A generous ceremony of fireworks, music, and messaging about collaborating for a sustainable future marked the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai, the first world fair to take place in the Middle East.
Andrea Bocelli, Ellie Goulding, Lang Lang, Mohammed Abdu, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang were some of the stars who performed at the opening ceremony. Public spaces around the UAE were projected with images of the ceremony.
Dubai, the region’s tourism, business, and trade center, will host the world fair on 4.3 square kilometers of desert. Aiming to bring 25 million tourists and business visitors to the region, the region hopes to boost its economy.
In addition to boosting trade, the Expo is expected to boost investments by many countries and companies since it’s the first major event since the Coronavirus pandemic.
Exhibitors from almost 200 countries will be able to visit the expo site on Friday after being delayed almost a year by the pandemic. It cost around $6.8 billion. Held eight years after the Expo in Milan, it followed the 2015 Expo in Italy.
“Connecting Minds and Creating the Future” is Dubai‘s slogan for the Expo, which will feature culture, technology, and architecture. Besides showing the world’s creativity, the event will offer a forum for debate on global challenges such as climate change and economic growth.
Therefore, many events will be streamed online and many delegates may be reluctant to travel to the event. But Expo is still expected to attract more visitors than Milan did and more than twice as many people as the UAE.
“We are quite confident…that by being responsible in how we manage the situation with COVIV but also in how we put forward an exciting program for visitors, we will hopefully be able to thread the needle by opening up but remaining at the same time conservative and keep public safety first and foremost,” Reem Al Hashimy is the Director-General for Expo 2020 Dubai, he told Reuters.
Despite fewer restrictions on Coronavirus in the Gulf state, Expo still requires face masks to be worn and all visitors over 18 must be vaccinated against Coronavirus-19 if they don’t already have it.
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