Tomas Haupt - Apr 5, 2021

In the heat of the desert, the signs “Expo 2020” can be seen everywhere, as if Dubai was waiting for a future that is already in the past. However, everything is ahead. The name of the world exhibition, which has been postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has remained the same – Expo 2020.

As of now, the exhibition is scheduled from October 1 this year to March 31, 2022, under the motto “Connect thoughts, create the future”. The venue is in the southwest part of the metropolis. The three key themes are sustainability, mobility and opportunities, drawn up on three large pavilions.

Massive Event in Times of Pandemic

At the moment, Dubai’s largest construction site is being plowed as if there was no tomorrow. Completely detached from the global crisis, it feels like you are in a bubble. The country pavilions are taking shape. But is the mass event even realistic given the circumstances?

After all, the organizers are sticking to their forecast of 25 million visits, over 60 live acts per day. None of the 190 participating countries has withdrawn so far. According to the organizers, the world exhibition might even turn out to be the “first major post-Covid event”.

Dubai Continues to Attract Tourists

In times like these, it feels like an eternity until October. In addition, tourism, which has long since recovered again in Dubai, can be interpreted as a continuous field test in dealing with the pandemic.

Many flight arrivals and travelers are registered in the country. Museums and shopping malls are open, hotels and restaurants are surprisingly busy. Hygiene concepts seem to be largely effective. As in most countries, masks are required everywhere.

Planning Continues with a Minimum Interval

Nothing seems to be able to slow down Expo 2020, the first world exhibition in the Arab world. For future visitors, markings on floors and benches are already warning of a minimum distance of two meters. Disinfectant dispensers are available under solar modules. Flowers are sprouting in many places, while trees and floating elements provide protection from the sunlight.

The Al Wasl Dome and the pavilion of the host country, the work of the Spanish star architect Santiago Calatrava, are the eye-catchers. The pavilion on the topic of sustainability is almost finished. In this context, it can be seen as contradictory since the terrain is artificially stamped out of the desert.

There is a certain cloak of silence over the additional costs caused by the postponement of the exhibition. Nevertheless, the start of the six-month show is approaching.

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  1. Nice to see that they are looking forward and looking for solutions, instead of just burring themselves in masks and fear.

    Claus Andersen (Denmark)

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