Dubai: One of the biggest events across the globe since the dawn of COVID-19, Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed the world to its venue with an spectacular opening ceremony which saw participants from 192 countries converge for the mega global event, a first in Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
The opening ceremony was honoured by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. During their addresses to the crowd, both leaders conveyed the greetings and good wishes of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum remarked the opening of Expo 2020 as a historic moment for the UAE that is the culmination of the collaborative efforts of national teams who have worked with dedication, passion and pride to deliver an exceptional event.
“Today, the UAE starts another chapter in its journey to the future with a new sense of purpose. It is a journey full of exciting possibilities where new dreams and ambitions can be realised. The UAE has shown the world that it always embraces challenges, and that it is capable of emerging stronger from crises by creating new opportunities for growth and development,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid observed.
The Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai further highlighted that “Expo 2020 Dubai showcases the best of human accomplishment and excellence. Connecting minds across the world, the event brings countries, cultures and institutions together to share ground-breaking ideas and build bridges of understanding. It offers a platform to forge a united worldwide effort to build a more sustainable and prosperous future for all of mankind.”
His Highness remarked that Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a strong impetus to the world’s post-pandemic recovery. “It will generate fresh insights on how we can combine our capabilities and work together as one global community for the greater good of humanity,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid stated further adding that “Expo 2020 reflects the UAE’s inclusive culture which brings together the whole globe in one nation. Today, the world has gathered here to offer the best of what they have, and in return, we will offer the best of what we have. We are committed to deliver the most exceptional Expo the world has ever seen.”
Welcoming global participants, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated that the mega global event provides an unparalleled platform for new international economic, technological and commercial partnerships, and a worldwide dialogue to unlock new avenues for progress.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed observed that Expo 2020 Dubai will explore fresh horizons of global development through unique forums for exchange of ideas and insights, adding that the event is also an opportunity for the world to discover new solutions for its most daunting challenges including the pandemic and climate change, in keeping with the spirit of its overarching theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi appreciated the efforts of the talented teams from the UAE and other nations that have worked to organise the event. He urged all citizens, residents and organisations in the UAE to contribute towards making the event a great success.
Expressing his gratitude to the UAE’s leadership and its people, and congratulating them on the opening of the mega event, Mr. Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions shared that, “This is a historic occasion for World Expos and a culminating moment in the incredible story of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates in the year of its Golden Jubilee. With more than 190 countries participating, all the world is coming together, for the first time since the pandemic began, to connect, to exchange and to learn on this extraordinary global stage. For tens of millions of people, Expo 2020 Dubai is a tremendous occasion to reconnect with the whole world, to truly engage with critical questions of universal importance and to showcase innovative and cutting-edge solutions to our global problems. I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of the UAE for having the vision and the perseverance to host this World Expo, – and particularly to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. On behalf of all 170 BIE Member States, I applaud your unremitting determination to moving forward in unison to make this wonderful project a truly vibrant, inclusive and universal experience. Expo 2020 Dubai will be a transformational event creating new partnerships and generating deep and meaningful connections to make our world better,” he said H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the official opening of Expo 2020 Dubai, saying: “Today, the entire world gathers in the United Arab Emirates. Today, we witness, together, a new beginning, as we inaugurate, together, with the blessings of Allah, Expo 2020 Dubai. May God grant us success.”
THE STAR STUDDED AFFAIR
The opening ceremony also witnessed the presence of the elite from the UAE as well as across the globe including but not limited to;
- H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai
- H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance;
- H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region
- H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region
- H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council
- H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior
- H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs
- H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of The Executive Council of Abu Dhabi
- H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination
- H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office
- H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee
- H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council
- H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
- H. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, His Majesty the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs in Bahrain; and
- Ms. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of EXPO – 2020 Dubai Bureau
SPECTACULAR OPENING CEREMONY
Expo 2020 Dubai announced itself to the world with a ground-breaking, immersive audio-visual show, with breath-taking performances, special effects and larger-than-life props, with spectacular visuals displayed on the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface.
This was the first-of-its-kind ceremony to be held at the Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai, with its dome and circular stage placing audiences in an intimate, immersive setting. As the stage revolved, cutting-edge theatrical techniques involving sound, light and projections brought the show to life.
The Opening Ceremony drew its inspiration from the Expo 2020 Dubai theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” inviting the audience to embark on a journey full of excitement, embracing the sub-themes of the global event – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – to highlight deep-rooted Emirati values, and the vision and goals of Expo 2020 Dubai. It served as the perfect welcome for the 192 countries participating in this extraordinary mega-event.
Taking place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will highlight music, architecture, technology and culture from around the globe as part of its packed events calendar. The event will provide all attendees with the opportunity to celebrate the history and achievements of other countries. It will also bring together the world’s brightest minds through its Programme for People and Planet, which gives visitors of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to enjoy and make the most of this exceptional event.
Note: All the images supplied by PR Department of Expo 2020 Dubai