Expo 2020

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2021–2022 Dubai
Dubai Expo 2020 Logo.png
Official Logo
BIE-classUniversal exposition
CategoryInternational Registered Exhibition
NameEXPO 2020 كسبو
MottoConnecting Minds, Creating the Future
Area438 hectares (1,080 acres)
Organized byReem Al Hashimi (managing director)
MascotSalama, Rashid, Latifa, Alif, Opti, and Terra[1]
Countries192 confirmed April 2019[2]
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
VenueDubai Exhibition Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Awarded27 November 2013 (2013-11-27)
Opening1 October 2021
Closure31 March 2022
Universal expositions
PreviousExpo 2015 in Milan
NextExpo 2025 in Osaka
Specialized expositions
PreviousExpo 2017 in Astana
NextExpo 2023 in Buenos Aires
Horticultural expositions
Previous2019 World Horticultural Exposition in Beijing
Next2021 World Horticultural Exposition in Doha

Expo 2020 (Arabic: إكسبو 2020‎) is scheduled to be a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, originally was scheduled for 20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Arab Emirates, the new dates are 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022.[3] Despite being postponed, organizers will keep the name Expo 2020 for marketing and branding purposes. It is the first time that a World Exposition has been postponed to a later date rather than cancelled. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly in Paris named Dubai as the host on 27 November 2013.


The main site of Expo 2020 Dubai will be a 438-hectare area (1083 acres) located between the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, near Dubai's southern border with Abu Dhabi. The master plan, designed by the American firm HOK,[4] is organized around a central plaza, entitled Al Wasl, enclosed by three large Thematic districts. Each one is dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Expo 2020 – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.[5] Dubai has also been emphasizing on investments in various sectors such as economic growth, real estate, environmental avenues and public affairs. In recent times, Dubai has made major investments in Real Estate[6] as well as introduced a world's largest Solar Power Project which is all set to start by Expo 2020.[7] Apart from pumping money, the nation is also keen on giving equal prominence to public relationships. The initiative – Dubai Happiness Agenda – has 16 programmes under four themes that sums up 82 projects to be set in the city with an aim to make the city the happiest by 2020.[8] The Dubai Expo 2020 also would see a rise in the GDP as predicted by the International Monetary Fund.[9][10]


The following nations and regions have announced their participation in Expo 2020:


