On November 27th, 2013, at 5.30 pm – during their General Assembly – the member states of The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) based in Paris, elected The United Arab Emirates host country of the World Expo 2020. The exhibition will be held in Dubai from October 20th, 2020 to April 10th, 2021. Expected number of visitors is 25 million. Contestants in the race were Brazil, Russia and Turkey. After the third voting round the UAE emerged as the winner, beating Russia with 116 votes versus 47. The World Expo in Dubai in 2020 is the first to be held in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region.
This is the bid Dubai handed in at the BIE (original wording):
Theme: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future
In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key. While a single human mind, an individual country, or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance…
…As the global community faces ever more complex, and increasingly interconnected challenges, the links between people, societies and ideas have never been more important. Dubai Expo 2020 will be a platform for connectivity to help pioneer new partnerships for growth and sustainability for the future.
Dubai’s theme in detail
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 – intelligent sources of energy and water
In today’s ever-growing world, significant innovation in the production, delivery and consumption of water and energy is becoming increasingly important.
Improving access to these precious natural resources through responsible conservation and effective management, as well as embracing a culture of sustainability, are important goals for developed and less developed countries alike.
Mobility – smart systems of logistics and transportation
Efficient logistics and transportation systems are a lifeline that connect people, goods and services around the world. They affect our cities, how we travel, how goods are shipped, and how effectively humanitarian aid can be delivered.As the world’s markets continue to grow and interact, new sources of innovation are required to create more integrated solutions.
Opportunity – new paths to economic development
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, and as more emerging countries join the world economy, there is a growing need for new universal models for sustainable economic development and financial stability. Dubai Expo 2020 seeks to harness new models for the flow of financial and intellectual capital which will foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
The focus will be on exploring their interdependencies and identifying potential partnerships, ultimately resulting in a legacy of innovation.
Header photo ©DTCM: HH Sheikh Hamdan raises UAE national flag atop Burj Khalifa (830 metres!)