Dubai: From winning the bid in 2013 to diligently preparing for the mega-event over the course of nearly eight years, Dubai is finally down to the last 100 days before Expo 2020 Dubai opens its gates in October this year. Even prior to its highly anticipated launch, the event has made history as the first World Expo to be hosted by an Arab nation, while the host cities of preceding expositions were largely anchored to the regions of North America, Europe and East Asia such as Osaka, Seattle, Paris, Barcelona and London.
Now, Expo 2020 Dubai, which kicks off on October 1, is expecting 25 million visits with 70 per cent of the visitors coming from abroad – a target the organisers have optimistically stuck to despite the one-year pandemic setback and if met, would make history in the 170 years of World Expos.
With a little more than three months to go, check out all the other historic certifications and achievements Expo 2020 has already bagged before its run.
Expo 2020 Dubai did it first
First World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region: Never before has a world exposition been held within the MEASA perimeter. On November 27, 2013, Dubai won the winning bid to host the world at its own international fair, writing history in the process.
First World Expo to host pavilions for each participating country: All 191 country participants will have the opportunity to present their culture and innovations through their own pavilions. Participants will have either built their own pavilions or rented out an Expo-built pavilion or sought support from the organisers who have allocated assisted pavilions to developing countries.
First event in the Middle East to receive ‘Excellent’ sustainability ratings from CEEQUAL: Expo 2020 Dubai is on the fast track to becoming the most sustainable World Expo. CEEQUAL, an international sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for infrastructure projects, awarded eight Expo projects such as Al Wasl Plaza, parks and the public realm with an ‘Excellent’ certification.
First World Expo to be certified as a ‘Sensory Accessible Event’: Expo has met the high standards of the International Board of Sensory Accessibility (IBSA) through its initiatives to make the event as accessible to autistic and sensory sensitive individuals as possible. This also the first time an event in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia region has been accredited with the IBSA certification.
First World Expo to dedicate a pavilion to women’s empowerment since the 1900s: In collaboration with French luxury goods conglomerate Cartier, Expo 2020 Dubai is laying out the groundwork for gender equality at the Women’s Pavilion. Under the vision of Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, the pavilion’s extensive programming focuses on the role of women in sustainable development, biodiversity and space exploration.
First World Expo to dedicate a pavilion to social innovations: Expo Live’s The Good Place Pavilion foregrounds the innovations of people from all over the world striving to make a difference in their communities and offering solutions to pressing challenges afflicting our planet today. Expo Live hopes that upon engagement with select projects, millions of Expo visitors will be moved enough to become change-makers for good in their own right.
The World’s Greatest Show, a gathering of 200 participants with 192 countries, businesses, multilateral organisations and educational establishments, is set to start on October 1, 2021 and will go on to last for six months till March 31, 2022.
For a period of 182 days, global visitors will enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities and architecture, and learn the value of connecting minds to create a collective future.
- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.