Pizzazz and Splendour
Expo 2020 begins with a star-studded Opening Ceremony, streamed live across the UAE, and spectacular fireworks
Expo 2020 Dubai’s Opening Ceremony was a breathtaking curtain-raiser featuring hundreds of performers in a 90-minute spectacular that will change the way people around the world see Dubai and the UAE.
Giving a glimpse from behind the scenes, creative directors and performers describe their excitement at being part of a transformative once-in-a-lifetime event.
Prior to the event, Amna Abulhoul, Executive Creative Director, Events and Entertainment, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The opening ceremony is a breathtaking experience. It is not something that I can explain through words. It will trigger something inside you, something that will make you feel that you are ready to change the world.”
Dazzling costumes and projections reflected the diverse nature and landscapes of the UAE, while the entire ceremony personified Expo’s theme and purpose to connect minds and create the future.
More than 1,000 performers and technical crew, drawn from the UAE and around the world, coming together to make the magic happen.
The ground-breaking Opening Ceremony was broadcast to a global audience of millions across multiple channels, including Expo TV.
Yesterday, nation-wide Opening Ceremony viewing parties took place across the country, which thanked the nation for its support and inviting everyone to come together to celebrate this momentous occasion for Dubai, the UAE and the region as a whole.
Screens will be set up in locations ranging from airports and shopping malls to hotels and other landmarks, relaying the incredible music and cultural performances as they happen.
Using music, dance, drama and projection, the ceremony gave audiences around the world their first experience of Expo 2020’s beating heart, Al Wasl Plaza — demonstrating the cutting-edge technology that will bring Al Wasl dome, the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen, to life.
Tareq Ghosheh added: “It was an experience that the world had never seen before in terms of the number of creative minds and capable technical people working together in order to produce this event in this format — whether for a live audience or broadcast.”
Mounir Cherkaoui, a performer and choreographer from Morocco, had been rehearsing for more than three months for the incredible event.
Inspired to take up dance after watching Michael Jackson as a young boy, he described the show as a ‘piece of art’.
Before the event, he had this to say: “I meet a lot of people at the Expo and that’s what makes me happy. I meet different nationalities, different knowledge, different mentalities. We are friends, we are family that’s what I like… I can’t tell you about the show, it’s a secret, but I can tell you that it’s a piece of art. I’m so happy to dance and to be a part of this project.”
With Expo 2020, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the largest event ever in the Arab world, the show is a huge moment of pride for the UAE, kickstarting 182 days of celebration in the year of the country’s Golden Jubilee.
Among the performers were world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli; Grammy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day; platinum-selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding; international mega-star pianist Lang Lang; and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.
The Opening Ceremony took spectators on an incredible journey across Expo’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, showcasing the deep-rooted values of the UAE and the vision and purpose of the Expo while welcoming the mega-events of 192 participating countries in spectacular fashion.
This will be followed today by three spectacular fireworks displays in Dubai, marking the first full day of the Expo in a spectacular visual celebration commemorating the journey from winning the bid in 2013 to opening the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and the largest global event held since the start of the pandemic.
The incredible fireworks displays will take place on the today evening, kicking off at 8.20 pm, at Dubai Festival City, The Frame and The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, with each presenting their unique celebrations.
Both The Pointe and Dubai Festival City will incorporate their fountains into dazzling light and sound show themed on Expo 2020, while The Frame façade will be lit up in Expo colours.
The flags of participating countries will also be displayed at each, with booths on the ground for purchasing Expo 2020 tickets.
The roster of streaming locations for the Opening Ceremony included more than 240 hotels nation-wide, including Emaar’s Rove, Armani, Address Hotels & Resorts, and Vida Hotels & Resorts, as well as Accor, Marriot, Hilton, IHG, Rotana, Jumeirah, Hyatt International and Atlantis The Palm.
In addition, 17 Majid Al Futtaim malls, plus City Walk, Nakheel Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall, as well as 50 Jashanmal locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 97 Mediclinics, Dubai and Abu Dhabi International Airports and Zabeel Ladies Club and Sharaf DG also streamed the experience.
Expo 2020 Partners are also offering their invaluable support, with many, including Dulsco, Terminus Group, L’Oreal and Nissan, hosting Opening Ceremony viewing parties for their staff.
Emirates, the Official Airline Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, will also stream proceedings across its first and business class lounges, both local and international.
Adding to the evening’s magic, viewings took place at various locations in Umm Al Quwain, Yas Plaza in Abu Dhabi and across various locations in Ras Al Khaimah, including the Corniche, Al Marjan Island and Manar Mall.
Ajman Heritage District and Fujairah Fort will also host a live broadcast.
The latter will be accompanied by an evening of other festivities that include a mini village, folklore bands, traditional crafts, heritage displays and traditional food.
Source: Expo 2020 Dubai.
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