Expo Dubai is finally here!
The universal exhibition, which was originally due to be held in October 2020, got postponed for a year due to the Covid pandemic and will be held in the Emirate capital from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022.
The theme of the exhibition, which falls on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates, is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and draws inspiration from the Arabic name of the city of Dubai, al-Waṣl (meaning “connection”).
Expo will be hosted at a site located halfway between Dubai and Abu-Dhabi, not far from Al Maktoum International Airport. The airline flyDubai (connected to the airline giant, Emirates) will be operating a convenient, direct flight (starting from October) from Catania. What better opportunity, then, to plan a trip now and take advantage of the Expo to visit the United Arab Emirates?
Meanwhile, we can start getting ready by focusing on the history of universal exhibitions. The first was held in London, way back in 1851, precisely at the Crystal Palace, thanks to the brainwave that Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband) had. The large glass and iron construction was built specifically inside Hyde Park to host the first Expo in history.
Yet, first place for the most famous construction ever built for a Universal Exposition, undoubtedly goes to the Eiffel Tower, erected in Paris in 1889 – the centenary of the French Revolution – for the Exhibition that was held during that year. A provisional railway line was also built to make visiting the new monument and the event easier – all this just goes to show the great charm that the Expos have always exercised over humanity. Since 1928 the intergovernmental body that regulates Expos has been the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). The last Expo was held in Milan in 2015 and was a great success with both critics and public, closing with a total of 21 million visitors, 7 million of which were foreigners.
Expo Dubai, which is the first exhibition to be held in an Arab country and also the first in the Me.Na.Sa area (Middle East, North Africa, South Asia) will last 182 days and see 200 participating countries with a predicted 25 million visitors.
With regard to logistics, the endeavour will be immense: there will be a metro capable of carrying 44,000 passengers an hour and 30,000 parking spaces available to visitors. It will be a great opportunity to relaunch the world after the Covid-19 pandemic and will guide the many tourists through the three sub-themes “Opportunities”, “Mobility” and “Sustainability” in search of new, innovative solutions for the future. In addition, Dubai will become an open-air set for more than 60 live events a day, with the largest 360-degree projection surface on the planet. Of course, our country will be there.
The Italian Pavilion will bring Italian history, culture and excellence to Dubai. Dubai has reacted well to the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to one of the most effective vaccination campaigns in the world. Currently, (May 2021) 50% of the population has been vaccinated and will therefore be ready to welcome international visitors. For now, if you want to go a PCR swab is required, done at least 72 hours before arrival in Dubai and only those travelling for work reasons or out of necessity can go there. But by the opening date of the Expo, the Emirates will be ready to receive millions of tourists.
As for the air connections from Catania, flyDubai will connect us with the Gulf country from October with 4 weekly flights. Plus, for aviation enthusiasts, as we are, at Expo there will also be a futuristic Emirates Pavilion, where it will be possible to discover and experience all the news of the coming years, the technological advances that will also allow us to reduce emissions and travel in a comfortable, safe and sustainable way.