The state-of-the-art Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) threw its doors open with a lavish, star-studded opening ceremony to kick off the much awaited Expo 2020, the mega international event. The emirate is all set to make this the World’s Greatest Show by ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’ organized around a central plaza enclosed by three large thematic districts – Al Wazl Plaza. Each one is dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Expo 2020 – Sustainability, Mobility, and Opportunity.
Aside from the 3,000-strong audience inside Al Wasl Plaza, millions across the globe tuned in to virtually view the eagerly awaited event. In addition to music from some of the most influential artists on the planet and a beautiful live orchestra, a sensory overload of powerful visuals was beamed across Al Wasl Plaza’s dome, the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen. The flags of Expo’s 192 participating nations, revealed via a domino effect as flags were opened one by one, were a proud and visually stunning moment that also signified a reawakening of the world. Italian opera tenor and multi-instrumentalist Andrea Bocelli rounded off the night’s electrifying proceedings with one of his all-time classics “The Prayer.”
Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director of Expo 2020, says that the event will be the largest witnessed in the region with its main focus on ‘Sustainability’.
Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary General, Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), said, “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, that contributes to a better future.”
This year for the first time in the history of the World Expo, each of the 192 participating countries have a pavilion of their own. Exclusive pavilions for the Expo’s official partners will showcase the future through innovation and world-class expertise, organization pavilions show us how international organizations and civil society are already working to address the global challenges of our time, while special pavilions give visitors an opportunity to explore thematic and Expo-owned pavilions.
Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase six months of entertaining global celebrations promising something for everyone. Apart from business ventures and opportunities, the 60+ daily events will flaunt human brilliance and achievements in the fields of innovation and technology; entertainment; architecture; creativity; global music, arts and culture, sports and wellbeing, and more; while foodies could go on a gastronomical world tour with over 200 F&B outlets featuring renowned chefs and delectable cuisine from all over the world.
Expo 2020 Dubai will have a specialized 3D printing area, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, said during a meeting of the Executive Council on Sunday. The hub will include a research centre, an academy, and laboratories to help develop the technology. Business accelerators for 3D start-ups will be set up by the authorities to attract investors and entrepreneurs.
A 3D-printed reproduction of Michelangelo’s sculpture David, flown to Dubai, will represent Italy at the Expo. The statue, which is a replica of the masterpiece showcased at the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze (Florence), will be the striking centrepiece of the Italy Pavilion. Engineers in Florence used high-tech cameras and mounted laser scanners on stairs to capture microscopic details of the 16th-century marble statue. The copy of Michelangelo’s “David” involved 3D printing of the various parts of the figure. The reproduction was created thanks to a sophisticated digitalization process that involved scanning the statue to create a three-dimensional digital twin. The 3D-printed copy is made of acrylic resin covered with marble dust.
PepsiCo, the Expo’s Official Beverage and Snack Partner, is bringing bio-based, industrially compostable packaging for its beloved Sunbites brand of crisp snacks exclusively to the Expo, keeping in line with its sustainability commitments. The snack’s new packaging includes plant-based material and has a lower greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint as compared to traditional snack packs, meaning the entire production line is kinder to the planet.
As Official Printing and Imaging Provider at the Expo 2020 Dubai, global imaging technology giant Canon is the first company ever to be the single provider of printing and imaging needs for a World Expo. The company has collaborated with Expo 2020 to deploy its expertise in high-speed printing and realistic imagery across a range of onsite activities throughout the duration of the six-month event. These would include managed printing services, print displays at art galleries, souvenir printing, and accreditation and onsite registration printing. Onsite equipment loans, technical knowledge, and maintenance for media professionals will also be provided as behind-the-scenes support through its Canon Professional Services (CPS) booths. “This is the first time that the Expo has had a single provider for both printing and imaging, allowing us to showcase our entire input to output portfolio to help people re-imagine and push the boundaries of what is possible through imaging,” says Yuichi Ishizuka, President and CEO, Canon EMEA.
“Our sponsorship at the Expo 2020 Dubai starts with using advanced technology to enhance the visitor experience and explore opportunities to drive innovation in areas such as sustainability, a major focus of the event,” says Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Turkey (CMET). Canon’s ‘Frontiers of Innovation’ will focus on topics which are also of interest to the general public, especially for those interested in photography and filmmaking, and also a session with its focus on the print industry, how it has changed in the light of the pandemic, and how it is evolving to meet future needs.
The 182-day event will conclude on March 31, 2022.