Looking forward to Expo 2020: Students visit the site

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By Fatma Al Attar

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Zayed University students in Planning and Promotion for Events and Festivals course had a chance to visit the Expo 2020 site on Nov. 6. Students were given a brief presentation on Expo 2020 Dubai and a tour of the Visitor Centre and the House of Volunteers.

Five years ago, the UAE won the bid to host a World Expo in Dubai in the year 2020. Expo 2020 is the first one taking place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and will be hosted from Oct. 20, 2020, till April 10, 2021. The Expo team are preparing full speed for upcoming World Expo, and they are committed to involving students in the event.

Expo 2020 is a mega-event that will bring together 180 countries and millions of people to celebrate human innovation and inventions, while sharing ideas that could help create a better future. The main objectives of Expo 2020 Dubai are to be both an exceptional and a meaningful event that leads to long-lasting legacy.

Every Expo has a theme, and Expo 2020 Dubai’s main theme is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” It has three focused sub-themes, which are Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. The three sub-themes will be displayed in three districts and connected by Al Wasl Plaza that has a 67.5-metre-tall dome. In addition, Expo Village and a shopping mall are being built next to the global destination’s gated area.

Approximately 80 percent of Expo-built structures will be transformed into District 2020, a new urban experience that will continue to foster collaboration, creation and innovation long after the next World Expo.

The Expo 2020 team is working closely with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and other tourism bodies in the UAE. Expo expects to attract 25 million visits between October 2020 and April 2021. Seventy percent of visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos.

The participants of Expo 2020 Dubai will include countries, corporations, academia, multilateral organizations, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations. Overall, more than 180 countries are expected to participate in the Expo. Moreover, the Expo 2020 team are expecting 30,000 volunteers to contribute to the delivery of the upcoming event in Dubai.

Amna Bin Shafi was one of the students who visited the site. She said she was impressed by the House of Volunteers.

“Best experience,” Bin Shafi said. “The transition between last year and this year is astounding. I saw the House of Volunteers for the first time in my life, and I felt very proud of my country. After the visit, I felt like signing up for volunteering.”

About the author: Fatma Al Attar is studying International Affairs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University in Dubai. She is also pursuing a minor in Communication in the College of Communication and Media Sciences. Photos for this story were taken by Shamsa Alsuwaidi, who is specializing in Tourism and Cultural Communication in CCMS. This story was produced in TCC375 Planning and Promotion for Events and Festivals course lead by Dr. Noela Michael.

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About the Author

This story was edited by Yulia Medvedeva, an assistant professor in the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University in Dubai.

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