Expo 2020 Dubai draws to a close with a spectacular closing ceremony

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After 182 days of unforgettable experiences, Expo 2020 Dubai has drawn to a close, having recorded 24,102,967 visits, welcomed 192 countries and shown the world what can be achieved when humanity comes together.

As the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the first event of its size and scale to be held since the pandemic began, Expo 2020 Dubai marked a major achievement for Dubai and heralded a historic moment for the UAE – made even more significant by being hosted in the year of the nation’s Golden Jubilee – and paved the way for the next generation of change-makers to continue Expo’s legacy.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said, “After an incredible six months, we are immensely proud to have staged a World Expo that has connected minds, created the future and inspired the world. Expo 2020 Dubai is a triumph that will go down in history as a beacon of unity and hope – a tremendous honour for the UAE as we celebrated our 50th year and a defining moment in the history of our nation. My sincere and heartfelt congratulations to our leadership for their vision and guidance in staging an exceptional World Expo that befits our ambitious nation.”

Expo 2020 Dubai has been hailed as a huge success and a beacon of hope, bringing together the international community in a show of resilience in uncertain times, and overcoming a raft of challenges, including the global pandemic, which necessitated its one-year postponement and restricted global travel, and adapting to new variants with an agile and robust health-and-safety response.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “From the beginning of this incredible Expo journey, our country’s leadership promised an Expo that would amaze the world. Despite the inconceivable challenges, including the pandemic, a new variant, and conflicts in different parts of the world, we have delivered on this promise with purpose and passion.

“We have presented world-class entertainment, we have shared our cultures and ideas, and we have sought solutions to some of our greatest global challenges. And this is just the beginning of the new world we have started making together.

“We owe our sincere gratitude and respect to everyone who has come together to become part of this – from our 30,000-strong volunteer force, to the dedicated Expo Tribe, our Participants and Partners, and of course the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee. This has been a truly collective effort and a shining manifestation of our theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Until we meet again, I thank each and every last one of you.”

Expo 2020 Dubai came to an end in spectacular style in the early hours of Friday (31st March), as Reem Al Hashemy closed the breath-taking Entry Portals for the final time, following an emotional Closing Ceremony that honoured Expo’s iconic moments.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, attended the closing ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai. The ceremony saw the baton for World Expo being handed over to Osaka, Japan, which will host the next Expo in 2025.

The closing ceremony started with the UAE national anthem, followed by an address by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, in which he congratulated the UAE leadership on the exceptional success of Expo, which he said “will remain engraved proudly in the memory of history, and the world, as one of our young country’s many achievements.”

His Excellency also thanked the thousands of volunteers and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) for their relentless efforts in presenting the magnificent event.

His Excellency Jai-chul Choi, President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) thanked the UAE leadership for its support for the success of the event.

He also said participating countries, visitors and all those who have been part of Expo 2020 Dubai will take away essential lessons for the future based on their experiences at the event. “When the Expo ends and this site evolves into a new urban district, the enduring spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai will persist, adding new energy and ideas to the meaning of what a World Expo is. The impact of Expo 2020 Dubai will undoubtfully be woven into the Expo tapestry, an essential part of our shared global narrative,” Choi added.