On 27 November 2013, during the 154th General Assembly of the BIE, the United Arab Emirates' bid for the 2020 World Expo was accepted. This exhibition is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
Originally scheduled to run from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, the exhibition has been postponed by one year, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, due to the COVID19 pandemic, but the name of the exhibition remains "Expo 2020 Dubai".
The exhibition is hosting more than 200 participants, including more than 190 countries, companies, non-governmental organisations, and is expected to welcome 25 million visitors from around the world.
The main theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is "Connecting Minds, Building the Future", which aims to connect people from different fields and backgrounds to advance innovation and progress.
The exhibition also has three sub-themes:
- Opportunity aims to unlock the potential of individuals and communities to shape the future.
- Mobility symbolises the creation of smarter and more productive mobilities of people, goods and ideas, both physically and virtually.
- Sustainability is about respecting and living in balance with the world to ensure a sustainable future for all.
The 438 hectare exhibition site is located in the south of Dubai, near Al Maktoum International Airport. It is divided into the 3 sub-themes of the exhibition, where each one represents a district. The 3 districts come together at a central point: the large Al Wasl Plaza dome. This dome, 150 metres in diameter and 65 metres high, with a capacity of 10,000 people, is the largest 360-degree projection surface in the world, offering an unprecedented experience to visitors from inside and outside the plaza.
The exhibition attracted around 24 million visitors, and given the health context with covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, Expo 2020 can be considered a success.
At the end of the exhibition, the physical site will be transformed into District 2020, a world-class centre of innovation, education, culture and entertainment facilities, a model for the future.