Expo 2020, which is held on the outskirts of Dubai, began receiving thousands of visitors on Friday, an event considered the largest in the world since the start of the Corona virus pandemic, with an estimated 25 million visitors over six months. The exhibition includes hundreds of pavilions of the participating countries and exhibitions on vast areas that will focus on various themes such as climate, biodiversity, space, rural and urban development, and others. Sustainable solutions in the areas of water, energy and food will be the most prominent of these axes.
Despite the high temperatures and after the event was postponed for a whole year due to the Corona virus, thousands of visitors began arriving Friday to Expo 2020 In Dubai with the official opening of its doors. The exhibition was opened on Thursday evening with an official ceremony, which was held on the outskirts of Dubai at a cost of about seven billion dollars, and includes hundreds of pavilions of the participating countries and exhibitions on vast areas.
Dubai is hosting the World Expo for the first time in the Middle East, and it is expected to be the largest event in the region, with an estimated 25 million visitors over a six-month period. It is the largest event organized in the world since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, as the Tokyo Olympics were held last summer without spectators in the stadiums to avoid the rapid transmission of the virus.
Visitors to the exhibition will have to submit a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test result. They will also have to wear masks and adhere to social distancing rules.
It is noteworthy that the UAE is one of the countries that carried out an intensive and rapid vaccination campaign for its residents, with twenty million doses, while the population is ten million.
“We are doing everything that is scientifically possible to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, and also what is necessary to move forward,” said Reem Al-Hashemi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of the “Expo 2020 Dubai” office. A metro line links Dubai with the Expo site on the road to the capital, Abu Dhabi.
The site is equipped with fifth generation technologies for communication, which will also be invested after the end of the exhibition on March 31.
During the fair, ‘Theme Weeks’ will be organized that will focus on various issues such as climate, biodiversity, space, rural and urban development, among others. Expo focuses on sustainable solutions in the areas of water, energy and food.
Despite the high temperatures, visitors walked through the exhibition pavilions and took souvenir photos. Emirati student Aisha Hussein, 20, said about her “excitement” for the idea of visiting the pavilions of the participating countries. “It is really a source of pride for Dubai to host a global event like the Expo,” she told AFP on Friday.
Dubai resident Sarah Kahn, 34, said: “We were looking forward to the day and to the opening. We are looking forward to see some shows probably and taste different food from different countries.”
Historically, the first World Expo was held in London in the year 1851 at the Crystal Palace, which was built specifically for this purpose. In Paris, the 1889 exhibition unveiled the Eiffel Tower.
The Emirate of Dubai hopes to add the exhibition to its achievements, including skyscrapers, especially the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, with a height of 828 meters. During the exhibition, the UAE will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.
Israel is participating in the exhibition, in a new advanced step in relations with the UAE, with which it signed an agreement to normalize their relations a year ago.
Despite the European Parliament’s call to boycott it in protest of “human rights violations in the UAE”, most European countries are participating in the Dubai Expo.
For its part, the UAE rejected the decision, and a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation included, “We strongly reject the allegations contained in the text, which were previously addressed and rejected as incorrect.” “The decision completely ignores all the important achievements of the UAE in the field of human rights,” she added.
Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Friday that “Expo 2020 is another opportunity for the UAE to present itself to the world as being open, tolerant and respectful of rights, while closing the field of politics, public discourse and human rights activism at home.”