Expo 2020 – A window to innovation and sustainable development

Expo 2020 – the future awaits us. Photo credit: CGTN

Expos are international events dedicated to finding solutions to the fundamental challenges faced by humanity. Organised by the Bureau International des Exposition (BIE) and facilitated by the governments of the participating countries, expos aim at unravelling the greatest achievements of human civilisation.

Exhibitions have always been a part of human civilisation and culture, right from the 18th century where products were merely displayed and not sold. Expos are no different. Not only do they seek and find a platform to market their products, but they also represent the culture and history of the participating country. It also provides the host cities with an opportunity to play a role in “harmoniously opening the door to innovation and sustainable development.

Don’t miss the breathtaking India Pavilion. Photo source: YouTube

Dubai the host city for Expo 2020

Expo 2020 is hosted by the city of Dubai in UAE. The master plan of the site, which extends to a 438-hectare area, has been designed by the American firm HOK and it is organised around a central plaza called Al Wasl. On its three sides, it is enclosed by three thematic districts dedicated to the sub-themes of Expo 2020, namely Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

It was initially scheduled to be open from October 2020 to April 2021 but got postponed due to Covid 19 pandemic from October 1 2021, to March 31 2022. Under the theme of ‘Connecting Minds and Creating Future’, Expo 2020 is expected to draw 25 million visitors globally. The grand opening ceremony at the Al Wasl Plaza Dome witnessed performances by Andrea Bocelli, Hussain Al Jassimi, Ellie Goulding, Mohammed Abdu, among other great performers. With 192 countries participating and presenting their pavilions, Expo 2020 is the first of its kind to be held in the Middle East.

Dubai Expo 20202 Sustainability Pavilion. Photo source: Arch 20

The Pavilions – Giant Alcoves of Wonders

Another interesting fact is that every participating country will have its own pavilion, which is happening for the first time in the history of the World Expo. Each pavilion is a window to a particular country’s culture and achievements and illustrates how every country is unique in its own way. Pavilions come under the sub-themes of the Expo, namely mobility, opportunity and sustainability.

Mobility is what defines human progress and connections and what can possibly predict how human life might move forward in the near future. Future vehicles and future modes of connections are the key features of this pavilion. The sustainability pavilion explores human beings’ relation with nature, man’s excessive consumerism and ways to tackle environmental problems.

Saudi Pavilion – proud winner of three Guinness World Records at the Expo 2020. Photo source: YouTube

The pavilions worth a mention at Expo 2020

Opportunity pavilion showcases how a single person’s life and actions can cause ripples and changes in the lives of billions of others. The Indian pavilion, the theme of which is ‘Openness Opportunity Growth’, was inaugurated by Union Minister Piyush Goyal, and it is situated in the Opportunity district inside the Expo. The Saudi pavilion in the opportunity district, which has already won three Guinness World Records for the largest interactive light floor, the longest interactive water curtain and the largest interactive digital screen mirror, is said to be the most visited pavilion in the first month with almost 500000 visitors since October.

Take a look at the Australian Pavilion. Photo credit: Arch20

The Expo 2020 opening possibilities to a better future

The Expo is a great platform to educate, to organise conferences, symposiums, cultural events, performances by renowned artists etc. It offers the participating countries a great opportunity to strengthen their ties with the host country as well as the other participating countries.

The Expo is also expected to increase UAE’s GDP exponentially (about 2.4%) as predicted by the International Monetary Fund. As a city that is dependant on tourism for the most part of its income, Dubai has seen a remarkable increase in the number of tourists thanks to Expo.

Organising and conducting an event of such a mammoth scale calls for a lot of courage and efficiency from the UAE government, especially in the middle of a pandemic. The number of visitors to the Expo shows that people are willing to travel once again, connect with others and make an effort to change their lives. That is what precisely Expo 2020 stands for. So what are you waiting for? Go grab your tickets and thank me later.

Sheema Shireen

Contributor: Sheema Shireen

About our Writing Program Student
Hailing from God’s own country, I am a teacher by profession. Apart from reading and gardening, I try a hand at writing poetry when inspired. I believe that an independent woman is a happy and content one, and I am on my route to achieve that.


  1. Homepage – EXPO 2021 Hatay
  2. What is an Expo? (bie-paris.org)
  3. Alif – The Mobility Pavilion | Expo 2020 Dubai
  4. Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion | Expo 2020 Dubai
  5. Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion | Expo 2020 Dubai

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