EXPO 2020 – First Glance at the Grandest Show on Earth

Written by Muhammad Qadeer

The first two weeks of Expo 2020 have been nothing short of spectacular - from the stunning opening ceremony to the awe-inspiring architecture, the event has captured the imagination of people all over the globe. In this blog, we look at some of the highlights from the event thus far.

The Themes of Expo 2020

Ever since Dubai announced its intention to host the mega event, eyebrows were over whether the city would be able to organise an event on such a large scale. Fast forward a few years, and not only did the city win the bid to host the event, but battled against the pandemic and successfully organized it all, albeit a year after originally planned.

To pave the way for a sustainable future, Dubai selected the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The idea is to engage communities using methods that are efficient and environment friendly; and hence create opportunities for societies to utilise their strengths, cultivate ideas, and shape the future. For that purpose, the Expo is divided into different districts; namely, Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity. Furthermore, a distinctive, “Programme for People and Planet” brings together people from all over the world to engage in meaningful discussions. The vision is to pursue a future characterized by taking sound measures to tackle the most compelling global issues; such as, reimagining of the global economy, equitable distribution of wealth, and the pursuit of peace in all corners of the world.

Now that the expo is two weeks in, let’s have a look at some of the participants that are most closely aligned with the event’s themes.

Riding on the Wings of Success - The UAE Pavilion

The UAE pavilion is by far the most recognisable and impressive pavilion at the Expo - and highlights the nation’s commitment to sustainability, mobility and creativity. The structure of the pavilion is modeled after a falcon to symbolize the nation’s ambition, freedom and victory. With an area of roughly 15,000 square meters, the pavilion tells the story of UAE’s transformation from a pearling and oil rich country, to a global hub of innovation and sustainable development. Inside the structure, visitors are transported using platforms from floor to floor as they witness the achievements of the country over the years via audio and visual aids.

Discover the Heritage of Pakistan

A country with rich culture and heritage, the Pakistan pavilion is all about throwing light on the customs and traditions from the region. The colorful facade of the structure invites guests to immerse themselves in a journey that puts emphasis on the nation’s diverse history, and the potential going forward in terms of eco-tourism, commerce and investment opportunities. The pavilion showcases a timeline of the nation’s past by displaying ancient civilizations from the neolithic era; such as Mohen Jo Daro, as well as intricate handiwork from all the provinces in the present day. Hailed as one of the hidden gems of Expo 2020, the Pakistan Pavilion is a must visit for those who have a penchant for history and visual arts.

The Futuristic Japan Pavilion

Japan is one of the torch-bearers of technology, and it comes as no surprise that their pavilion at the Expo revolves around technology and its benefits to mankind and the planet. The pavilion features a unique tridimensional crystal facade, which is reminiscent of the nation’s art of Origami. Inside, the pavilion showcases Japan’s commitment to leverage sustainable means of technology to create a glistening future for all. Visitors are accompanied by a virtual guide via smartphone that takes them through all attractions that include an immersive experience focusing on Japan’s history of Samurai warriors, unique vegetation methods and the current fever of anime art. Another room sheds light on global issues such as, poverty, unemployment and rising levels of carbon emissions, and the ways to tackle those issues. Make sure you head to the Japanese Pavilion to immerse yourself in their culture and learn how technology can be used for the betterment of our planet.

Inside Spain’s Solar Chimneys

In terms of design and architecture, very few pavilions can match what Spain has done. Working under the banner of “Intelligent Life”, the Spanish Pavilion seeks to amalgamate humankind’s curiosity, creativity and ingenuity to preserve life and biological diversity to build a green future. The entire pavilion consists of conical chimneys powered by photovoltaic panels that absorb heat from the sun and release cool air inside - a natural ventilation method that has been around for centuries. On the lower floor, the Forest of Intelligence is a 3D man-made artificial reserve capable of producing oxygen; while an interactive tree responds to the sustainable habits of the visitors. Other attractions include a visual throwback to Spanish culture and how it evolved over time. Audio visual aids are present in every room to inform guests about the immense contribution of Spain to the world of art.

The Mysterious India - Inside the Indian Pavilion

India is a melting pot of different cultures and customs - a region that has long been the focus of expeditions and trade. While the Indian Pavilion does not stand out for its exterior architecture, once you step inside, you’re taken on a journey that traverses through the fabrics of India’s diverse culture, economic achievements, glorious past and future aspirations. One of the largest pavilions, the exhibition weaves India’s rich history with its present efforts geared towards space exploration, building IT infrastructure and alleviating inequality. Furthermore, dance performances, colorful figurines and fascinating characters from Indian mythology are all on hand to greet visitors. The Indian Pavilion is easily recognizable thanks to its massive moving block facade.

Wander Through Space and Time Inside the Mobility Pavilion

Named Alif, which translates to the ‘Start’ or ‘Beginning’, the Mobility Pavilion is designed to take visitors on a journey through space and time. The experience takes visitors through the history of mankind in an immersive experience, and later looks at travel and habitability beyond Earth. It also sheds light on the Hyperloop, and how it can shorten traveling time between distant planetary objects. Viewers also get a glimpse of the Hope Probe, which entered Mars’ orbit in the beginning of 2021. What’s even more fascinating is the presence of a full-scale replica of the Sputnik 1 and Yuri Gagarin’s space capsule.

Expo 2020 is certainly living up to its hype, with exhibitors and visitors coming together to explore ways to tackle challenges that our planet faces as a whole. As a visitor, it’s a spectacle that is not to be missed. Grab your pass today and witness the greatest show on Earth.