT, Big Data and artificial intelligence are employed in the service of humanity.

Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman of the 2025 Japan World Expo Committee and Chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) (right), and The Governor of Osaka Prefecture, Ichiro Matsui (left)

Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui informed the delegates of the Member States of the BIE that Kansai’s “spirit of endeavour” has enabled them to create innovative solutions to global issues. He added that: “visitors to Expo 2025 Osaka will get a taste of the latest technologies, by which individuals can enjoy a healthy life in both mind and body”. The Japanese delegation also showed a video featuring Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in which he emphasises the Government’s support for the Expo 2025 project and states: “We must all be Osakans, to go beyond what is known, think outside the box and embrace trial and error… to herald our future possibilities.”


Promoting Russia’s Expo bid, Alexander Chernov, the representative of Ekaterinburg World Expo 2025 Bid Committee, told delegates that following the city’s previous bid to host World Expo 2020, “over the past 5 years, members of the Expo team have held on to the idea of becoming a part of the Expo adventure, leading to a bid for Expo 2025”. Regarding the proposed theme. “Changing the World: Innovations and Quality of Life”, Georgy Kalamanov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said that Expo 2025 would “be a stepping stone for achieving the important goal of uniting the whole world in an exclusive dialogue dedicated to our children and future generations.”

Ekaterinburg Governor, Evgeny Kuyvashev (right) and Ekaterinburg World Expo 2025 Bid Committee (left)

Pledging the full support of the Russian Government and the local community, Ekaterinburg Governor, Evgeny Kuyvashev told delegates that Expo 2025 would be an opportunity to showcase the face of “New Russia”. Mr. Kuyvashev added that the city, the fourth largest in Russia and situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, has “a successful track record for hosting world-class events and international gatherings” and is ready to host the Expo. The proposed site for the Expo is located on the bank of the Verkh-Isetsky Lake, close to the city centre.


Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to France, Elchin Amirbayov, presented delegates with his country’s project to host Expo 2025 in Baku, “one of the most beautiful cities in the world” that has been transformed by construction and urban planning projects in the past decade. Ambassador Amirbayov pointed out the country’s location on the ancient Silk Road, which “served as an important channel for sharing knowledge and skills, and shaped the history, culture and tolerant outlook of the country.” The country’s location, natural resources and dynamic young population, mean that it “is poised to become a major commercial and transportation hub.”

Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to France, Elchin Amirbayov

Regarding Azerbaijan’s proposed theme of “Human Capital”, the Ambassador told delegates that it would allow the Expo to be “an exploration of how human ability, in all its forms, can be best applied across all aspects of society for the benefit of everyone.” The Expo project aims to combine the country’s human potential and natural resources, and if elected, would be “a gesture of encouragement for all young, independent countries.” Ambassador Amirbayov added that the proposed site of the Expo would form an extension to the country’s capital, providing affordable housing and “world-class amenities” to its residents.


“Broken Nature”: Triennale di Milano to return in 2019 for 22nd edition

The Triennale di Milano will return for a 22nd edition in 2019 under the theme “Broken Nature”, delegates of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) heard during the Organisation’s 161st General Assembly on 14 June. The declaration was made by Andrea Cancellato, Director General of the Triennale di Milano, who presented an overview of the institution’s plans for the recurring international exhibition dedicated to architecture, design and craftsmanship.

Following its return after a 20-year hiatus in 2016, under the theme “21st Century - Design after Design”, the 22nd edition of the renowned exhibition is scheduled to take place from 1 March to 1 September 2019.

A novelty in the history of the exhibition will be the construction of new pavilions in the adjoining the Palazzo dell’Arte, the historic home of the Triennale. Mr. Cancellato explained that these pavilions will be dedicated to international participants and will be directly connected to the main building.

 Andrea Cancellato, Director General of the Triennale di Milano

The theme, “Broken Nature”, aims to look at the future of the environment, which has been identified by the Triennale as “crucial in our time”, and how design, architecture and art can take on climate change and inequality.

One of the foremost experts on contemporary architecture and design, Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), has been chosen as the General Curator for the 22nd Triennale. Ms Antonelli presented the “Broken Nature” theme to delegates, explaining that it will showcase nature-inspired architecture and design, highlighting the ways that nature’s resilience and ability to rebuild can be imitated.

Paola Antonelli, General Curator for the 22nd Triennale di Milano 

According to Ms Antonneli, the theme will allow exhibitors at the next edition of the Triennale to take part in the radical redefinition of designers in an era of climate change and inequality. Several examples were given of how design can impact the future, including biodesign, “hacking nature” to preserve efficiency, and “reverse engineering” to minimise our impact on the world.