Name Sub theme Size Notes
 Australia[13] Mobility[15]
 Austria[13] Opportunity [16]
 Azerbaijan[17] Sustainability[18][19] 1,300 sqm of gardens and walkways[19] It has a theme of Seeds for the Future, and was designed by Simmetrico[19]
 Bahamas Sustainability[20] 7500 sq ft[20]
 Bahrain[13][21] Opportunity[18]
 Belarus[13] Opportunity[23] Called Forest of Future Technology the pavilion was designed by NÜSSLI Adunic AG[23]
 Belgium[13] Mobility[24] It has a theme of Smart and Green Belgium 2050 and was designed by Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures[24]
 Bhutan[25] To be decided (as of 23 August 2019)[25] The UAE is providing the pavilion free[25]
 Brazil[13] Sustainability[18][26]
 Bulgaria[27] Mobility[27]
 Burkina Faso[28]
 Burundi Opportunity[18]
 Canada Sustainability[18][29] Canada: The Future in Mind is a wooden structure designed by Moriyama & Teshima[29]
 Cape Verde[28]
 Central African Republic[28]
 China[13] Opportunity[18]
 Czech Republic[13] Sustainability[18][26][31] Its theme is Czech Spring, the architects are Formosa AA and it will included a restaurant serving Czech food[31]
 Djibouti[22] Mobility[18]
 Dominican Republic[22]
 DR Congo[28]
DP World Mobility (District 2020 legacy) The pavilion will become a permanent faculty dedicated to logistics[32]
 East Timor[17]
ENOC[33] 2,060 sqm[33]
 Estonia Mobility[18]
 Fiji[34] Opportunity[34]
 Finland[13] Mobility[18]
 France[35] Mobility[18]
 Germany[13] Sustainability[18][26]
 Grenada[17] Mobility[37]
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the GulfGulf Cooperation Council Opportunity[18] The pavilion will feature a central pool of water and a giant knot pendulum symbolising one Gulf[38]
 Hong Kong
 Hungary[39] Mobility[39] 1828 sqm[39] It will be a timber-framed pavilio, designed by Lőrinc Csernyus[39]
 Iceland[citation needed]
 India Opportunity[18]
 Indonesia Opportunity[18]
 Iran[40] Mobility[41] 2,014 sq.m[40] It will have slot C.190[42] next to the French and Mexican pavilions[40]
 Ireland Mobility[18]
 Italy Opportunity[18]
 Japan[13] Opportunity[18]
 Jordan[45] Its theme will be The Thresholds of Ingenuity[45]
 Kazakhstan Opportunity[18]
 Kuwait[13][17] Sustainability[18]
 Latvia[21] Mobility[18]
 Lithuania Sustainability 15.5 acre The 15.5 acre Lithuania pavilion called Openarium will be in the sustainability zone and designed by MB "Baukas" who won a design competition against 11 other entrants.[46]
 Luxembourg[13] Opportunity[18]
 Macau[citation needed]
 Malawi Opportunity[18][47]
 Malaysia Sustainability[18]
 Marshall Islands[17]
 Monaco[13] Opportunity[47]
 Montenegro Sustainability[18]
 Morocco Opportunity[18]
 Myanmar Opportunity[18]
 Netherlands[13] Sustainability[18][26]
 New Zealand[13] Sustainability[18]
 North Korea
 Norway Opportunity[18][51] 680 sqm exhibition space[51] The architects are Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Expomobilia and FiveCurrents[51]
 Oman[13] Mobility[18]
 Pakistan Opportunity 2,900 sqm The Pakistan pavilion Hidden Treasures in the Opportunity zone will occupy 2,900-sqm, and is being designed with the potential to be a legacy Pakistan Culture and Heritage Centre.[52]
 Palestine[21] 1250 sqm The Palestine pavilion will be between the Saudi and UAE pavilion and occupy 1250 square metres[53][54]
 Philippines Sustainability[18]
 Poland[13] Mobility[18]
 Portugal Sustainability[18]
 Peru Mobility[18]
 Romania Sustainability[18]
 Russia Mobility[15][18][55] More than 4500 sqm

The Russia pavilion is planned to be 27 metres tall and cover more than 4500 square metres. It is being designed by Tchoban SPEECH and Simpateka Entertainment[56]

 Saint Kitts and Nevis[17] Sustainability[18]
 Saint Lucia[17]
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 San Marino Opportunity[57]
 Saudi Arabia Opportunity[18][58] 13,000 square meters[58]
 Sierra Leone[28]
 Singapore Sustainability[18][26]
 Solomon Islands[17]
 South Africa
 South Korea Mobility[15]
 Spain[13] Sustainability[18]
 Sri Lanka Opportunity[18]
 Sudan Mobility[18] Sudan's pavilion is inspired by Nubian houses[59]
 Suriname Sustainability[18]
 Sweden Sustainability[18]
  Switzerland[13][17] Opportunity[18][47]
 Thailand[13] Mobility[18]
 Turkmenistan Mobility[18]
 Ukraine[21] Opportunity[18][47]
 United Arab Emirates[60] Opportunity[18]
 United Kingdom Opportunity[18][47]
 United States Mobility[18]
  Vatican City[13]
 Zimbabwe Opportunity[61] The untapped jewel of Africa will include a replica of Great Zimbabwe[62]

International Participant Meeting (IPM)[edit]

2017 IPM meeting was held in October 2018.

2018 IPM meeting was held on 26–27 Nov 2018 hosted by Reem Al Hashimi, the Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai.


