In 1851 the first World Expo (World’s Fair) took place in The Crystal Palace, a magnificent cast-iron and plate-glass structure, designed by British architect Sir Joseph Paxton, in Hyde Park, London. The Great Exhibition was the brainchild of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, along with members of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), and its goal was to celebrate and showcase modern manufacturing. Expo 2020 Dubai
The telegraph was just one of the new technologies unveiled at the exhibition, which attracted more than six million people, including Charlotte Brontë, Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens.
What can visitors to Dubai Expo 2020 expect?
Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome 190 countries, with each occupying a pavilion at the 4.38sqkm Expo 2020 Dubai site, located in Dubai South, next to Al Maktoum International Airport. Visitors can travel there in 16 minutes from Dubai Marina on the Dubai Metro Route 2020—which will carry up to 46,000 passengers per hour—and will be greeted by Al Wasl Plaza, the striking structure that will be the beating heart of the Dubai Expo 2020. The translucent dome, designed by Chicago architectural firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), is 65m in height and 150m in diameter, and will house fountains, waterfalls, parks, palm-lined courtyards and three pavilions representing the Expo 2020 Dubai sub-themes. When darkness falls, the dome will transform into a 360˚ screen.
Sumathi Ramanathan, director of destination marketing at Expo 2020, hopes the six-month-long mega event will be a showcase of “the Olympics of culture, innovation, design and human excellence” and showcase Dubai as “a destination with a purpose”.
Expo 2020 is also set to be “a record breaking expo” in many parameters, she stated. As the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region in the event’s 168-year history, the event is set to welcome 192 participating countries and 25 million visitors – 70 per cent of which is projected to be international.
Big architecture names the likes of Santiago Calatrava, and Foster and Partners are some of the creative forces behind the globe-trotting range of pavilions, which have been themed along the lines of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability across the 4.4km² site, said Ramanathan.
The site’s centerpiece will be the Al Wasl Plaza, which will boast a dual projection screen, while other iconic landmarks include the Al Forson Park, which is conceived as a venue for major entertainment events and concerts. In addition, the expo site will also feature a brand-new metro station.
A vibrant roster of 60-plus live events each day, from A-list concerts to light shows, will guarantee that Expo 2020 is “bustling throughout 365 days”, which comes on top of 200-plus F&B venues serving up a globe-trotting plate of experiences in one destination, said Ramanathan. In addition, the National Day celebrations of the 192 participating countries each day from January 13 to April 8, 2021 is set to be another “drawcard” for international visitors.
A whole raft of experiences also await business travellers at the mega site, which will also set the stage for best-in-class business week, TED-style talks, exhibitions, forums and workshops, she added.
With such a dynamic and vibrant menu of events and programming in the line-up, Ramathan is hopeful that Expo 2020 Dubai will overturn perceptions of world expos as “tradeshows or for business travellers only”.
Working along the tourism entities in the UAE, Expo 2020 Dubai has mapped out a two-pronged global strategy to drive international visitation, with a global consumer marketing campaign just launched across 30 key markets, while a B2B2C approach will be undertaken to collaborate with some 4,000 industry partners across key source markets worldwide.
“An authorised ticket reseller programme has been launched to enable the trade to bundle and package the UAE, inclusive of the Expo 2020, as a unique experience,” informed Ramathan. Europe, China and India have been identified as among the top 10 visitor markets for the expo, while Singapore and Malaysia has been recognised as priority markets in South-east Asia, she added.
Corporate visitation will be another market Expo 2020 Dubai is keen to attract. “Incentive providers now get a six-month-only opportunity to bring corporate clients to a venue no one else has brought them to before,” said Ramathan. Not only will the expo site have several venues that can be privatised for corporate events, she added that teambuilding, incentives and meetings can be easily organised on the grounds, which also has the 48,000m² Dubai Exhibition Centre co-located within the site.[tp_hotel_widget hotel_id=513 responsive=true subid=”” powered_by=”true”]
The diverse offerings clearly make Expo Dubai a “bleisure” destination, she stated. The agency has received “excited” reactions from the trade looking to create itineraries for families, stopovers for honeymooners, students, as well as “considerable interest” from niche and specialist tour operators in food, art and entertainment seeking to “expand their business opportunities”.
Win an Dubai Expo 2020 experience
Every week, organizator giving away a 3-day Expo package for two people, including:
• A pair of 3-day tickets to Dubai Expo 2020
• Two Standard Economy Class return flights on Emirates
• A three-night stay for two at Address Hotels & Resorts, Emaar Hospitality Group
Submit your details for a chance to be at The World’s Greatest Show for free.