The Triennale delegation announced that Italy will seek BIE recognition for the 22nd edition of the Triennale exhibition during the next General Assembly due to take place in November 2017.

Horticultural Expo 2019 coming to life in Beijing

Less than two years until it opens, representatives of Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing presented the 161st General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) with an overview of the events’ preparations.

Delegates of BIE Member States were presented with an extensive progress report on the advancements that have been made on various infrastructure projects on the Expo site, with further details on some of the key pavilions and the Expo’s legacy.

Wang Jinzhen, the Commissioner General of Expo 2019

Wang Jinzhen, the Commissioner General of Expo 2019, announced that the Chinese Government’s invitations to the Expo have been well received by the international community. Currently, over 20 countries are confirmed to participate in the Expo, some of which have already visited the site to select plots for their national gardens. Mr. Wang added that the Expo site, designed to be transformed into a park and exhibition centre following the Expo, will be devoted to the flower industry as part of the Expo’s legacy.

The Deputy Secretary General of the China Flower Association and Deputy Secretary of the Executive Committee of Beijing Expo 2019, Peng Hongming

The Deputy Secretary General of the China Flower Association and Deputy Secretary of the Executive Committee of Beijing Expo 2019, Peng Hongming, informed delegates that several global partnerships have been formed with both foreign and Chinese companies, to ensure the smooth running of the Expo. Regarding promotional campaigns, Ms. Peng explained that various international communications activities are being launched, including a special documentary exploring China’s vast array of flora and its impact on the world, which will be premiered at the Expo.

Expo 2019 Beijing delegation

Ms. Peng also presented delegates with the Chinese pavilion at the Expo, themed “Splendour Blessings” and featuring a jade, Ruyi roof. The base of the pavilion, which covers a ground area of 48,000m2, draws inspiration from China’s agricultural landscape and takes the form of a scroll to emulate traditional Chinese folk tales. Additionally, the Life Experience Pavilion will feature unique exhibits that will enlighten visitors about traditional Chinese horticultural practices and medicines.

China Pavilion

Expo 2019 Beijing is thus on track to complete most of its general landscaping and infrastructure projects by the end of the year, and intends to complete all construction of the “Green Expo site” by the end of 2018.


“Expo 2020 Dubai’s Vision is Becoming a Reality”

On 14 June 2017, Manal Al Bayat, Senior Vice-President of Expo 2020 Dubai, presented the 161st General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) with an overview of the preparations for the next World Expo, themed “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

Ms Al Bayat presented the delegates of the BIE Member States with the Expo’s preparation strategy, focusing on a content structure which revolves around theme, culture and innovation. She added that the countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai has begun and that “2017 is the year when design is being taken off paper and brought to life”, as the various infrastructure projects are fully underway. The unveiling of the designs for the last major component of the Expo, the Al Wasl Plaza, was a major milestone in the development of the site.

Al Wasl Plaza

Meaning ‘the connection’ in Arabic, the 65m high, trellis dome structure was inspired by the Expo’s logo. Featuring a translucent 360-degree projection screen, the plaza is designed to be a central hub of activity, and will be converted into a space for hotels and retail units, as part of the Expo’s physical legacy.

Emphasising the importance of the Expo’s theme, Ms Al Bayat detailed the Expo Live initiative, a programme launched to fund and accelerate creative solutions. This partnership and sponsorship initiative is open to everyone and has already resulted in 29 grants being awarded to projects from across the world. BIE Member States were invited to actively participate in this programme in the run up to the Expo.

Manal Al Bayat, Senior Vice-President of Expo 2020 Dubai

The communication strategies to promote the Expo, including digital media, destination marketing and international events, are gaining momentum according to Ms Al Bayat. An air travel activation plan is set to be launched later in the year, and 50 Emirates’ aircraft will soon display the Expo 2020 Dubai logo. These promotional activities will help the Expo achieve its goal of welcoming over 25 million visitors, from both within and outside the UAE.

Furthermore, a visitor centre located in the Expo 2020 offices will be opened shortly to enable the local population and visitors to learn more about the value and legacy of the Expo, as well as the programmes leading up to its opening. As preparations advance, it is evident that Expo 2020 Dubai “is fast becoming a reality, not only in terms of the physical site, or in thematic promise, but also in terms of the participants, as over 100 countries have already confirmed their participation”, concluded Ms Al Bayat.