Dubai: A total of 190 countries have confirmed their participation in Expo 2020 Dubai with just under 700 days to go.

The milestone means that Expo has already surpassed the 180-nation commitment set out in its successful 2013 bid to host a World Expo for the first time in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

The announcement comes on the opening day of Expo 2020’s third International Participants Meeting (IPM), which will see hundreds of delegates from around the world gather in Dubai to receive information and updates on the delivery of the biggest event to ever be held in the Arab world.

Taking place on November 26 and 27, this year’s IPM will cover a wide range of topics relating to the design, delivery and content of country pavilions.

The agenda will include updates on site progress and details of how Expo 2020 is supporting the participant journey, as well as information sessions and panel discussions involving participating nations.

“In less than two years’ time, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome the international community to the UAE for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress, allowing millions of people to experience the world in one place,” Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said in a statement on Sunday.

Moreover, she said that Expo 2020 offers an opportunity for countries from every corner of the planet to showcase their cultures, ideas and innovations to millions of visitors, and every participating nation will play an important role in the delivery of an exceptional World Expo.

A number of nations will sign their official Expo 2020 participation contracts during the IPM, after confirming their chosen subtheme and pavilion plot. Countries that have already unveiled their pavilion plans include Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Switzerland, the UK and the UAE. More are expected to follow in the coming months.

Organised in collaboration with the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the IPM is held at regular intervals to update its members and other countries on Expo 2020 Dubai’s progress and plans, and to inform them of opportunities related to their participation. The inaugural meeting took place in 2016.

Those attending this year’s IPM include ambassadors, government officials, country delegates, commercial partners, BIE representatives and members of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.

Vicente G Loscertales, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, said that this year’s IPM is an opportunity to further engage with international participants and learn more about their plans for the next World Expo.

“With more and more countries now revealing their pavilion designs and content plans, we are already seeing key contributions to the overall Expo 2020 experience. We also look forward to seeing the progress made by Expo 2020 to deliver a truly lively, educational, exciting and above all, meaningful World Expo,” he said.