Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha closed its gates last night, following a ceremony marking the conclusion of the 179-day Expo which welcomed over 4.2 million visitors.

Themed “Green Desert, Better Environment” and gathering dozens of countries represented by their own gardens and pavilions, Expo 2023 Doha was the first ever Horticultural Expo to take place in the Middle East-North Africa region and the first to be held in an arid climate. The Expo took place in Al Bidda Park in central Doha, with the 170-hectare site split into the International Zone, the Family Zone and the Cultural Zone.

An official closing ceremony on 28 March marked the conclusion of Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha

The closing of the Expo was marked by Expo Organisers, international participants, staff, volunteers and visitors. The ceremony was the final event of an Expo that has recorded 7,000 events including 1,727 theme-related workshops and 600 stage performances.

The official closing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Municipality and Chairman of Expo 2023 Doha Organising Committee H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al Attiyah, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, and the President of the BIE’s General Assembly, Alain Berger, as well as a number of officials, heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the State of Qatar and pavilion commissioners.

H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al Attiyah, the Minister of Municipality and Chairman of Expo 2023 Doha Organising Committee, speaking at the closing ceremony of Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha

H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al Attiyah, the Minister of Municipality and Chairman of Expo 2023 Doha Organising Committee stated that Expo 2023 Doha “received the utmost care, attention and great participation from all governmental and private agencies and civil society institutions, in an effort to achieve our common goals by finding innovative solutions to reduce the problems of desertification and create a green and sustainable environment for our current and future generations”.

Alain Berger, the President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), speaking at the closing ceremony of Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha

Alain Berger, the President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), stated: “The gardens and pavilion presented in Doha have not only illustrated the horticultural and agricultural traditions of all those present, they have also embodied the creativity, the ingenuity and the responsibility of everyone. Expo 2023 Doha has been a demonstration of what is possible; it has called for action and international cooperation in favour of the preservation of our land, our agricultural heritage, and the inestimable wealth of our natural environment.”

During the course of the ceremony, the BIE flag was handed to Japan, host country of Expo 2027 Yokohama – as a sign of continuity from one Horticultural Expo to the next. The Ambassador of Japan to the State of Qatar, H.E. Satoshi Maeda received the flag on behalf of Expo 2027 Yokohama, which will be held between 19 March and 26 September 2027 under the theme “Scenery of the Future for Happiness”.

The flag of the BIE is handed to Japan, the host country of Expo 2027 Yokohama – the next Horticultural Expo

Having hosted thousands of events ranging from innovation workshops to art exhibits and National Day celebrations, Expo 2023 Doha now enters its legacy phase. The Expo site, Al Bidda Park, will return to the people of Qatar as a remodelled space for nature and leisure, strengthened by new permanent venues such as the Qatar Pavilion and the Expo House, the latter being gifted to Qatar Museums. Moreover, through its educational programmes including school visits and university partnerships, the Horticultural Expo aims to continue shaping dialogue and behaviour in favour of sustainable practices and green technology.

Horticultural Expos have been recognised by the BIE since 1960 and are aimed at fostering cooperation and the sharing of knowledge and solutions between countries, horticultural producers and agricultural industry by addressing the paramount issues of healthy lifestyles, green economies, sustainable living, education and innovation.