Dubai to host World Expo 2020
A few hours ago, it was announced that Dubai won the bid to host World Expo 2020 beating Izmir (Turkey), Yekaterinburg (Russia) and São Paulo (Brazil).
This is exciting news for Dubai, since there's been a heavy push to win this bid for the past year or so. Personally, I thought Dubai's win was in the bag, based on the amount of promotion and branding across the city compared to the other bidding cities.
The theme for the 2020 World Expo is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future",
Dubai has a long history of facilitating connections and pioneering new ideas and Dubai Expo 2020 would be no different, with a predicted 70 per cent of the expected 25 million visitors originating from outside the host nation, making it the most international event in the history of Expo.
It would therefore provide a unique platform for the global community to come together and explore creative and pioneering solutions to the three subthemes which have been identified as key drivers of global development:
Sustainability - lasting sources of energy and water
Mobility - smart systems of logistics and transportation
Opportunity - new paths to economic development
The focus will be on exploring their interdependencies and identifying potential partnerships, ultimately resulting in a legacy of innovation.
I am quite keen on the sustainability part and really hope Dubai will set an example and lead the way in this region. This is a great opportunity for Dubai to stand for more than just grandiose developments, hi-rise towers and world records.
In one of the most heartfelt pieces I read about why Dubai should win, Expo to the Future by Mishaal Gergawi for Gulf News published on 25th November, he wrote,
If Dubai wins, we will spend the next seven years thinking and shaping its identity in a completely new way than the past. This is not about appropriating neo-urban slogans and reintroducing a post-crisis Dubai — it will be unambitious to be that reductive in scope. This is about finding a new vocabulary to define Dubai. A lexicon that captures not what it was and is, but what it has not yet been — a text for the yet unintended.
Seven years of textual discovery is what will happen. Substantive inquiry into what a city that wants it all — and paradoxically at times appears to already have it all — should need at all.
The next few years will be Expomania for sure. Let's just hope it will be positive. Here's a short and sweet congratulations video by Moath Bin Hafez.
And in case you've not seen it before, here is the video that started it all, the UAE 2020 bid film.