Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony event on 30 Sept 2021 Image Credit: WAM

Wow! Now that’s how you open the greatest show on Earth. Today, every person involved in bringing Expo 2020 to fruition, or who participated in Thursday night’s spectacular opening ceremony should be very, very proud.

After years of planning and some eight years after Dubai was awarded the Expo, long months of construction and fine tuning and the delays enforced by the pandemic, Dubai and the UAE have welcomed the world and how.

Those 2,864 days have certainly paid off. What a way to showcase Expo 2020 with an opening ceremony watched live by millions around the world — even beamed into Times Square in New York — and 430 locations across the UAE.

The spectacular display on Thursday night certainly announced that for the next 182 days, Expo 2020 is like nothing else on Earth — an exhibition that is truly a city with a city straddling Dubai and Abu Dhabi and bigger than the principality of Monaco.

For Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the opening of Expo marks the culmination of his vision to welcome the world here — and the UAE pavilion, the jewel of Al Wasl Plaza, does that — an architectural and technological building unlike anything else.

As Sheikh Mohammed rightly noted: “Expo 2020 Dubai showcases the best of human accomplishment and excellence. Connecting minds across the world, the event brings countries, cultures and institutions together to share groundbreaking ideas and build bridges of understanding,” adding “it offers a platform to forge a united worldwide effort to build a more sustainable and prosperous future for all of mankind.”

While being hosted in Dubai, Expo 2020 is truly a national event. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is delighted to bring together participants from 192 countries to a nation “that has upheld the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence throughout its history.”

It is hard to find words to describe the sheer size and ambition of the project that is now open to the world — offering hope. Yes, hope.

These have been difficult times for the world. Now, with the opening of Expo 2020, there is hope. As the inaugural ceremony showcased, Expo brings us all together as one global community for the greater good of humanity. The future is truly here.