Expo 2020 Dubai has opened. With Covid-19 protocols firmly in place, the emirate is gearing up to welcome visitors from wide and far. Over 190 countries are participating, bringing their best offers to the table. Here is a look at 14 things to know about this mega-event.

  1. In November 2013, Dubai won the World Expo hosting bid, making Expo 2020 Dubai the first world exposition ever to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region (MEASA). Also, it is the biggest event in the Arab world to date.
  2. 192 participating countries will have their standalone pavilion.
  3. From a bird’s eye view, the venue resembles three flower petals. Each petal is a Thematic District: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
  4. At the heart of the venue is Al Wasl Plaza, the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface, constructed with 13.6 kilometres of steel. Think the height of 16 Burj Khalifa’s stacked on top of one another.
  5. The Sustainability Pavilion, Terra, is built to be net-zero for both energy and water. Among the solar-panelled Energy Trees, the self-sustaining building will also host a Water Tree to capture water from the air.
  6. The Mobility Pavilion, Alif, is home to the world’s largest passenger lift, a spacious platform that can carry up to 160 passengers at a time to the third level of the building.
  7. The Opportunity Pavilion: Mission Possible. This pavilion builds on the rich urban history of the “plaza” and its universal significance as a place for people to connect across age, language and culture, to celebrate our shared human experiences.
  8. Expo is dedicating an entire pavilion to celebrate women and the multiple vital roles in society. The Women’s Pavilion has been a first for World Expo’s since the 1900s.
  9. Expo 2020 Dubai has gathered 142 social innovators from 76 countries to help solve some of the most challenging problems of our era as part of Expo Live.
  10. Are you worried about visiting Expo and the Wi-Fi being on the fritz? It is becoming less of a possibility thanks to the introduction of 5G.
  11. Approximately 340 species of plants, shrubs and grass, many native to the region, make up the Expo landscape.
  12. The Good Place Pavilion will spotlight social innovators and their solutions, a first for a World Expo in history.
  13. Expo is building down to talk about the issues inherently relevant to our time. At the World Majlis Forum, global thought leaders will come together to generate new perspectives and connections, just as a theme of the mega-event dictates: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
  14. So, what is happening after the Expo closes on March 31 next year? A whole new district will be coming to life next October, a smart future-ready town called District 2020. As per Expo’s sustainability plan, the city will inherit 80 per cent of the Expo-built buildings for the event.