‘Today is not the end of Expo 2020 Dubai, but a new beginning’


April 1, 2022 | By Zubina Ahmed

And so all great things come to an end! 182 days, 192 countries and almost 23 million visitors, Expo 2020 came to a close yesterday with an official closing ceremony at the iconic Al Wasl Dome. Fireworks lit up the night sky and renowned musicians kept the venue alive to put on a magnificent show to remember. With the total number of visits standing at 22,937,830, the first World Expo in the region has fulfilled its commitment to attract between 22.9 million and 25.4 million visits, a target range set out in the registration dossier that was officially ratified by Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) member states in 2015.

“Today is not the end of Expo 2020 Dubai, but a new beginning. We portrayed to the world a different version of ingenuity that touched the hearts and minds of every member of society.Our sons and daughters have proven their ability to overcome unprecedented difficulties and challenges. And in every moment of this journey, we reflected the values of the UAE – values of affection and hospitality”, said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as he delivered his speech at the closing ceremony on Thursday, 31st March.

The closing ceremony highlighted the pivotal moments of Expo 2020 Dubai through a series of flashbacks, including the ‘Journey of the 50’ (Expo 2020 Dubai’s Golden Jubilee Show) and scenes from the ‘Boy and the Horse’ to the floating piano player. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Duba handed over the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) flag to ambassador Jai-chul Choi, president of the BIE General Assembly; and BIE secretary-general Dimitri Kerkentzes, who will then present the flag to representatives of Expo 2025 Osaka.  “From the first moment, we promise that Expo 2020 Dubai will be one for the history books. Our experience has been a unique and rich one through which we exchanged ideas and opinion and shared challenges and accomplishments. We have reached the moment where we reap the fruits of our efforts and created forever memories” said Sheikh Nahayan.

Jai-chul Choi, President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) said that this is the first world expo in which more than 190 countries participated with their own pavilions.“It has been made possible by the UAE’s dedication to hosting a transformational and unifying event, and by the commitment of the BIE, the Organiser and all participants to persevere in the delivery of this wonderful World Expo,” Choi said. “During this tumultuous period, Expo 2020 Dubai has been a beacon to remind us all that, to navigate these challenges, we must join together and work in unison.”

As the Official Energy Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, ENOC proudly represented the energy industry and the UAE on the global stage. “Expo 2020 Dubai was an ambitious aspiration envisioned by the country’s wise leadership, and through perseverance, hard work and overcoming the challenges of a global pandemic, this aspiration turned into a reality. We would like to congratulate the UAE for staging such an incredible global event as well as those who worked above and beyond to make it a success. In addition to reinforcing the UAE’s position globally, successfully hosting the Expo 2020 Dubai demonstrates the country’s resilience and preparedness to stage a world-class event whilst serving as a model for public and private sector collaboration” said H.E Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC

ENOC Group constructed a state-of-the-art pavilion at the Expo 2020 site. Under the theme of ‘Reimagine Energy’, the pavilion has been constructed to meet sustainability and design standards put forward by the Expo 2020 team, integrating legacy into the build plan by focusing on local and recyclable materials. “The historical event provided an extraordinary opportunity for businesses to grow and connect on a global platform, offering a dynamic environment that is driving innovation and sustainability today. Throughout the past six months, we witnessed cutting-edge ideas, innovations and technologies that will help to shape the future. From an energy industry perspective, the event presented a unique platform to facilitate discussion over the future of integrated energy and adopting sustainable best practices”, added H.E Saif Humaid Al Falasi.

Retail sales depend on the emirate’s high numbers of visiting international tourists. Shopping continues to be a key aspect of Dubai’s brand as a global destination, helped by consumer benefits such as tax-free and duty-free shopping. The retail business made huge profits from nearly 20 million visitors. As there were large number of visitors and tourists during the event, the demand for shopping was increased significantly. The opening of the first Expo retail store made it even easier to get your hands on official Expo 2020 Dubai merchandise. Expo-branded products were available at other locations around the UAE as well , including Official Partner ENOC’s Zoom stores, Carrefour and Splash, as well as nine Dubai Duty Free locations in Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central.  Talabat cloud kitchen, Aquafina and PepsiCo launched an unmanned food and refreshment store at Expo 2020 Dubai.“

Expo 2020 Dubai opened to the public on October 1, 2021. It was a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture. Through thoughtfully designed visual arts, sound effects, music, food, avant-grande architecture, heritage, culture and modern technologies visitors at the Expo 2020 Dubai experienced the best in the last six months. As hosts, the UAE offered the very essence of Arab hospitality by being  home to more than 200 pavilions despite an economic downturn the world has seen in the last two years. So much to see, so much to learn and so much amazing work done. Dubai really made us proud!

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