Connecting Minds, Creating the Future: Maria Jones on Exploring the Dubai Expo 2020

by Maria Jones

Held every five years, the first World Expo was in 1851 in London, and the most recent was in Milan in 2015. However, the Dubai Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia, and is said to be the largest event to ever take place in the UAE. I’m traveling to Dubai to witness this incredible event and film multiple videos for you showing all the highlights.

The theme of ‘Connecting minds, creating the future’ means the Dubai Expo 2020 will be particularly focused on the topics of mobility, sustainability and opportunity. You know how much I love learning about innovation, technology, and development, and I feel like the Expo is the perfect occasion to deepen your understanding of these topics even further. 

The Expo will run for six months, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. With 25 million visitors expected during the six months, it will be the largest tourist event since the pandemic began. 

The main site will be a 438-hectare area between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, close to Al Maktoum International Airport. The Expo will have its own dedicated Dubai Metro Station stop providing easy access for visitors. The event aims to connect people from across the world and invites its visitors to experience the best of art, culture, music, science, innovation and technology, that is why 192 pavilions of all countries were built. 

The Mobility Pavilion will tell the story of the movement of people, goods and services, data and ideas, and social mobility. The pavilion will also include the world’s largest elevator, which can transport over 160 people at a time.

The Opportunity Pavilion will enable visitors to realise the role they play in human development through their actions. Visitors to the pavilion will be guided through three themes; water, food, and energy.

The Sustainability Pavilion, also known as ‘Terra’, will explore our relationship with nature, as well as ways we can change our everyday choices to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact. This pavilion features 4,912 solar panels on the pavilion’s 130-metre-wide canopy and 18 energy trees.

I mean – could you imagine that building things like these would be even possible? 

For the first time in World Expo history, every participating country will have its own pavilion. With more than 190 participating countries, each pavilion will showcase the best of their achievements and will offer visitors a taste of their own country’s culture and traditions. Whilst all country pavilions will be sure to wow, discover some of the most anticipated below:

The Netherlands Pavilion will be a celebration of nature and will house a vertical farm with edible plants and solar powered rain showers. Italy’s Pavilion certainly promises a masterpiece, with a 3-D printed replica of Michelangelo’s David statue. Slide down a three-storey transparent slide in Luxembourg’s Pavilion or walk through a tropical rainforest at the Singapore Pavilion.

The UK’s Pavilion, inspired by one of the late Stephen Hawking’s projects, will highlight the prominence of the UK’s artificial intelligence and space sector. Whilst the US Pavilion will feature a moving walkway that meanders through its main exhibits showcasing how freedom creates opportunity for all.

You can also get an Expo passport and try to collect stamps from every country – it would be a nice souvenir and a nice gift to take back home. 

With up to 60 live events expected each day, visitors can enjoy concerts, stand-up comedy, fashion shows, dance shows, pyrotechnics displays and much more throughout the event site. Although the full line up has yet to be announced, some shows will be staples throughout the six months. 

Dubai is already known as a foodie paradise, but the Expo is about to take this to a whole new level. With more than 200 restaurants spread across the event site, you will be spoiled for choice. From menus prepared by famous chefs, to lunch prepared by robots, and hundreds of different cuisines from around the world, the Dubai Expo 2020 will delight your taste buds. As sustainability is big on the Expo’s agenda, there will be a focus on locally sourced produce and plant-based cuisine.

As the Dubai Expo 2020 will run for six months, the programme will incorporate many national and international celebrations. These include the UAE’s National Day on 2 December 2021, which is set to be a huge celebration as the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee (50th anniversary). The Expo will host a special programme of events in the build-up to this important day.  

Other important celebrations include Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and International Women’s Day. Featuring special event programmes for each holiday or international day, a visit to the Dubai Expo 2020 during one of these celebrations will make your experience even more special.

Besides the Expo, Dubai has some must-visit classic attractions, such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and Atlantis the Palm.

The long-awaited Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel, will be opening on 21 October 2021. Set to be one of Dubai’s biggest attractions, the Ain Dubai will provide its riders with unrivalled views of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The Museum of the Future, one of the world’s most beautiful museums, is also set to open in the near future. 

I am incredibly excited to be exploring the Expo with you and looking forward to telling you about all the ins and outs of this event.

About Maria Jones:

Maria Jones is a visitor of the Dubai Expo 2020, sharing her own opinion as a futurist and a social media influencer.

(Ambassador)

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