The expo will have a theme called "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". The expo will also have three subthemes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability,[5] each with its own pavilion. The Opportunity pavilion is designed by AGi Architects,[63] Mobility by Foster and Partners,[64] and Sustainability by Grimshaw Architects.[65]

In 2021 it was announced that the three thematic pavilions would open for a limited time before the full opening of the expo.[66] The Sustainability Pavilion Terra opened on 22 January 2021 and will stay open until to 10 April 2021.[needs update][66]


In the sustainability district in addition to the sustainability pavilion, there will be a Hammour House which explores coral reef; a district stage which seats 300 and Walk through a waterfall Brazil's national pavilion, Water the desert Czech Republic's, Enter a rainforest Singapore's, Wear cutting-edge devices Germany's, and Enter a miniature world Netherlands's pavilion.[67]


This will include the world's largest passenger lift (capable of transporting more than 160 people).[68]


The Opportunity pavilion is designed by AGi Architects.[69]


There are 6 mascots: Salama, Rashid, Latifa, Alif, Opti, and Terra.[1] Rashid and Latifa are 9 and 8-year-old brother and sister; Salama, a ghaf tree; with Alif, Opti, and Terra being guardian mascots for the mobility, opportunity and sutainability pavilions respectively.[1]


The emirate's tourism and hospitality sectors will face new opportunities and challenges in hosting the event. Najeeb Mohammad Saleh, head of the planning research at Dubai Municipality said "We looked at three different scenarios – low, medium and rapid. We have adopted the medium-growth scenario, and expect the population by 2020 to be about 2.8 million."[70] The upcoming Expo 2020 means that most premium hotels will be operating near full capacity through to 2021. Benjamin Moore Middle East is focussed on the UAE's luxury hospitality segment as the moment. By helping hotels upgrade the paints and coatings they use to more durable products, while simultaneously helping them reduce their maintenance costs.[71]


In order to raise awareness about smart recycling, Expo 2020 will organize nationwide bus tours with the waste partner Dulsco.[72]

L'Oreal are the expo's beauty partner, and will host immersive beauty shows, salons, and pop-up studios at the expo.[73]

Emergency care services at Expo 2020 site[edit]

The emergency centre includes an isolation room, emergency care room, ambulances and helicopter services. Rob Cooling, vice president of health, safety and environment at Expo 2020 Dubai stated in a media interview that equipment and preventive measures are in place to manage emergencies. The centre is equipped to provide immediate care and stability in the 'golden hour'. The golden hour in emergency care means the first sixty minutes after an injury or illness when medical care may be most effective.[74]


In November 2019, the UAE permitted Israeli passport holders to enter the country during Expo 2020. Israelis were allowed to have their own pavilion at the event and to even visit the country afterwards.[75] In August 2020, the UAE and Israel agreed to fully normalize relations, superseding the previous agreement.

A French luxury brand Cartier was expected to set up a women-centric pavilion in association with prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, in October 2020. Clooney was to lend her voice to the initiative to discuss the role of women in society and ways to tackle gender inequality, while celebrating female achievers.[76]

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In 2020, the globally expanding COVID-19 pandemic brought Expo 2020 Dubai under questions, as the event was expected to attract nearly 25 million visitors in October that year.[77] In March, the Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties warned against the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates. While rest of the country was under a lockdown due to the spread of coronavirus, the migrants continued to work on Expo 2020. The Geneva Council condemned the “discriminatory treatment of migrant workers”, urging the WHO to encourage the UAE to ensure their health and safety.[78]

On 30 March 2020 the expo indicated that it was investigating postponement of the world's fair. An event that would require a two third's majority agreement from a BIE annual general meeting.[79] On 4 April 2020 the BIE announced that a meeting of the executive committee would take place virtually on 21 April to discuss a proposal to hold the expo between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.[80] A final decision would need a two third's majority vote from BIE members.[80]

On 21 April the executive committee unanimously agreed to delay the expo until 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022,[81] with this then going to a remote vote of the general assembly.[81] There is no proposal to change the name of the expo.[81]

