Dubai passes Expo baton to Osaka

DUBAI EXPO marks a new beginning for the UAE and the world, the emirate’s ruler said as the baton was handed to Osaka for the 2025 event.

After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai opened last October and brought together 190 participating nations and millions of visitors over six months.

The event was the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation. It was themed Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

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The past few months also saw Dubai widen its appeal as a business events destination such as the emirate’s inclusion in the Michelin Guide as a culinary city with dishes drawn from traditional Emirati cuisine, as well as from the cuisines of more than 200 other nationalities living in the city.

“During the Expo 2020 Dubai journey, we portrayed to the world a different version of ingenuity that touched the hearts and minds of every member of society,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, told the closing ceremony in an audio address.

“Our sons and daughters have proven their ability to overcome unprecedented difficulties and challenges. And in every moment of this journey, we reflected the values of the UAE – values of affection and hospitality. Today is not the end of Expo 2020, but a new beginning.”

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Thousands of volunteers and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) were praised for their efforts in organising the expo with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations among the events.

The UAE is looking forward to participating in Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai and sharing the unique and rich experiences gained from the organisation of the mega global event in Dubai, said Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, a government minister and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Jai-chul Choi, president of the Bureau International des Expositions’ General Assembly, said plans to transform the expo site into a new urban district showed the “enduring spirit” of Expo 2020 Dubai.

“During this tumultuous period, Expo 2020 Dubai has been a beacon to remind us all that, to navigate these challenges, we must join together and work in unison,” Choi said.

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