Expo’s or World Fairs are used to promote a nation’s image throughout the world and bring cultural awareness and economic growth to the host country. At an Expo world problems can be shared and hopefully solutions found by cooperation at government and citizen level. An Expo is the largest platform in the world where countries can meet and work together to make a better future for everyone.
Any city that wishes to be considered as a host for an Expo has to register their interest several years in advance to the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in Paris, France. BIE has been the governing body for such events since 1928 and in May 2013 there were 167 member states registered.
From the beginning of the new millennium Expos will only occur every five years, when the year ends with a “0” or a “5”. An Expo is awarded to a city many years before the actual event and Dubai citizens were given the good news on 27th November 2013. The announcement was followed by a spectacular firework display from the Burj Khalifa as the city celebrated their good fortune.
The main theme of the Dubai 2020 Expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, spoke at length in support of the bid stating that by working together whether as individuals, communities or countries this is the way forward.
The three themes will be accessibility, innovation and legacy.
These will be divided into sub-themes. The sub-themes are so interwoven especially in Dubai that the only way forward is to approach the three simultaneously to find the answers.
In the Opportunity sub-theme there will ideas on sustaining economic stability along with employment and education. It is also about being able to adapt to the fast-changing world in which we live and how exchanges between different cultures can be made to work together.
The Sustainability sub-theme is all about making sure everyone has access to the resources in the world and how to preserve them. Climate change is already a worldwide topic and this will be included in this sub-theme as well as the intelligent use of the power sources of energy, water and solar power.
The Mobility sub-theme will be looking at energy consumption, logistics and smart engineering. Major airlines are already looking at greener ways of operating and as this is one of the major modes of transport that will bring people into Dubai this will be very keenly watched.
Part of the project in Dubai will be the Expo Live programme that will bring to Dubai inventors and innovative ideas and products through the Euro Expo Partnership Fund.
This is to connect the potential partners with the innovators of tomorrow, bringing together people facing challenges with those that can help them.
The projects will be presented during the Expo in the Innovation Labs and Innovation Pavilion. Two of the projects will be affordable solar energy and a water initiative to supply clay pots with water filtering technology.
To fulfil this vision Expo 2020 in Dubai will create 277,000 new jobs in the UAE and bring in $40 billion to the economy. They are anticipating the highest visitor numbers ever for an Expo and predictions from experts vary widely from 25 million to over 100 million.
This will be the first Expo to be held in a majority Islamic country and where more visitors will come from outside of the host country than actually live there. The population of Dubai is 2.1 million and across the whole of the UAE there are just over nine million people.
As with any city that is the centre for a World Expo Dubai will benefit across a wide range of sectors, including engineering and construction as the vast site is built, with transportation and of course the retail and hospitality sectors experiencing tremendous growth as the date gets nearer.
At Jumeirah Lake Towers a 660 metre tall commercial building is planned and will be named in honour of Expo 2020 Dubai as “Burj 2020”. While not being the highest building in the world the plan is to have a 360º observation deck that will be higher than any other.
An estimated figure of Dh65 billion will be invested between now and 2020 in a frenzy of construction of some quite amazing projects and the infrastructure to support them. Some of those named so far are the Dubai Water Canal, Jewel of the Creek, Deira Islands, Aladdin City, Al Mamzar Beach Project and Al Habtoor City with more than 3,000 hotel and residential units on the one plot,
Not only is Dubai the host of the 2020 Expo but it is also the 50th anniversary of the UAE. In a few decades Dubai has become one of the world’s most innovative and exciting countries to live and work in and do business with.
After the Expo has finished the site will become the Dubai Trade Center Jebel Ali and the hub for many exciting new ventures and businesses in the country.
The Dubai Expo 2020 will be on a site that is equidistant between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and close to the Al Maktoum International Airport. Dubai is an excellent location as 60% of the world’s population live within eight hours of the city by plane.
The site will cover 438 hectares, more than twice the size of Monaco, and be divided into three areas which will all lead to the main plaza of Al Wasl. The three areas will all be themed and each country can choose where they would prefer to set up their pavilion according to their development strategy. The pavilions that the exhibitions are held in are like mini cities, sometimes several stories high.
A World Expo is one of the biggest and best world events that anyone can attend in their life; it is somewhere that all the most exciting aspects of our lives come together under one roof for all to see. Whether it is in science and technology, ecology or art and culture all the achievements and inventions of the world are there to be explored.
Alongside the exhibitions there will be cultural events staged by hundreds of participants, international organisations and businesses. There will be night time performances to experience and fantastic digitally projected light shows played around the central pavilion of Al Wasl.
Al Wasl is the Arabic word for “The Connection” and the rest of the pavilions will be arranged around this centrepiece in a manner inspired by Arabian souks or markets.
There will more than just a change to the landscape brought about by Dubai Expo 2020. The recruitment drive to find the right people to fill 277,000 jobs has already begun. HR departments are already searching for the most creative and skilled professionals in the engineering and construction industries to help turn plans into reality.