By EDD K. USMAN
Twitter: @edd1819, Intagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
MANILA (SDN) — THE United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in the Philippines announced yesterday the 365-day countdown for Expo 2020 Dubai has started.
Now, it’s One Year to Go (1YTG) for Expo 2020 Dubai.
And being awaited is the coming of what is billed to become the “World’s Greatest Show” as the launch of the countdown on October 20, 2019 marked by various activities in UAE attracted people coming from various parts of the world. The Expo is also being billed the “biggest party on Earth.”
Officially named World Expo (sometimes World Fair), the Expo 2020 Dubai will be held on October 20, 2020, and will run up to April 10, 2021; six months or nearly 180 days of grand spectacles of sights and sounds “on innovation, technology, and architecture.”
And where else but Dubai, the second biggest UAE emirate, a bustling metropolis carved out of the Emirati desert and transformed into a shining beacon to the world.
The UAE top diplomat sent to Manila by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Sayyed Al-Nahyan relayed this to SDN — Science and Digital News in an exclusive interview at Emirati diplomatic mission in McKinley Hills, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila.
UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi said the year-long countdown has kicked off in his country on October 20 with activities held in the seven emirates of the Arab federation.
The World Fair was first held in 1851 in Hyde Park in London, England.
For the Dubai edition of the gigantic event, it will be held at the Dubai World Trade Center-Jebel Ali, Dubai South, which the UAE built on purpose for the Expo 2020.
Delegations are expected from 192 countries, each one with respective grand pavilion at the venue. Around 25 million people are seen to come to the Expo 2020 and make it the most popular World Fair since 1851. The World Fair/Expo is held every five years.
Each country participating in the World Fair in Dubai will be constructing a pavilion to house the products, services, innovations and technologies they are going to showcase.
New technologies in the digital era are expected to be unveiled, technologies and innovations with long-lasting impact to the more than seven billion population of Planet Earth.
For the Philippines, one of the participating countries, Al-Zaabi said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Organizing Committee (POC) for Expo 2020 Dubai have already inked a deal with Dubai-based RAQ Contracting Company LLC for the construction of the country’s pavilion.
Trade Secretary and POC Commissioner Ramon Lopez and RAQ Contracting Company CEO Rami al-Qaisi signed the agreement recently in Manila, the UAE envoy said.
Amb. Al-Zaabi cited the Expo 2020’s potential impact.
“As for as we concern this event would be a once in a lifetime celebration of our country and its people, and the first ever to be staged in the Middle East and North Africa. Of course, with the expected participants from more than 190 countries and a millions of visitors from across the world, for sure our guests would be able to experience the hospitality of the Emirati people and, in this respect, our people would be contributing and sharing to the world our meaningful practices, understanding, familiarity, and that’s what is the meaning of Expo 2020 Dubai theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’,” the ambassador said.
“Well, the clear strategy of Expo 2020 Dubai states that our country aspires to create positive environmental impacts on national, regional and global scale based on the four key objectives, which are to leave a legacy of sustainable infrastructure and cutting-edge sustainability practices, to catalyze sustainability in UAE, to increase public awareness, and to develop sustainable answers that are scalable and extending benefits to the wider economy. So, if we could achieve all these incredible objectives, that alone would be a greater accomplishment not only for our country, but for the whole world,” Amb. Al-Zaabi said.
The UAE leadership headed by His Highness President Sheikh Khalifa bin Sayyed Al-Nahyan started the 365-day countdown for Expo 2020, characterized by the holding of simultaneous multiple grand events and cultural shows, among others, said Al-Zaabi.
Activities were held in Abu Dhabi (the biggest emirate), Dubai, Sharjah, and Fujairah. Aside from the four emirates, the UAE federation also includes Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Quawain which joined the countdown launch.
It can be recalled that Dubai headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the UAE Vice President, won the right to host Expo 2020 in November 2013 in what was a hotly contested event in Paris, France.
Dubai won over Ekaterinburg, Russia; Izmir, Turkey; and Sao Paolo, Brazil. A voting by the 168 members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) chose Dubai to host Expo 2020. BIE oversees the bidding, selection, and organization of World Expos.
With the win, Dubai becomes the first in the Middle East and Africa region to host the World Fair. Dubai has chosen the theme for the mega event: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, which will revolve around three sub-themes, such as Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity.
For the countdown, world-class American singer Mariah Carey joined by Emirati star Hussain Al Jassmi top-billed the celebrations held at Burj Park in the shadows of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Emirati millennial Sara al-Boom, 27, digital media manager at Dubai Cares, attended the event countdown. She has been avidly following developments about the Expo 2020.
“I’ve been following the Expo story since the day Dubai got the bid, and I think it’s remarkable how the past seven years have gone by and how the entire city is now very much in tune with the concept of Expo and what Dubai is trying to push towards,” she noted.
The UAE federation was founded on December 2, 1971. Its first President was the late His Highness Sheikh Sayyed bin Al-Nahyan. (SDN)
Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Arabian Business, and CNN.