What is Expo?
It is a global destination for millions of people to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity. They are organized every five years and last for six months.
The first World Expo was held in 1851 at London's Crystal Palace and was known as The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. It displayed about 100,00 objects showcasing the inventions from the industrial revolution.
Some of the amazing inventions which were first brought to the world at an expo include the telegraph in London in 1851, the typewriter in Philadelphia in 1876, the diesel engine in Paris in 1900, the colour TV in New York in 1964, IMAX film in Osaka in 1970, and wireless trams in Yeosu in 2012.
The most recent expo, which started in 2015, was held in Milan, Italy, under the theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". Inventions to come out of it include solar trees and energy saving elevators - something which would be useful in the UAE with all of the high-rise buildings.
With 190 participating countries now confirmed for Expo 2020 Dubai, the world is officially on its way to the UAE.
The milestone means that Expo 2020 has already surpassed the 180-nation commitment set out in its successful 2013 bid to host the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region’s first ever World Expo, with just under 700 days to go until the opening ceremony.
The news comes on the opening day of Expo 2020’s third International Participants Meeting, as hundreds of delegates gather in Dubai for information and updates on the largest ever event in the Arab world.
For the first time in the 167-year history of World Expos, each participating country will have its own pavilion at Expo 2020, giving all nations the opportunity to showcase their achievements, innovations, aspirations and cultures to the world.
Country pavilions will also be organised according to Expo 2020’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, rather than geographically – another World Expo first.
In less than two years’ time, participating nations from every corner of the planet will gather in the UAE, bringing to life Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
Expo 2020 Dubai is shaping up to be a truly global destination that will offer millions of people the unique opportunity to experience the entire world in one place.
How did Dubai win?
"Ladies and gentlemen, Dubai wins."
Those were the words in 2013 which brought about scenes of jubilation both in Paris at the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the international organization responsible for overseeing, regulating and selecting the candidate for the world fair, and in the UAE where residents were waiting for the outcome of the voting of the 164 nation members entitled to vote. Dubai won by a resounding majority with 116 votes, leaving Yekaterinburg, Russia, with only 47.
“I am proud of our teams who earned this victory for Dubai with two years of hard work, dedication and commitment,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said. “We renew our promise to astonish the world in 2020.”
Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State and managing director of the Dubai World Expo 2020 bid committee, had earlier delivered an emotional speech to the BIE committee. She received resounding applause for her 20-minute presentation which contained videos on Dubai's strengths of diversity, infrastructure and stability.
When the victory announcement was made fireworks filled the sky in Dubai as they exploded out of the Burj Khalifa in front of thousands of smiling faces below. Sheikh Mohammed later announced a holiday for all educational institutions across the UAE.
Connecting Minds, Creating the Future
Our once-in-a-lifetime celebration – the largest event ever staged in the Arab world – is set to welcome 190 participating countries, and millions of visitors from across the globe. Here they will experience warm Emirati hospitality at its finest, as well as the UAE’s values of inclusion, tolerance and cooperation. Youth are at the heart of our World Expo. That’s why Expo 2020 aspires to create a meaningful legacy that will benefit generations to come, both locally and globally, spanning everything from innovations and architecture to friendships and business opportunities