• Shelley Tsang 曾雯海

Connecting Minds, Creating the Future - EXPO 2020 DUBAI

Updated: Jun 11, 2020


The World Expo 2020 is the first hosting of the World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Dubai is the first host city of the World Expo from the Middle East countries since 1851, the theme of EXPO 2020 DUBAI is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". It aims to unlock the potential and promote the circulation of knowledge, methods and commodities. There will be 192 countries and international Organizing exhibitions, it is expected to receive 25 million spectators, and is expected to bring $9 billion in tourism revenue to Dubai. The exhibition planning site is located in the southwest of Dubai. Dubai has invested billions of dollars in the construction of venues and supporting infrastructure and building an "exhibition city" covering an area of about 438 hectares. The mascot of the Dubai World Expo is composed of a pair of six cartoon characters, two UAE siblings Rashid and Latifa, the UAE's national tree, the sapling Salama, the robot Opti, Alif and Terra. Among them, three robots echo the three sub-themes of this World Expo, blue robots represent mobility, green robots represent sustainability, and yellow robots represent opportunities.


Image: Rendering of the Dubai Expo 2020 Exhibition City (Internet)


About the World Expo


The first World Expo was held in London, England in 1851. At that time, Britain was the first powerful country in the Industrial Revolution, so Britain planned to show its national strength and industrial productivity through a large-scale exhibition. The initiator is Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband. The British are proud to call this large market fair "The Great Expo". Early World Expos mostly used popular comprehensive exhibitions as the theme. With the technological advancement in modern times, the World Expo theme has also tended to some specialities of exploring the relationship between new technology and life. Most of the World Expo theme is based on the scientific and technological achievements to meet the needs of the social environment. To this day, it has increasingly become a window for building a "national image".


Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Global Communications, was appointed Director-General of the United Nations to participate in the Expo in February this year. He said that the theme of the United Nations Pavilion is "We the Peoples: Shaping Our Future Together". It combines the theme of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations and coincides with the Expo theme. Nasser said the World Expo has always been an opportunity for countries and organizations to show and share to the broader public. Looking back on history, the World Expo began in 1851 and is the place to learn about the latest developments in science and technology. The first X-ray machine was held at the Expo, as well as the first TV screen. Of course, today we have many other platforms to showcase new inventions and creations, but the Expo still maintains a core position, attracting millions of people to participate, to explore and to learn about many countries in the pavilions. Unlike other expositions, the UN Pavilion is about everyone. What the UN Pavilion want to share is the value of gathering together and the value of global cooperation.

China Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai


At the coming Expo, the China Pavilion will take the theme of "Building a Community of Human Destiny - Innovation and Opportunities" and will be a wonderfully self-built pavilion of 4636 square meters. It will be one of the countries with the most extensive exhibition area. At present, 25 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangsu will host events in the China Pavilion. The acting consul general of the UAE Consulate General in Shanghai, said in a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the China Pavilion, "Friendly exchanges between the Chinese and Arab peoples have existed since ancient times. Since two thousand years ago, the ancestors started the trading business along the ancient Silk Road. The friendship has been shaped and lasted for a long time. In these 36 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and UAE at both ends of the Eurasian continent have witnessed a miracle of vigorous economic development. China and UAE, with similar development concepts and policy goals, become close friends and important partners in mutual help, close exchanges and cooperation in regional and international affairs."


Image: The groundbreaking ceremony for the opening of the China Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Xinhua News Agency)



Innovation highlights of China's exhibition:


1. Theme innovation.

The China Pavilion takes "Building a Community of Human Destiny - Innovation and Opportunity" as the display theme, closely following the keyword of "innovation", and proclaims that China adheres to promoting the two-wheel-drive of technological innovation and institutional mechanism innovation to strengthen joint development and implement 2030. The sustainable development agenda and the development proposition of building a community of shared future for humanity.


