One year countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai begins today
For six months, all eyes will be on the UAE as it delivers an exceptional Expo that entertains, enlightens and unites.
All seven emirates will erupt in vivid colours of jubilation as Dubai marks the one-year countdown to Expo 2020 on October 20.
American pop star Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 Ambassador Hussain Al Jassmi will lead the Dubai liveshow providing a taster of what visitors can expect when the World's Greatest Show opens its doors on October 20 next year.
Expo 2020 will bring the world together, including more than 200 international participants and millions of people, in a spirit of celebration, collaboration and optimism for the future. For six months, all eyes will be on the UAE as it delivers an exceptional Expo that entertains, enlightens and unites.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "As we mark One Year to Go until the UAE welcomes the world to Expo 2020, these spectacular nationwide celebrations will usher in the final leg of a historic journey and a major achievement not only for Dubai, but for the entire UAE.
"So far, 2019 has been the year of delivery and the Expo 2020 site has been transformed by the completion of key construction milestones such as the Thematic Districts and the crowning of Al Wasl dome. The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo.
"Our One Year to Go festivities offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020. These are an opportunity for us to look forward to this momentous occasion for our young, dynamic nation as we prepare to see our leadership's vision burst into life at the Expo 2020 Dubai," she said.
Tickets sold out
All the tickets to the One Year to Go event in Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, which will also feature a special appearance by leading Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor and an eye-catching countdown at 2020 (8.20pm) on Burj Khalifa, were snapped up within two hours by people from 76 nationalities. Organisers stress that anyone without a ticket should not seek entry at the Burj Park.
Thousands more people can still join the celebrations elsewhere in the UAE, however, with free festivities taking place simultaneously from 1700 to 2200 in the other six emirates at Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.
One hundred performing artistes from 26 nationalities will keep the whole family entertained, while also highlighting the universal language of art and the global appeal of the next World Expo.
Each event will feature a wealth of delicious cuisines to suit all tastes, a craft area for kids and the chance to meet the Expo 2020 Mascots for the first time, as well as more details about what to expect at the Expo 2020.
As well as Mariah Carey, Hussain Al Jassmi and Shraddha Kapoor, those lucky enough to have secured tickets for the Burj Park Downtown Dubai event will enjoy tunes from Khalifa Nasser, Shamma Hamdan, Abri & Funk Radius, and DJ Bliss. Visitors will also witness a special countdown show on the Burj Khalifa at 2020 (8.20pm) to mark one year until the next World Expo.
In the spirit of collaboration, five UAE-based musicians representing a mix of genres - from a qanoon player to a beatboxer - have been chosen to create a special track, marking One Year to Go. The group will perform the song live for the Burj Park crowd and a short documentary titled Musical Encounters, detailing the story of how the track came together, will be released after the event.
In Abu Dhabi, Louvre museum will host pop singer Sandra Sahi, who has amassed more than six million YouTube views with her songs Coconut and Hala Bre7at Heli, soulful North Carolina native Stephon Lamar and award-winning singer-songwriter Layla Kardan, plus the classical stylings of Emirati Trio.
Performing live at Al Majaz waterfront will be Indian band ROOH, classically trained singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, the diverse and harmonious Benna Duo, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki, Pakistani poet Namal Siddiqui, artist and designer Ahd Hany and MC Hassan Alsheikh.
Wowing visitors at the Ajman museum celebration will be an Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba. Live entertainment shows are lined up at other emirates as well.
No to single use plastic bottles
In line with the Expo 2020's subtheme of Sustainability, single-use plastic water bottles will not be sold at any of the celebrations. Instead, Expo 2020 will provide free drinking water and 98 per cent biodegradable and compostable paper water bottles to all visitors, performers and staff. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their own reusable drinking bottles.
Organisers expect these measures will save more than 100,000 plastic water bottles across all events. This initiative is part of the wider 'Be Water Wise' campaign - a collaboration between Expo 2020 and the UAE Water Aid Foundation, Suqia UAE, to combat water shortages in the region, keep the sea plastic-free and invest in innovative, sustainable solutions to help preserve the planet.