I still remember the day when Dubai won the bid to host EXPO2020. There was jubilation in the streets. The children were given days off from school and free treats to celebrate the good news. There was excitement and anticipation as the whole city geared up to prepare for this prestigious event. However, before Dubai won the bid, most of us were unaware of what EXPO really meant and what it was about. Even now, when I talk to people in India, most of them and unaware of what an EXPO is. So I thought, what better way to celebrate EXPO2020 than by writing a series of posts on it.
If you have been wondering what is an EXPO and why it is important, then you have come to the right place. This post is all about the history of World Expos. World Expos, officially known as International Registered Exhibitions, are a gathering of nations. They get together intending to find solutions to common problems under a universal theme. The first of these international exhibitions took place in London in the year 1851. In the year, 1928 the BIE or the Bureau Internationale des Expositions was formed. BIE is the authority that regulates and oversees these mega-events. The world expos are held every five years, the duration of each Expo is six months. The host city for EXPO2020 is Dubai, UAE. Due to the pandemic, EXPO2020 was postponed to October 2021 and will run until March2022.
World Expos have always been events that showcase innovations and new inventions. These include innovations in food, think ketchup, ice-cream cones, popcorn and waffles. All these made their debuts in World Expos. Innovations in technology included Charles Babbage’s analytical machine, the precursor to the computer, showcased in London International Exhibition in 1861. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone at the Philadelphia fair in 1876. The first live TV broadcast took place at the fair in New York in 1939. EXPO2005 Aichi in Japan was where the Ultra HDTV debuted.
World Expos are also synonymous with buildings that later became landmarks in the cities hosting the Expo. These include The Crystal Palace in London that was built to showcase the inventions of the Industrial Revolution. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was constructed for the World Fair in 1889. The Giant Ferris Wheel was installed in the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The Atomium was constructed for the Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles in Brussels in 1958, and apparently had the fastest elevators of that time. The Space Needle, constructed for Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962, remains an iconic fixture of Seattle’s skyline even now. Al Wasl Plaza is the iconic structure associated with EXPO2020 in Dubai. Al Wasl Plaza has the world’s largest unsupported dome and it will remain as an iconic hub of District2020.
In today’s world of strife and distrust, World Expos are even more important. World Expos are a way for the nations of the world to come together, show their innovations and look for solutions to common problems. They enhance cooperation and communications between member countries. World Expos are the means for creating a harmonious world. And what better city to host EXPO2020, than Dubai, the melting pot of the world!
You can get all the updates about EXPO2020 from it’s website expo2020dubai.com
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