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What is Expo 2020 Dubai?

What to expect from the greatest show on earth. (Source: Reuters)

Expo 2020 Dubai has been more than just a buzzword in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for years now – eight years, in fact, ever since Dubai’s bid won over the World Expo appointment panel in Paris in 2013.

However, some are still scratching their heads trying to work out exactly what lies in store. So, if you aren’t yet acquainted, we’ve pulled together a quick guide to what Expo 2020 is all about.

This showstopper event was originally due to take place in 2020, but COVID put a pin in those plans and the new Dubai Expo 2020 dates are Friday, 1st October 2021 until Thursday, 31st March 2022.

What is Expo 2020 Dubai?

Expo 2020 is the latest edition in a bulging catalogue of World Expos held around the planet. The World Expo series has been running since 1851, when the first event – then called the Great Exhibition – took place in London.

Shows represent a global gathering of nations dedicated to creating solutions to the most pressing matters of the day, engaging with visitors – who often flock in their millions to attend – via engaging, immersive and interactive activities.

The Dubai instalment will be the first ever to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, underlining the UAE’s place at the forefront of discussions that are shaping how we harness the potential of the living world. Organisers estimate that 25million visitors will arrive in Dubai during Expo 2020’s six-month run.

The Expo 2020 site spans 4.38 square kilometers and is located in the Dubai South district, close to Al Maktoum International Airport and within easy reach of Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals.

What’s happening at Expo 2020 Dubai?

More than 190 countries will descend on Dubai in a worldwide sharing of culture and innovation. Participating countries have been given the opportunity to set up shop at their very own pavilion to showcase how their nation is contributing to critical global debates on hotly-discussed issues.

Expo 2020 has three core themes – namely Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity – and these are explored in a variety of ways across three dedicated districts.

Terra – punctuated by the now iconic Sustainability Pavilion – is a playful, exploratory experience, where visitors will be guided on a trip through time, steadily introduced to the concept that change is a natural part of life.

The Mobility District and its pavilion shoulder responsibility for encouraging visitors to better connect with each other and explore new horizons at the forefront of human progress.

The Opportunity District resplendent with the third and final Expo 2020 pillar pavilion, holds significance as a place for people to connect across age, language and culture, to celebrate shared human experiences.

Pakistan’s pavilion

Taking to the Express Tribune, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said the Pakistan’s pavilion is located in the Opportunity District. The theme for Pakistan’s Pavilion is ‘Pakistan: The Hidden Treasure.’

“The primary aim of the pavilion is to enhance tourism, commerce and investment in the country by revealing the undiscovered potential and possibilities of Pakistan,” he said. “The hidden treasures of Pakistan will be presented through an immersive, multi-sensory experience exploring rich history, incredible lands, cultural and religious diversity, rich craft tradition and the economic potential,” he added.

He stressed that the pavilion would take visitors through a timeless journey from one of the world’s earliest recorded civilization to the challenges of the new millennium.

He added that the participation would be leveraged through a series of business, investment and cultural side events in line with Expo week themes to manage the business image of Pakistan as a modern and progressive country.

When asked which Pakistani companies would be taking part in Expo 2020, he pointed out that it is a thematic event with no direct presence of companies or corporates. However, many Pakistani corporates have generously contributed to the building of the pavilion and other activities, he noted.