One of the most highly anticipated events this year, Dubai Expo 2020 which was delayed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, finally opened its doors in October 2021. It is hailed as the world’s second-biggest (after Tokyo Olympics) event since the beginning of the ongoing pandemic and is attracting millions of visitors each month. This is the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia with many reasons to be counted as one of the most important in exposition history.
For 170 years, World Expos have provided a platform to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped the world we live in today. Expo 2020 continues that tradition with the latest technology from around the globe.
According to Mr. Christophe Leloup, Emirates Kenya Country Manager, this event is a great opportunity to showcase Dubai and the UAE’s mettle as global centres for large scale world-class events, in addition to helping tell the Expo’s bold story, exciting audiences globally to visit, and experience this once in a lifetime event.
Can you believe that the site of the 1,080-acre (438 hectare) expo was once just an empty barren desert land adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South? Fascinating to say the least. The organizers shared the video that captures the eight years of dedication that helped create the incredible architecture for the region’s first world fair.
The site is a futuristic landscape with more than 190 nations using their pavilions to spotlight their greatest tourist attractions, discoveries and ambitions. It is also a buzzing ground with robots that bark automated orders at bare-faced visitors to mask up, a new metro station, multi-million-dollar pavilions and so-called districts with names like “sustainability” and “opportunity.”
Expo 2020 seeks to raise awareness about the worldwide issues that mankind faces. It provides several possibilities for networking and the promotion of international connections.
I was honored to visit the Expo courtesy of www.emirates.com and got to see amazing spectacular pavilions of different countries exhibiting their unique cultures and technical innovations.
Here are my 5 must see and visit stands
According to Brand Kenya, the theme at thos pavilion is “Feel the Energy” which describes the energy that is Kenya the brand, which is felt through its people, products, the wildlife, the ravishing sights and sounds among others. The Kenya pavilion seeks to pass on that energy to the visitors, inspiring them to create their own opportunities and push for what seems impossible, when they walk in through those doors.
Inside the pavilion, you get to see Kenya’s trade and investment opportunities aligned with the Big Four Development Agenda: manufacturing, food security, universal health care and affordable housing for all. The country’s development agenda is geared towards the EXPO theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The stand themed “Feel the Energy”, has been framed to embody the Kenyan people’s warmth, hospitality, and heritage
Envisioned by artist and designer Es Devlin, the UK pavilion 21-metre-high structure acts as a poem pavilion. Its cone shape is made of several slats where, on each end, algorithmically generated words will appear throughout the event, creating a “collective message” for all.
The concept of a universal message was inspired by Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist whose final projects included the pursuit of a “breakthrough message” from the world that could be sent to space in an effort to find or communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence. Hawking launched the Breakthrough Initiatives, funded by Russian tycoon Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, in 2015.
The Brazil Pavilion at Expo 2020 offers a sensory experience that connects visitors of the World Expo with Brazilian biomes and cultural heritage. As you step into the pavilion, you feel like you are in an oasis, immersed in Brazil’s natural environment, walking through diverse landscapes. It has a pool inside supplied by rainwater harvesting, back-flushing filters, and condensation from the air-conditioning system.
When you walk in, you can don waterproof boots or walk barefoot through the space, which is also tuned to specific temperature and humidity levels that reflect the conditions of Brazil’s ecosystems. It is simply amazing.
The pavilion’s walls, meanwhile, are illuminated by video projections that evoke various Brazilian scenes that relate to water. When there are no projections, the water covering the floor takes on a reflective quality, mirroring the white steel structure and translucent walls.
Saudi Arabia Pavilion
It is considered to be one of the largest pavilions and has already achieved three Guinness World Records for the largest interactive light floor, the longest interactive water curtain, and the largest interactive digital screen mirror.
Its daring cantilevered structure and a very sophisticated audiovisual system integrated into the exterior façades and floor of the Pavilion’s square would ensure it as the most distinctive, exciting, and memorable landmark. The Saudi Pavilion offers a glimpse into our shared future, taking you on a journey through our ambitions across four main pillars: people, nature, heritage and opportunities.
Lithuania’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai is named Openarium. It is a wooden building that represents Lithuania as a country that is open to creativity, sustainability, communality, and innovation. Its purpose is to create the atmosphere of a growing and sustainable society, highlighting Lithuania’s peculiarity as well as modernity. Created by talented Lithuanian architects the external pavilion appearance shows Lithuania in the eyes of a modern Lithuanian – as an open and genuine country.
Pavilion interior with its open spaces, massive windows and decorations symbolize and delicately reveals Lithuania’s independence history, struggle for freedom and the joy of liberation. The exposition presents factual and visible material about Lithuania – its culture, innovations, and identity.
It is said the Expo 2020 Dubai site is 4.4 square kilometers in size, which equates more than 600 soccer fields. It includes dedicated highway exits, public transport lines, and an exhibition center capable of hosting more than 20,000 people. Trust Dubai to go all way out on innovation- there are more than 100 robots that greet visitors, deliver food, help with directions and take photographs.
“The Expo 2020 Dubai site will live long after it closes its doors and is in fact planning to reuse at least 80% of the existing infrastructure. The airline is working closely with the Expo 2020 Dubai team on a legacy project for the pavilion,” says Mr. Christophe Leloup, Emirates Kenya Country Manager.
Dubai Expo 2020 is open seven days a week. You can enter from 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM on Saturday to Wednesday, and 10:00 AM to 02:00 AM on Thursdays, Fridays, and on special days.
In addition, of the 191 countries that have confirmed their participation in Expo 2020, emirates.com currently facilitates connectivity with direct flights to 71 of those countries.