When Dubai won the bid to host the World Expo in November 2013, no one fathomed a pandemic of such global impact would prompt the delay in hosting of what is billed as the ‘greatest show on Earth’.

Months after it was supposed to have started, Dubai has emerged with its head held high, managing to contain the onslaught of the virus that has halted half the world.

The emirate’s success in managing the Covid-19 crisis underpins many realisations, foremost of which is that we are stronger and more effective when working together. All over the world, governments and communities showed awe-inspiring unity in tackling the virus, with the UAE among those at the forefront of global humanitarian initiatives, exporting over 1,200 tonnes’ worth of aid to 106 countries and providing assistance to more than 1.2 million frontline healthcare workers.

Inspiration

Anticipation is high for the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai in October this year. Pushing through with the event is significant for many reasons, but primarily because it is a way by which Dubai can provide inspiration to those who are still struggling with the pandemic, that there is hope and we will soon be able to resume normal life.

The theme adopted by organisers for this year’s edition of the Expo, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, could not be any more appropriate. Today more than ever, the world has a reason to celebrate success, showcase achievements, share insights and inspire innovations that are confronting challenges that face us all.

As the world has seen in recent years, collaboration is key to a greater future. Scientists who worked tirelessly together to produce a vaccine against Covid-19 is a shining example; Dubai spearheading humanitarian efforts is another.

As Expo 2020 Dubai unfolds, the UAE reaches another milestone as it celebrates its golden jubilee, marking another important phase in its history — one that is shaped by tolerance and respect that was so carefully embedded in its culture by its visionary founder and leaders.

As the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Expo 2020 Dubai shines a beacon of hope for countries in this part of the world, and presents a perfect opportunity to promote Arab culture, heritage and values on the world stage, as well as showcase not just our historical contributions to

advancing human development (such as mathematics and astronomy), but also current innovations that can inspire progress for our collective future.

Legacy

Any discussion of forthcoming events must necessarily include the legacy that Expo 2020 Dubai will eventually have.

The impact the event has on the current situation will be felt in the economy of the UAE and the rest of the Arab world. According to the EY report, ‘The Economic Impact of Expo 2020 Dubai’, the 6-month event is expected to provide an economic boost worth $33.4 billion to the Emirates through to 2031.

It has already generated thousands of jobs and, as a result, has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people in the build-up. Additionally, Expo 2020 Dubai will remain as District 2020 — a futuristic community that is built on the sub-themes of the Expo, such as sustainability, mobility and opportunity. Truly, everything about the expo has been carefully thought out and has meaning and purpose — a tribute to the genius and foresight of the planners and organisers.

District 2020 will continue to play a significant role in the development of Dubai by championing education, transport and logistics, travel and tourism and real estate — industries which have long been the backbone of the UAE’s economic diversification.

The community will be a home for innovators, pioneers, artists and thinkers who will, in turn, build a new legacy of sustainable progress for the UAE as well as create lasting contributions that will shape the future of humanity.

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