The world gathers in Dubai for the grand opening of Expo 2020

After eight years of preparations, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) is lifting the curtains tonight on Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo in the MEASA region. Leadership of the UAE and over 190 participating countries are gathering at the Expo site today for a spectacular opening ceremony, taking place at 7.30pm GST / 3.30pm UTC and live-streamed online and to more than 430 locations in the UAE.

Featuring stunning visuals and live performances by over 900 local, regional and international artists, the opening ceremony will offer a dazzling experience to spectators both on site and around the world. The grand opening is taking place in Al Wasl Plaza, the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen, and the centrepiece of the 438-hectare Expo site situated in Dubai South.

Expo 2020 Dubai's opening ceremony is taking place at 7.30pm GST in Al Wasl Plaza

The gates to the Expo and all pavilions will open at 10am GST tomorrow, 1 October, for the first of 182 days of exciting cultural encounters, inspiring educational experiences and immersive spectacles. The Expo, which will remain open until 31 March 2022, will welcome visitors seven days a week, from 10am to midnight on Saturday-Wednesday and from 10am to 2am on Thursday and Friday.

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, notes the excitement for the first World Expo in the region: “All the world is coming together, for the first time since the pandemic began, to connect, to exchange and to learn on this extraordinary global stage. The time has now come to open Expo 2020 Dubai, an Expo that marks the era, that plays a defining role in the global recovery, and that contributes to a better future.”

Al Wasl Plaza, the central hub of Expo 2020 Dubai

Centred around the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 Dubai gathers more than 190 participating countries, each having its own pavilion, located in one of the Expo’s three districts representing the subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Initially scheduled to open on 20 October 2020, the World Expo was postponed by 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.

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 Energy for Our Lives”.