Zayed University students visiting Expo2020 site
By: Mai Yousef AlRemaithi
DUBAI – On a recent trip to Expo 2020 site, ZU students had a chance to witness many of the behind-the-scene makings of the mega event.
We have all heard about Expo, but what is Expo 2020, exactly? Students from Tourism Principles and from Planning & Promotion for Events and Festivals classes and members of the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) team had the opportunity to visit the Expo site on March 6. We were given an exclusive tour around the site and an informative presentation by Sarah, a member of the Youth Outreach Team.
Expo is a mega event in celebration of human invention. It includes achievements, inventions, innovation, and much more. The Expo is usually set on one theme, but Dubai chose to have three: opportunity, mobility and sustainability. Dubai aims to create an exceptional event and to leave a meaningful legacy behind.
Expo aims to attract 17 million visitors who are nonresidents. This led to many skeptical questions on how Dubai will be able to accommodate this large number. With collaborations from governmental sectors, suitable infrastructure has been created the to accommodate them. Dubai also aimed to attract this number of visitors anyhow, so Dubai is more than well-prepared for this large influx of people.
A fascinating feature of this trip was the story of the change of logo. The bidding logo is shown in Figure 1, and the current one is shown in Figure 2. The story behind the second logo is that, as His Highness Sheikh Mohammad was flying above the desert, he noticed something peculiar: The sand dunes in an area of the desert were blowing
in the opposite direction of the wind. After an archeological dig of the site, artefacts were found dating back more than 3,000 years ago. The artifacts included swords, stamps, and jewelry. One of the pieces of jewelry was the ring the logo was based on. The logo symbolizes interconnectedness. It is not only evident in modern Dubai but was our age-old role as the crossroad of civilizations. Finally, this leads us to Expo’s slogan: “Connecting minds, creating the future.”
On this trip, students actively engaged in discussion with members of the Expo Team. Noela Michael, assistant professor at ZU, found this trip particularly insightful for students.
“From the student perspective, the trip offered knowledge about their own city and development about Expo 2020 and how it’s going to be a sustainable development to the city of Dubai,” Michael said.
Many students have asked about future job and volunteering opportunities. Expo 2020 is currently accepting volunteering applications. Visit volunteers.ae/expo2020 for more information.