Article: Dubai’s Expo Finally Opens

Expo "2020"

Dubai skyline at night. Credit: <a href="">Shutterstock / Mo Azizi</a>

Oct. 13, 2021

by Babak Babali

The world’s greatest fair—Dubai’s Expo “2020” (2021-2022)—is finally open to visitors, honoring three important aspects of life in the 2020s—mobility, opportunity, and sustainability.

Dubai's much-awaited Expo 2020 finally opened its gates to visitors on the last day of September, 2021, after an almost one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grand opening ceremony included an opening message from the Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Also of note were performances by world-class artists such as the Chinese piano virtuoso, Lang Lang, the Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, and the Saudi singer, Mohammed Abdu, among other entertainments.

The Emirate of Dubai and the entire UAE have been preparing for this greatest of fairs since Dubai won the bidding back in 2013.

Located in Dubai's spacious Exhibition Center, the Expo will stay open until the end of March 2022 to display the achievements of some 192 nations in various pavilions. The Expo will place a particular emphasis on the themes of sustainability, mobility, and opportunity.

Moreover, the event will create a platform for businesspeople from across the world to meet up and exchange ideas. “Pack your calendar with global investment forums, investor pitching conferences, inspiring addresses and more," suggests the Expo's official website to people interested in international business opportunities.

The central plaza of Dubai's Expo 2020, Al Wasl, is quite eye-catching in itself, surrounded by three large districts where the three themes are being celebrated.


In the Alif pavilion, which is run by the host country, the theme of mobility is celebrated by displaying the world's largest lift—capable of carrying 160 people—among other things.

In another pavilion–featuring the same theme and run by Emirati logistics giant DP World–many other logistical marvels are on display. The pavilion will be transformed into a permanent faculty of logistics technology after the Expo.

Mexico, Jordan, Jamaica, Ireland, and France, among other nations, will also focus on the theme of mobility, with each showcasing a centerpiece that introduces a new concept in mobility worthy of the 2020s.


The pavilion representing the US has focused on the theme of opportunity, featuring some of the achievements of the US's space programs. Items ranging from samples of moon rock collected by Apollo 11 in 1969 to a replica of the Mars rover launched in 2003, which is incidentally also named Opportunity, are all on display.

The UK's pavilion has focused on the same theme—opportunity. The pavilion, which is designed by Es Devlin Studio, reportedly showcases a large contraption which displays messages generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

It is said that the aforementioned contraption learns new words and ideas from contributions fed in by interested visitors, although—thankfully—measures have been taken to prevent the device from learning foul language or showing inappropriate messages in case it comes up with them on its own.


Spain's pavilion focuses on the theme of sustainability, showcasing a hyperloop—a proposed method of mass transit which relies on interconnected tubes with zero-to-little air pressure, through which “pods" can travel at speeds approaching Mach 1, thanks to lack of air resistance or friction.

The model on display, called Z01, is only six meters long, but it's developers at Zeleros think that the concept demonstrated in this prototype can soon be built in a larger scale, thus creating a more sustainable world that is free of air pollution.

Canada has also honored the theme of sustainability by erecting a wooden structure inside its pavilion which has been made of recyclable and naturally degradable materials.

Singapore's pavilion, meanwhile, intends to simulate the experience of walking through an Asian rainforest, with over 80,000 plants of various species living in a sustainable manner inside the pavilion for the duration of Dubai's Expo.

Why you may want to drop by

What you read here was just a few highlights of what many have described as the greatest fair on earth to this day. In case, thanks to vaccination efforts and the lifting of travel restrictions, you happen to be paying a visit to Dubai before March 31, 2022, rest assured that there will be more than a few exhibits in the city's Expo which to interest and inspire you.

Also remember that the event will be an ideal venue for business networking. With a “nine-floor luxurious hospitality tower with lounges, event spaces, and much more," the Expo's dedication to business networking and creating connections with fellow businesspeople and potential investors is clear.