The event cost seven billion dollars.
THEhe United Arab Emirates launched Expo-2020 in Dubai on Thursday evening with great fanfare, the first universal exhibition organized in the Middle East and the largest event on a global scale since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The young crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, inaugurated the opening ceremony of the seven billion dollar event, with lighting effects in a dome-shaped enclosure and various concerts, including those of the famous Emirati diva Ahlam and British singer Ellie Goulding.
Postponed last year due to the health crisis, the exhibition opened its doors to the public on Friday in the middle of the desert, on the outskirts of Dubai, a city already known for its skyscrapers and its taste for luxury. The Emirates hope to welcome 25 million visitors there.
Expo-2020 promises to unveil architectural wonders and technological innovations in its many pavilions, representing more than 190 countries.
The first World’s Fair was held in London in 1851 at the Crystal Palace, a structure built for the occasion. And in Paris, the 1889 exhibition unveiled the Eiffel Tower.
Expo-2020 in the Emirates also promises to be the biggest event ever seen in the Middle East, one year before the World Cup to be held in the wealthy neighboring country, Qatar. Dubai hopes to welcome 25 million visitors for its six-month World Expo.
While the Japanese authorities had banned the public for its Tokyo Olympics, Dubai is opening big doors for foreign tourists who will have to wear masks and respect social distancing. Visitors will have either been vaccinated or thrown away a negative PCR test.
Panda robot and solar rain
The Emirates are among the countries that have vaccinated the fastest in their population, with nearly 20 million doses administered for a population of around 10 million.
Expo-2020 is one of Dubai’s great ambitions, which sets records to attract attention and tourists, as with its tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa, 828 meters high.
Thanks to the delay offered by the pandemic, the Emirates can celebrate on December 2, in the middle of Expo-2020, the 50th anniversary of the creation of this federation of seven emirates, which includes Dubai and the capital Abu Dhabi.
Among the expected attractions: Harlem Globetrotters and a Chinese panda robot. Fans of futuristic travel will visit a Hyperloop cabin, while history buffs will witness the chance to see an ancient sarcophagus in the Egyptian pavilion.
China boasts of having one of the largest pavilions, bulb-shaped, while Morocco has built its own in earth for environmental reasons. The Dutch will receive a pyramid covered with edible plants and irrigated by solar rainwater.
Most European states are participating in the event, despite the European Parliament’s call to boycott it, “in order to show their rejection of human rights violations in the Emirates”, according to a resolution passed in mid-September.
Despite their international charm campaigns, the emirates are regularly broadcast by NGOs, especially for attacks on freedom of expression or the conditions of foreign workers, such as those deployed en masse to build the Expo-2020 site. .