The UAE welcomes the world to Expo 2020 Dubai

The first World Expo in the Middle East is now underway, with the gates to Expo 2020 Dubai having opened to the public. Visitors started arriving this morning at the Expo site, situated in Dubai South, for the first of 182 days of educational discoveries, cultural encounters and immersive experiences under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

The opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai took place in Al Wasl Plaza on 30 September

The World Expo was formally inaugurated last night, 30 September, by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, during a spectacular opening ceremony in Al Wasl Plaza, the centrepiece of the Expo site. Over 900 performers, including musicians Ahlam Alshamsi, Ellie Goulding, Lang Lang, and Andrea Bocelli, treated spectators on the site and all around the world to a dazzling show, which included stunning visual projections on the Al Wasl dome.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai

Welcoming countries during the opening ceremony, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes declared: “For tens of millions of people, Expo 2020 Dubai is a tremendous occasion to reconnect with the whole world, to truly engage with critical questions of universal importance and to showcase innovative and cutting-edge solutions to our global problems. Expo 2020 Dubai will be a transformational event, creating new partnerships and generating deep and meaningful connections to make our world better.” (Click here to access the full text of the speech)

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes

H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, welcomed the world to Expo 2020 Dubai – and to the UAE – in his speech, saying: “Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a significant platform for all people to connect, discuss and work together. Together, we will convey, from the UAE to the world, on our 50th anniversary, a message of tolerance, coexistence and peace; a message of progress, prosperity and growth; a message of brotherhood, happiness and an unwavering will to create a brighter future for everyone.”

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai

Over 190 countries are gathered for Expo 2020 Dubai, the highest number of countries ever to participate in a World Expo, with each participating country having its own pavilion, situated in either the Opportunity District, Mobility District, or Sustainability District.

The Expo experience, in addition to national, thematic and corporate pavilions, also features a bespoke calendar of thematic, cultural and entertainment events, such as the programme for People and Planet. During the next six months, key stakeholders will meet for fruitful exchange around some of the most important pressing challenges including climate and biodiversity, water, and urban and rural development, while thousands of cultural performances and sports activities will take place on the 4.38 square kilometre site.

Over 190 countries are participating in Expo 2020 Dubai

Initially scheduled to open on 20 October 2020, the World Expo was postponed for one year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world. Keeping the name “Expo 2020 Dubai, the Organiser has worked closely with the BIE and International Participants to deliver a safe visitor experience with enhanced digital outreach. In addition to reinforced entry measures that require adult visitors to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a recent negative PCR test, the Expo applies social distancing and offers a SmartQueue system for pavilion visits.

World Expos, officially known as International Registered Exhibitions, are global gatherings of nations addressing universal challenges of our time. These unparalleled global events offer a journey inside a chosen theme through engaging and immersive activities. The previous World Expo took place in Milan, Italy in 2015 under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The following World Expo will take place in 2025 in Osaka, Kansai, Japan, under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.