Dubai's Bid to Host the World Expo 2020

Dubai has plans to transform an empty desert into a state-of-the-art facility to host Expo 2020.

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
N. Mandela


Since The Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park hosted the first World Expo in 1851, countries from around the globe have competed to have the event held in a city of their own. The World Expo is the largest public exhibition of its kind and it offers the host nation the opportunity to show off the best of its country. The World Expo was developed to bring countries together across cultural divides, strengthen international relations and marvel at the technology being produced around the world. It’s a chance to share, develop, grow and move forward together.

Since its British inauguration, the World Expo has been held 64 times across many different countries. In modern times the event has developed into a place to network among the global community and to share innovations across international borders. It brings together organisations, businesses and political figures and acts as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural development while leaving behind a legacy for the host city.

Every five years, for six months the successful city will host the World Expo. Millions from across the world descend on the city to explore the events, exhibitions and displays on offer. A visit to the World Expo is a chance to be among the first in the world to see some of the best modern inventions. The 1876 Expo in the US introduced the world’s first public telephone, the typewriter and even Heinz Tomato Ketchup! Being at the event visitors have the chance to experience history in the making.

The last World Expo was held in Shanghai in 2010. Milan holds the next in 2015, but the Expo has yet to find a home for 2020 with the battle to become the host nation having already begun. The contenders have been withered down to the final four, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Turkey’s Izmir, Ekaterinburg, Russia and finally the UAE’s Dubai.

Said to be the best funded of the bids, Dubai has plans to transform an empty desert into a state-of-the-art facility to host 2020. A successful bid will ensure it is the first time the event is held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions. The UAE hosted the most popular international pavilion at Shanghai’s 2010 event, but it has never fully hosted the World Expo.

UAE Pavilion, World Expo 2010 (Photo credits: j0055, Flickr)

Dubai’s extravagant bid is based around the idea of unity, bringing together shared values and visions in order to create a brighter future for all worldwide. ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ is the theme behind the bid, which highlights that while there are many powerful individuals and countries in the world, it is by working together that the human race will really advance. Dubai will provide a stage for nations and businesses to share common projects. In today’s modern and connected world we have the opportunity to draw together technologies to create a ‘renewed vision of progress’. Dubai hopes to use the platform of the Expo to unite boundaries of nationality and forward progress.

A headline attraction to host the prestigious event is the economic and cultural benefit the city gains during and after the Expo. In excess of 277,000 jobs are said to be created in the years leading up to and proceeding Dubai staging the event, 40% of these would be within the travel and tourism sector. Dubai is blessed with its geographical location which strongly helps its bid. As the largest most developed logistics hub which encompasses more than two billion people, the city is connected to all of the world’s major cities. Two state-of-the-art airports are suited perfectly to welcome the 25 million visitors expected during the 6 months of the Expo.

The demographical diversity of Dubai ensures that it is a true melting pot of a huge range of cultures. With over 200 nationalities calling the city home, Dubai impressively shows that even without the World Expo it is a city that is already bringing people and cultures together from across the globe. With a governmental focus upon creating a diverse and inclusive population, the city has effectively attracted some of the best young minds in the world who have been drawn to the emphasis of creating a population of high achievers.

The founding fathers of the UAE highlighted the importance of investing in education and the continuous development in the minds of the young. A strong emphasis has also been placed upon enabling entrepreneurship in order to stimulate growth in the country’s economy. It is because of policies such as these that Dubai is the perfect host city for the World Expo. As a relatively young country, the UAE has come an astronomical distance in a short space of time. This has been achieved hugely by the practice of bringing together business and professionals at the height of their industry to share ideas. It is these ideals in which the World Expo itself was born.

It won’t be until the Bureau of International Expositions meet this November in Paris that the host elect will be announced. There is a huge criteria that Dubai must fulfil to host the Expo, none more so than the city not only acting as a benchmark for human progress but also creating a proposed map in which the human race can follow for the future. Dubai has placed an outstanding bid for the World Expo 2020. Its location within a country that has come leaps and bounds in recent years mirror the exact purpose and ideologies behind the Exposition. Dubai has successfully placed itself at the forefront of world business and entrepreneurial development. Should Dubai be chosen as the lucky host of 2020, it is sure to leave behind a legacy and inspire a generation to continuously work together to move the human race forward.

(Photo credits: Globalism Pictures, Flickr)