By World Healthcare Journal-
Expo 2020 Dubai. Dubbed the World’s Greatest Show, 192 countries have confirmed their participation at the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), bringing the best of the region to celebrate with the best of the world.
Open from 20 October to 10 April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase human brilliance and achievement, while offering 173 days of fun through music, art, food and drink and cultural experiences from all around the world. Art, culture and architecture will play an important part in this celebration, inviting us to know one another and our future aspirations as we move into the next decade of the 21st century.
The World Expos are the oldest and largest international events, taking place every five years and lasting six months. The first World Expo was London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, devised by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert and Henry Cole as a showcase for the emerging inventions of the midcentury. The Eiffel Tower was the entry to the 1889 Expo in Paris, while other landmark inventions on display at subsequent World Expos included talking movies in 1900 and in 1939 the television, along with Seattle’s famous Space Needle in 1962 and even Heinz’s tomato ketchup.
Connecting Minds, Creating the Future
Like these other great Expos, Expo 2020 Dubai promises to deliver similar innovations under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Held in one of the world’s most exciting cities, Arab-style vistas will feature throughout Expo 2020, including palm groves, jasmine trees, wadi figs and desert scenery with shade provided by the canopies of the national tree of the UAE, the Ghaf tree.
Underpinning the theme is the belief that innovation and progress are the result of people and ideas coming together in new and unique ways. For the first time in World Expo history, each nation will present its own pavilion in a unique way and elaborating Expo 2020’s three key subthemes – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
The epicentre of Expo 2020 is Al Wasl Plaza with its steel trellis dome. In September 2019, Al Wasl Plaza’s 550-tonne steel crown was positioned at the top of the jewel of the Expo 2020 Dubai site in a feat of precision engineering involving hundreds of onsite technicians. Named after the Arabic word for ‘connection’, Al Wasl Plaza is the iconic centrepiece of Expo 2020, hosting major ceremonies and celebrations during and after Expo. It will also be one of three venues able to accommodate up to 8,000 people, alongside Al Forsan Park (2,500 people) and Jubilee Park (15,000 people).
Healthcare will be featured at the co-located Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), with a series of conferences, medical talks and events over the six months of Expo. The programme includes a Virtual Reality (VR) and Robotics Expo alongside paediatric, orthopaedic and surgery conferences, as well as events focusing on technological advances such artificial intelligence (AI), 3D Printing and wearable technology.
The country pavilions promise innovation and imagination in their designs. They will showcase issues such as the quest for sustainability in Brazil which has recreated the Amazon basin and highlighting the country’s rich diversity.
The UAE Pavilion, designed in the shape of a falcon in flight, will tell the history of the nation as a connected global hub. Inspired by a project by the late scientist Stephen Hawking, the UK Pavilion highlights artificial intelligence and the space sector, featuring a continuously changing poem on its exterior generated by AI and visitor contributions. Located in Expo 2020’s Opportunity District, the UK Pavilion has adopted the theme ‘Innovating For A Shared Future’.
Building on India’s heritage, the India Pavilion will focus on the ‘new’ India and show the strength of its human resources and youthful aspiration, defining the country’s potential to become a global power through its ‘Five Ts’ – Talent, Trade, Tradition, Tourism and Technology. Food and culture will be the highlights of the pavilion, where the flavours and sounds of India will be bound to draw huge crowds to taste some of the region’s most famous dishes.
The Spain Pavilion will showcase the strengths of its ties with the Arab world, focusing on 800 years of Islamic rule in Spain during which architecture, education and literature flourished. The Bahrain Pavilion explores how its close ties with the sea has formed its culture and economy, encouraging trade, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The United Nations will have its own dedicated pavilion, providing the organisation with a unique platform to highlight to millions of visitors the value of working together to tackle global challenges and build a peaceful, sustainable and just future for all under the theme ‘We the Peoples: Shaping Our Future Together’. Its dedicated pavilion also forms part of its 75th-anniversary celebrations, with UN Day – held annually on 24 October – to focus on commemorating 75 years since the adoption of the UN Charter in 1945.
More than 80 per cent of the Expo-built structures will live on in the future city of District 2020. It will comprise 65,000 sqm of residential space and 135,000 sqm of commercial space in a location that will be home to world-class innovation, educational, cultural and entertainment facilities. The Sustainability Pavilion will become a Children and Science Centre post-Expo. Many other major structures, including Al Wasl Plaza and the Mobility Pavilion, will remain as permanent fixtures in District 2020.
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