Last year we were in Dubai during the bidding process for Expo 2020 and even though nothing was certain, many people were talking about it and had a feeling it was meant to happen. There was a sense of pride, enthusiasm and certainty, which apparently paid off, because by December 2013, Dubai had been announced as the host of the Expo 2020.

As we’re back in Dubai as part of our trip around the world in 80 brands, we’re curious to find out whether there are already concrete plans for Expo 2020. “I wonder whether the organizers already have a theme in mind and are already preparing for the event,” Maarten says as we are on our way to Dubai Marina where we are meeting Noor, our curator for the UEA.

Expo 2020 Dubai - Around the World in 80 Brands
Expo 2020 Dubai – Around the World in 80 Brands

“I read they started planning for the event the very day they received the announcement,” I say. 

“And they’ve come up with one central theme: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

“Sounds interesting,” says Maarten, “what does that mean?”

“Hang on,” I say as I open my iPad and pull up the Dubai Expo 2020 website. “It says that the aim is for Dubai Expo 2020 to serve as a catalyst, connecting minds from around the world and inspiring participants to mobilize around shared challenges under the sub-themes of Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity.”

“And what will make this expo different from previous ones? How will it be unique and special?” Maarten asks.

“Well for starters, it’s the first time a World Expo is being held in this part of the world, so this is a big step. The UAE is hosting the first-ever World Expo in the Middle East-North Africa-South Asia region.”

“That’s certainly a big deal. How do you think they are going to mark that?”

“It says here that they plan to make this expo the most globally inclusive in history.”

“How are they going to achieve that? How do you get people from across the globe involved in an event that is more than five years away?”

“According to the site, there are two key elements that will ensure it is not only globally inclusive but also has a lasting and wide-ranging impact on the future.

“Firstly, the organizers want to give all countries a chance to be part of the Dubai World Expo 2020. So they’ve established a fund that will allow small emerging countries to participate.

“That’s certainly a first,” says Maarten. “Great!”

“Secondly, in the run-up to the event they’re hosting Expo Live, an online and offline platform to which people from around the world are encouraged to contribute innovative ideas for a sustainable future.”  

“And how does Expo Live work?”

“Here they explain that it’s a ‘structured innovation and partnership programme’. Basically it provides a platform to connect innovative projects from different countries to sources of funding and a network of partners that contribute expertise, visibility and access to markets and users.”

“And these projects will also be showcased at the Expo itself?” Maarten asks.

“Yes,” I say as I scroll down on the site. They’re going to introduce a new type of exhibition and presentation space: the Innovation Pavilion and the Innovation Labs. These will showcase the Expo Live projects and the solutions they have inspired. ‘The pavilions will be dynamic and thriving centres of activity during the Expo and will represent an important pole of attraction for both the communities of innovators as well as the general public’.”

“Well, I’m definitely coming to see the show,” says Maarten.


Read #MyDubai Story
Read #MyDubai Story








© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands

Read more stories on:

Order a book Around the World in 80 Brands


Tags: Expo 2020, Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai, #Expo2020, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, Expo Live, Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity, CoolBrands, CBNWS, CoolBrands Nextworld Storytelling, #CBNWS, Maarten Schafer