DUBAI // A 4,000-year-old gold ring found in an archaeological site in the desert is the inspiration behind the Dubai Expo 2020 logo.
On Sunday the new logo for the world fair was unveiled at a ceremony where it was projected in gold light on to the Burj Khalifa.
The decision to feature the ring in the logo was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who revealed the Expo 2020 emblem to huge applause from the crowds.
A gold light shines through the centre of the logo with simple circles and loops encircling and swirling around it.
The Sarouq Al Hadeed site, where the ring was found, was discovered by Sheikh Mohammed. He was flying over the desert in a helicopter when he noticed the ripples of sand dunes were different from the surrounding area.
The ring is one of the more recent discoveries of more than 10,000 artefacts, including seals from different regions, daggers, knives, vases and tools, found by archaeologists over the past three years.
Sarouq Al Hadeed is among the most important archaeological sites in the region, with artefacts dating back to the Iron Age.
Sheikh Mohammed said the logo “represents our message to the world that our civilization has deep roots”.
“We were and will always be a pot that gathers civilizations and a centre for innovation,” he said. “Over 4,000 years ago, the people who lived in this land had a deep creative spirit and today the people of this country are building the nation’s future for centuries to come.”
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of the Bureau Dubai Expo 2020, said “from all the thousands of items found at the site” the artefact that resonated with Sheikh Mohammed “was not a mighty sword or a giant piece of earthenware, but a tiny gold ring”.
Ms Al Hashimy said the ring represented the UAE’s status as a young nation but with connections to ancient civilisations.
“Incredibly ancient, historically significant, culturally symbolic and astonishingly beautiful, this delicate circle is wonderful and conveys the message of our Expo – connecting minds, creating the future,” she said.
Hussain Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, said there were several projects being planned for the archaeological site and its finds.
“It is a very rich site and the findings only covers 5 per cent of the area, so the major portion is still under the sand dunes and further excavations will give us more of an idea of our history,” he said.
“A large amount of treasure of more than 10,000 pieces has been gathered in the past three to four years, like arrows, jars, jewellery, necklaces and rings. It is so important that the Expo logo is connected to our past.”
Ms Al Hashimy said the building phase on the Dubai South Expo site would start in June with 5 million tonnes of sand to be removed from the site.
At the ceremony three residents were presented with awards for logos chosen as finalists.
There are plans for all of the designs to be featured at the Expo site, Ms Al Hashimy said.
At the unveiling ceremony, the national colours were beamed across the Burj Khalifa, followed by the names of cities that have hosted world fairs.