Expo 2020: Journey to the World’s Greatest Show

The United Arab Emirates is home to over 9 million people comprising of over 200 nationalities from all over the world. It is safe to say that you can technically find anything in this land. It appears UAE has headroom to accept all that this world can offer. But over the last 15 years, even though there was and still is a rapid development in science, artificial intelligence and technology, it hasn’t been a bed of roses for the UAE.

On November 23, 2013 at 2.10 PM, State Minister Reem Al Hashemi began to make the case for UAE in Paris stating that she would be delivering the most important speech of her lifetime. The truth of the matter was, it wasn’t the most important speech just for her but rather for the whole nation. Millions of job opportunities, hundreds of international tie-ups and one common goal of winning the bid for the Expo hung on the presentation. She closed by mentioning the fact that she not only stands as a civil servant, a mother and a daughter but also as someone who will make a difference. This was indeed a very powerful yet humbling statement.

And boy did she make a difference! Meanwhile, arrangements were being made back home in Dubai to accommodate all the eagerly waiting residents of the UAE who were beginning to flock the Dubai Mall and the Address Hotel where the Expo was broadcasted

At 7.02 PM, Dubai earns a staggering 77 votes which constituted to over 47.24 percent of the overall votes. This easily puts them as the most voted country in the first round with Russia following with 33 votes. But as with all good things, there will always be more to come.

The tension rose to high levels when the whole nation was put on hold for an hour while the second round of voting began. With 77 votes in their hand, they needed just 75 percent of the votes to get the bid which wasn’t a problem since the 77 votes in the first round put them in a commanding position. With 87 votes in the second round, they were still shy of the 75 percent required to win the bid.

Onto the third round they went, and they had to go all out in this round. They were up against the mighty Russians. Meanwhile, the Dubai Mall was absolutely packed with thousands of excited and eagerly waiting spectators. Finally, on that amazing day at 8:35 PM, it was done. UAE was elected to host the marvellous EXPO 2020.

As fireworks blew all around Burj Khalifa and the whole of Dubai was in celebration, the world knew that UAE had it in them as it was destined to happen.

I vividly recall having dinner with my family as we watched the fireworks. That was when I was doing my 7th grade in school and here I am 7 years later in college writing about it.

Now, in seven years, the announcement of the expo did bring a sense of drive to the nation. Organisations had renewed interest and innovative reforms to make the best use of this opportunity that UAE had presented them with. Huge tie-ups were made between many multi-million-dollar companies both locally and globally

The EXPO is 31 weeks away and we are all excited as even before the actual expo, there have been major investments and openings for tens and thousands of residents.

We are eager and we bless this country with our well wishes.

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