Dubai: A section of the original staircase of the Eiffel Tower in Paris was inaugurated at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Forsan Park on Friday. The segment was used to ascend to the top of France’s iconic landmark when it opened at Expo 1889 Paris. Four years later, the stairs were replaced with a lift.
The staircase has travelled from Paris to many places, and is now in Dubai.
The event at Expo was inaugurated with speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and Vice-Chairman, Dubai Cares; Nathalie Kennedy, Consul-General of the Republic of France in Dubai; Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai; Machiko Gozen, President, Janat Paris; Yabunaka Aiko, Secretary General, Japan Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai; and Dr Bejit Dores, Business Partner, Janat Paris, participated in the event marking the French engineer Gustave Eiffel’s famous structure.
Al Khatib said: “When you climb these Eiffel Tower stairs and take a selfie, the backdrop is of Al Wasl Plaza, our own Eiffel Tower, which will keep reminding people of Expo 2020. It also speaks to our subthemes – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. We’re really thrilled to have the opportunity of bringing the Eiffel Tower stairs, and showcasing it at the Dubai Expo. If you talk about sustainability, this is a piece of history that is now also a piece of art. And it has travelled all the way from Paris to so many places, and is now here in Dubai. It is the perfect representation of the values of all World Expos.”
Kennedy said: “I’m so happy and honoured to have a piece of the Eiffel Tower right next to the Al Wasl Dome – it is very symbolic of travel, discovery, innovation and universal values that are at stake today.”
‘My father loves France’
Meanwhile, referring to a photograph on show at the inauguration, Al Gurg said: “Our association, as a family, with the French government, goes back 36 years. This is a picture of my father on the Eiffel Tower with his best friend in 1964. My father loves France. He bought a place there in the ’80s, which is where he started, sitting on the balcony working on his poetry and articles.”
Celebrating the spirit of travel and discoveries, the staircase has been brought to Expo 2020 Dubai by Janat Paris, a tea house that served its beverages at the opening of the Eiffel Tower. The project at Expo 2020 Dubai is dedicated to renowned Emirati poet, author, philosopher and explorer Mohammed Saleh Al Gurg, who passed away on November 8, 2020, and whose poems and proverbs continue to inspire curious minds.