2. Architectural innovation.

The China Pavilion architecture combines traditional Chinese elements with modern architectural concepts and advanced technology, fully reflects the Chinese spirit and the characteristics of the times, demonstrates Chinese cultural self-confidence, and tells Chinese stories in an international context. The outside of the China Pavilion will use technological and environmentally friendly building materials, and express traditional Chinese elements in an innovative and modern way. Through the use of innovative multimedia technology, the light show created by the China Pavilion at night will become a beautiful landscape in the park.


3. Demonstration innovation.

The China Pavilion will highlight China's innovative scientific and technological achievements in the fields of information, science and technology, transportation, show new technologies and high technical content. From early demonstrations, new Chinese Satellites, 5G technology, artificial intelligence and other core items will be exhibited for the first time in the China Pavilion of the World Expo. High-speed rail, simulated driving and smart connected cars performing "smart travel" through innovative forms will be a pleasing appearance on the Expo stage. The multimedia theme theatre of the China Pavilion will present a space science and technology feast full of science and technology to visitors.



Architectural characteristics of the China Pavilion


According to Feng Yaoxiang, Secretary-General of the China Pavilion Organizing Committee of the Dubai World Expo 2020 Dubai and Minister of Trade and Investment Promotion of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the Chinese Pavilion architecture combines traditional Chinese elements with modern technology, demonstrating Chinese cultural self-confidence and great power style. In the design process, the principle of "combining Chinese and Western cultures, focusing on China, blending ancient and modern times" is followed, and we strive to "see China at a glance". At a glance, we can see that this is Chinese architecture. At the same time, pay attention to the combination of Chinese nationality and modernity.


Image: The rendering of the China Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo (Internet)



The building of the China Pavilion is called "The Light of China" and takes the shape of Chinese lanterns. In traditional Chinese culture, lanterns represent not only light and reunion, but also auspiciousness and happiness. They mean that all countries in the world gather together on the Expo platform to pursue prosperity and development, and jointly build a community of shared future for humanity and a happy family. During the Dubai World Expo, which coincided with the Chinese traditional Lunar New Year, Chinese lanterns just reflected the rich traditional Chinese culture and the blessings of hope. At the same time, the lantern is like a beacon on the "Belt and Road", illuminating a bright future for a future full of opportunities.


The building exterior of the China Pavilion extracts the cultural elements of the four ancient Chinese inventions-papermaking, compass, gunpowder, and movable type printing, and uses modern expression techniques to make visitors feel the Chinese culture anytime, anywhere. The exterior of the building is decorated with glass and traditional Chinese lattice windows, showing the superb conventional skills of the Chinese nation and a unique aesthetic perspective, symbolizing auspiciousness, wealth, peace and dignity. The main building is divided into two layers. The outer layer uses transparent glass to imitate the lantern keel, and comprehensively uses traditional Chinese architectural elements such as Doufang and Chinese flower panes. The outer layer is also a type matrix printed in movable type, red during the day, and digital programming technology at night to performing a light show. It is an excellent fusion of Chinese nationality and modernity.



Dubai World Expo rescheduling


This World Expo was initially scheduled to be held from October 20, 2020, to April 10, 2021. Many countries hope to postpone the Dubai World Expo for one year to concentrate on the coronavirus pandemic. In a spirit of solidarity, the UAE supports relevant proposals. The International Exhibition Bureau issued a statement saying that after evaluating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on public health, economic activities and global action restrictions, it agreed with the request of the UAE government to be scheduled to be held from October 20, 2020, to April 10, 2021. The Dubai Expo will be postponed until October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, while keeping the name of the "EXPO 2020 DUBAI" unchanged.


Some analysts pointed out that the UAE initially hoped to promote the development of the real estate, aviation, tourism and hotels and other related industries through the holding of the World Expo, and the delay will have an impact on the country's economy. To organize this World Expo, Dubai has invested billions of dollars in related infrastructure projects. The postponement will also force the government to invest additional funds to maintain venues and facilities. The UAE's News website published an article saying that after the coronavirus pandemic, the international tourism industry will resume its development, and the number of people participating in the Expo may be higher than expected. The postponement of the Expo will allow the participating countries more time to prepare, present the latest technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, expand the influence of the Expo, and promote the accelerated recovery of the economies of the participating countries.



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