by Meghna MehtaOct 28, 2019
The unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted events all over the world, including the highly anticipated Expo 2020, which has now been postponed by one year. The event will still be hosted by Dubai between October 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022, being the first World Expo to ever be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. The festival will open its gates to people from every background, where they can experience, explore, innovate and enjoy sharing ideas and working together.
For the first time, the World Exposition has been postponed instead of being cancelled. Rather than a hindrance, the new schedule actually strengthens Expo 2020’s founding promise – to connect minds and create the future. “We are excited about the deeper impact that our new World Expo will have on shaping a better post-pandemic world, as we bring the world together to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges,” share the organisers.
World Expositions are one of the oldest and largest international events in the world, taking place every five years and for a period of six months. Originally scheduled to open this year on October 20, Expo 2020 Dubai will change the way one views the world, through cultural narratives expressed by 192 country pavilions. Despite being held in 2021, the name ‘Expo 2020’ will be retained for marketing and branding purposes.
For the 2020 edition, the Expo aims to inspire people by providing a platform for the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation around the world, following the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The previous Expo 2015 was held in Milan, with the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, encompassing technology, innovation, culture, and creativity and their relation to food and diet.
Three districts guided by the sub-themes ‘Opportunity’, ‘Mobility’, and ‘Sustainability’ enclose a central plaza named 'Al Wasl'. The 1083-acre site, designed by USA-based firm HOK, is located near Dubai’s southern border with Abu Dhabi.
One of Expo 2020’s primary goals is to leave a meaningful and lasting legacy, realised as the future city ‘District 2020’. In consonance with the subtheme of sustainability, 80 per cent of built structures will find new life in District 2020. The global centre will connect the upcoming generations of innovators, original thinkers and pioneers.
In a post-pandemic scenario with changed economies and forms of interaction, the organizers strive to prepare for a new Expo that will reunite the world. With strong precautionary measures to ensure health and safety, progress is being made to keep the event preparations on track without any obstacles.
UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Director-General and Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, Reem Al Hashimy says, “At Expo we know we need to deliver better than what was planned before. We have the chance to respond to how our world has changed. And so, we must seek new definitions of success. We must create an opportunity for the world to come together, not just physically but also virtually. We must achieve tangible positive outcomes. We must inform wisely and inspire utterly, a world that deserves better than it has today”.
Expo 2020 looks forward to harnessing the power of collaboration and innovation, to emerge from the current crisis with the strength of unitedness. ‘Now, more than ever, we stand as one’.
(Text by Ankitha Gattupalli, intern at stirworld.com)