On 4 May 2020 the BIE announced that the threshold to agree a delay had been passed,[82][83] although the vote was to open until 29 May.[83] At 6pm Paris time, 29 May the decision was confirmed, along with retention of the name Expo 2020 Dubai.[84] New dates have been announced 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022.[85]

Bids and bidding[edit]

Once the first city had lodged a bid with the BIE, other cities had six months to respond. In early 2011, Izmir of Turkey and Ayutthaya of Thailand submitted bids to the BIE, initiating the six-month window for other cities to bid. When this window closed on 2 November 2011, there were five prospective cities, with Dubai making a last minute entry. The BIE voted and selected the host city on 27 November 2013.

Five cities originally bid for the slot for a world's fair in 2020, with four remaining: Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Yekaterinburg, Russia; Izmir, Turkey; or São Paulo, Brazil. Expo 2020 will represent a first as a Middle Eastern destination will be hosting the event for the first time.[86]

The following cities lodged bids to the BIE for hosting the 2020 EXPO:

São Paulo was eliminated from contention after the first round of votes. Izmir was knocked out in the second. Yekaterinburg lost to Dubai in the third and final round of voting.

Dubai Expo[edit]

The UAE selected the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" and the sub-themes Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity.[92][93]

"In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key. While a married human mind, an individual country, or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance." Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in support of the bid.

The World Expo in Dubai in 2020 will be the first to be held in the MENA & SA (Middle East and North Africa & South Asia) region. On 27 November 2013, when Dubai won the right to host the expo 2020, fireworks erupted at the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa. A national holiday was declared the following day for all educational institutions across the country. The Dubai Ruler promised Dubai would "astonish the world," in 2020. The staging of the world fair and the preparations leading up to it are expected to result in 277,000 new jobs in the UAE, an injection of nearly $40 billion into the economy, and an increase in visitors of at least 25 million and up to 100 million.[94] Director General of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, said that they have the largest laboratory in the region, and can easily research new materials and technologies required for construction.[95] The world's tallest commercial tower to be built in Dubai, in Jumeirah Lake Towers, was given the name "Burj 2020" in honour of the World Expo 2020.[96] Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum also went to the top floor of the Burj Khalifa to wave the UAE flag, a few days after the World Expo 2020 win.[97]

Projects of Expo 2020[edit]

Expo 2020 Dubai is said to be the largest event taking place in the UAE. It will be a celebration of human brilliance and accomplishment. Dubai Expo 2020 is a chance for people to connect from different corners of the globe, to experience the best art, culture, science, innovation, and invention, and to set into motion a huge number of new ideas and concepts that will make a permanent impression in our lives. With shopping avenues, Dubai is coming with fabulous attractions to enhance tourism, particularly throughout Dubai Expo 2020.

  1. Deira Islands
  2. Museum Of The Future
  3. Al Wasl Plaza
  4. Aladdin City
  5. Jewel Of Creek
  6. Dubai Frame
  7. Dubai Water Canal Project

Yekaterinburg Expo[edit]

The Russian bid The Global Mind would have run from May 1 to October 31, and would have been the second largest expo (after 2010 in Shanghai) and intended to "survey world opinion through seven universal questions".[98]

İzmir Expo[edit]

The Turkish bid had a theme of New Routes to a Better World / Health for All and would have run from April 30 to October 31.[99] A Health for All symposium was held in October 2013 for BIE delegates and was to discuss health issues across the world.[100]

São Paulo Expo[edit]

A Brazilian expo would have been called Power of Diversity, Harmony for Growth,[101] run from May 15 to November 15 and would have covered 502 hectares.[102]

Ticket prices[edit]

The normal 1-day tickets for the expo cost AED 120, while the 3-day tickets are AED 260. There is a 50% discount on entry for students of any age and youth aged 6 to 17. The expo gives free access to children up to 5 years and adults 65 years & above. Disabled persons are also allowed free entry and a caregiver can also visit with them at half the ticket price.[103]


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External links[edit]