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Experience the new world

nisthula@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 21, 2021

Expo 2020 Dubai will bring together millions of people and the greatest innovations from around the globe, helping shape a better world

Almost eight years ago, on November 27, 2013, fireworks from the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, painted the sky as thousands across the UAE celebrated. Dubai had won the bidding to host the 2020 World Expo. A national holiday was even declared for all educational institutions across the country.

Now we are just about 10 days away from the six-month innovation extravaganza taking place from October 1 to March 31. The words ‘Expo 2020 Dubai’ have been on everyone’s mind over the last year. The emirate has achieved the honourable opportunity to host this unparalleled event, which is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) and is extending a warm Emirati welcome to the world.

The Expo 2020 Dubai site is located on a 4.38 sq km area adjacent to the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South.

Expo 2020 will be an endless journey of discovery. Visitors will have access to the latest innovations and breakthroughs, with participants — including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational institutions — coming together to highlight real-life solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

If travel is the best teacher in life, then Expo 2020 will be the best educator. With 192 countries participating — the most in World Expo history — this once-in-a-lifetime experience is a feast for all your senses as every participating country has its own pavilion, which is also a first for the World Expo. Pavilions are also hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai partners, organisations in various fields and special pavilions such as the Baden-Württemberg, The Good Place and the Women’s Pavilion as well as the main district pavilions.

Held every five years, for the last 170 years, World Expos have provided a platform to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped the world we live in today. Expo 2020 Dubai will continue that tradition with the latest technology from around the globe. From the first expo in London, several inventions were introduced, popularised and have become completely different versions from their initial prototype and have made their way into our lives and homes. Some of them are the television, computers, telephones and even ketchup and ice cream cones!

On the back of these gargantuan expectations, Expo 2020 Dubai is holding up tremendously in terms of design, infrastructure, planning, participants, programmes and more headed by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau.

Earlier this month His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had tweeted, “The six months of the event will go down in history for ideas and inventions that will benefit humanity for years to come.” The Vice-President even took a bike tour of the site just last week.

Expo 2020’s has three sub-themes — Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability — which will inspire visitors to make a conscious effort to think and live differently and the renewed optimism that, through collaboration, it is possible to make a lasting change to the world.

At the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai is the Al Wasl Plaza — a jaw-dropping sight for its sheer scale. With a 130-metre-wide, 67.5-metre-tall dome that doubles as a 360-degree laser projection surface, on which 250 laser projectors paint images. It is the world’s largest unsupported dome. To give some context — it is equal to the size of 16 Burj Khalifas stacked on top of one another. Its main purpose is to connect all three districts. It will remain the iconic hub of District 2020 after the event closes.

Sustainability

This district focuses on how more people can choose the sustainable path towards a future where we all live in balance with our only home: Planet Earth. Through collaboration, small actions grow into positive global movements that will help communities protect and preserve the world around us. As visitors delve deeper into the Sustainability District, they’ll witness some of the world’s most advanced technology, what countries are doing to advocate for sustainability, and experience how the human race can enjoy living in harmony with nature in a high-tech future. Some countries that are part of the Sustainability District are Kuwait, Canada, Yemen, Azerbaijan and more.

Terra — The Sustainability Pavilion

The star of the sustainability district is Terra — The Sustainability Pavilion. Built to be net-zero for both energy and water, 4,912 solar panels cover Terra’s 130-metre wide canopy and are atop 18 Energy Trees that help generate four gigawatt-hours of alternative energy per year, enough electricity to charge more than 900,000 mobile phones. A playful, exploratory experience, The pavilion also uses cutting-edge water-reduction strategies, water recycling and alternative water sources and is meant to meet the highest available accreditation for sustainable architecture — the LEED Platinum certification.

Terra was the first pavilion to open to the public from January to April this year. It will remain in legacy as a science centre that will inspire sustainable choices for generations to come.

Experience the new world (https://images.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT30282921.JPG)

Mobility

The world becomes more connected every single day, it is seemingly limitless. In the Mobility district, explore horizons that drive human progress, as mobility continues to transform the way we live, connect with people, understand different cultures, and exchange knowledge and ideas. The aim is to break down the divide between the physical and digital worlds to build a harmonious, global society where information, ideas and goods are exchanged faster than ever before. Some countries in the Mobility district are Australia, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Jamaica among others.

Alif — The Mobility Pavilion

Reflecting the district’s purpose, visitors will come face-to-face with the larger-than-life, nine-metre-tall historical giants of mobility whose innovations helped navigate the world and paved the way for the technology we use today. Those who are curious about the world beyond Earth are in for a treat — feel empowered to explore uncharted territories and attend workshops and see technology-inspired performances involving drones and robots. Step into the future of smart cities built with AI, big data, robotics, machine learning and autonomous transport.

The pavilion features the world’s largest passenger lift, which will transport 160+ people at a time. It also stars a partly underground, partly open-air 330-metre track for one to see cutting-edge mobility devices in action.

Opportunity

This district draws attention to the butterfly effect, where one person’s action can be the key that unlocks eight billion opportunities that aid in creating a better tomorrow, today. Visitors will get to meet, interact and exchange ideas with the social innovators who are transforming dreams and aspirations into the realities of tomorrow worldwide. There are also activities designed specifically towards youth empowerment and skill-building. Some of this district’s countries are Ukraine, Monaco, the UK and Switzerland. Dubai’s flagship airline, Emirates, will also have a pavilion within the district.

Mission Possible — The Opportunity Pavilion

Be inspired by three individuals – Mariam, Abel, and Mama Fatma – whose seemingly small actions have created a big impact in their communities in the areas of food, water and energy. Join the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Become an agent of change to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The pavilion builds on the rich urban history of the ‘plaza’ and its universal significance as a place for people to connect across age, language and culture, to celebrate our shared human experiences.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s Opening Ceremony will be a breathtaking curtain-raiser featuring hundreds of performers in a 90-minute spectacular that will take spectators on an incredible journey across Expo’s subthemes, showcasing the deep-rooted values of the UAE and the vision and purpose of the Expo.

The mega-event is also keeping in mind the needs of the pandemic. For all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers vaccination is mandatory. On site sanitisation stations, mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor and two-metre social distancing will be maintained.

Get your tickets for Expo 2020 Dubai at bit.ly/3tMBk1t.

With inputs from Expo 2020 Dubai.

Nisthula Nagarajan





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