EXPO 2020 was a mega international event in terms of duration, number of activities, scale, and visitor counts in Dubai, UAE. After six months of operation and eight-plus years of making EXPO 2020, Dubai proved that the event was a tremendous success. It was a 182-day journey of imagination, innovation, creativity, and revelation. More than 192 countries participated, created more than 2,50,000 jobs in the UAE, and projected 25 million visitors across the world. This event was themed “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The subthemes were Sustainability, Mobility, and Opportunity.
The event also had mascots viz Alif, Salama, Terra, Opti, Latifa, and Rashid. Individual pavilions of different countries exhibited their unique culture, cuisines, mementos, virtual experience, and technical innovations. It was a platform where people around the world connected, shared ideas, learned, and discovered.
In this review, I take the opportunity to make you all experience this incredible event. The entry to the event was quick and easily accessible to the residents of UAE and visitors around the world. One can come by RTA bus, Metro, or private car. The arrangements to take you to the entry gate by the EXPO organizers were commendable. At the entry gate, we could see the flags of almost all the countries that participated in the event. We entered through the opportunity gate and it took around 15-20 minutes to enter the mega event. The moment we entered, we met the mascot Opti who guided us further. At every few steps, there were vending machines installed with water, juice or some snacks for refreshment, restrooms and small seating arrangements.
After some time, we saw the arrow (sign) for ‘People Mover’ which was the bus facility provided for the internal transfer from one district to another and this made it possible for us to approach the pavilions as quickly as possible. At every country pavilion, small restaurants or cafés were available for refreshments because it was difficult to visit all the pavilions in one shot. Another exciting part was at every pavilion, you would get the stamp of the specific pavilion on your EXPO passport. Each pavilion was unique in its architecture, hospitality, and other things. Apart from country pavilions, other astonishing landmarks like Al Wasl Plaza, Sky Garden, Mobility Pavilion and Sustainability Pavilion, Surreal Waterfall, and many more memorable places caught our attention.
I visited EXPO 2020 thrice and was able to cover only 73 pavilions. My favorite pavilions which I would like to describe are:
Singapore Pavilion – We took almost 45 minutes to enter this pavilion. It was an immersive 3-dimensional greenery experience. We came across 9-meter tall garden cones with a beautiful landscape known as the city in a garden. Slowly, we moved towards the canopy walk where we experienced the sights and sounds of nature in the garden.
United Nations Hub – This pavilion focused on how to unlock the potential of individuals and communities in creating positive change. Inside the pavilion, short films were shown based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They emphasized different ways of farming so that by 2030, no one would die of hunger in the world. Before exiting the pavilion, we played a game based on cropping. Overall, the pavilion was very informative for future generations. Finally, we took the stamp and left for another pavilion.
Al Wasl Plaza – The Wasl dome was a visual masterpiece, standing over 67 meters tall and 130 meters broad, and deserved to be the event icon. The structure was also used as a 360-degree surface for laser projection during the opening and closing ceremony. There were different light shows every day to keep the visitors entertained. For me, it was a memorable moment because my daughter's dance performance was held here. I was so happy that I forgot to collect the stamp on my passport here.
Campus Germany - As per our experience and the crowd at the Germany pavilion, I am sure the visitors have had a hands-on experience with innovative environmental ideas through fun interactions and entertainment. We were encircled by enormous screens and were able to see the presentation while swinging in time with the light and sound display. There was also a ball pit chamber where you could jump in. Due to the rush, only children were allowed to enter the ball chamber. The pavilion's interactive presentation was remarkable, and it educated us about the country's initiatives while also presenting us with some fantastic photo possibilities.
The Surreal Waterfall – Created by WET, a water feature design business based in Los Angeles, California, 'Surreal' stands more than four stories high. The installation is designed to be environmentally friendly, in keeping with one of Expo 2020's key themes, sustainability. Apart from what evaporates during the show, it does not waste any water. It was one of the most photographed parts of Expo 2020 in Dubai, attracting large audiences who marveled at its engineering. When you stand there, the water falls on you magically and then vanishes, leaving you cool. It looks more beautiful during the nighttime with different colors accompanying the water. It created a breathtaking sight for all the visitors. An amazing experience!! The best part was you can enter this zone with four gates which did not take much time. After such a wonderful experience we went to take the stamp. Woohoo!!!
Trust me, I had not covered even fifty percent of this mega event. If I get a chance to go and visit the next World EXPO, Japan, in 2025, I ensure that I will never miss the opportunity.
Dr Rashi Singh possesses more than seven years of experience in the education sector and three years in the finance industry in India and UAE. She has worked as Internal Verifier, Faculty, Assessor and Mentor. She has also conducted workshops and webinars on 'Research Methodology and its application in academics'. Dr Singh has several degrees to her credit, namely, PhD. in Marketing Management, MPhil - Marketing Management, MMM (Masters in Marketing Management), and DCA.. She has presented research papers nationally and internationally. Dr Singh is keen on research areas in Digital Marketing, Marketing Mix in the present scenario, among other things.
Scottish Qualifications Authority, UK
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