Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

One-year countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai begins on Sunday

The event aims to inspire entrepreneurs and help transform lives

The one-year countdown to Expo 2020, billed as the greatest show on earth, begins on Sunday.

Organisers hope the global meeting of minds will put the Emirates firmly on the map of world-leading innovators.

Under the banner ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, more than 190 countries will come together to showcase their latest in cutting-edge technology.

The event aims to inspire entrepreneurs as well as transform lives as creative thinkers seek to tackle issues ranging from climate change to plastic pollution.

“Our once in a lifetime celebration - the largest event ever staged in the Arab world - is set to welcome millions of visitors,” organisers said.

“They will experience warm Emirati hospitality at its finest, as well as the UAE’s values of inclusion, tolerance and cooperation.

“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.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will kick off on October 20 next year, with organisers expecting some 25 million visitors over six months.

World-leading businesses, universities and scientists from Silicon Valley to India’s Bengaluru will descend on the city to soak up its vision and insight.

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 100,000 objects, many of which owed their origins to the industrial revolution.

Since then, other global fairs have seen the unveiling of dozens of groundbreaking inventions the world now takes for granted.

Alexander Graham Bell’s first demonstrated his telephone at the Philadelphia World Fair in 1876.

And in 1889, Alexandre-Gustave’s Eiffel tower was chosen as the monument to be built in the centre of Paris to mark the exhibition’s elaborate entrance.

The most recent Expo, held in Milan, Italy, in 2015, saw the launch of solar trees and energy saving elevators.

Next year, organisers will be showcasing wind-up LED lights to transforms communities without electricity in Africa as well as new affordable software allowing blind computer users to better understand what is on the screen in front of them.

Dubai was announced as winning the bid to hold next year’s event back in 2013.

Hundreds of fireworks filled the sky surrounding the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, as the victory was made public.

Next week, marking the one-year countdown, even more celebrations are planned.

Live shows will be held at the Louvre Abu Dhabi as well as a variety of other entertainment staged in downtown Dubai.

“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, has said.

“The event is one of the largest global gatherings that will bring together the world’s greatest minds to discuss how we can shape the future.”

Updated: October 21, 2019 10:39 AM

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