Expo 2020: Biggest live event on Earth, for six months


Dubai is working hard to stage the Expo2020. We spoke with Shaun Vorster, Business Integration and Activations manager of the event that starts in October 2020.

How do you feel the destination is changing with Expo coming soon?

First, I have to say that Dubai is already an amazing destination in its own right, it's a modern, cosmopolitan city and a moving gear to host this World Expo, which has always been a milestone in our market development journey. It's the first one in the Middle East, African South Asia, so it's something we are all really proud of and very motivated to deliver an exceptional event. In fact, not just an exceptional event, but a meaningful lasting legacy. I think maybe comparable to the Expo Portugal hosted, as it is also about creating something for the future. 80% of what we built for Expo will be repurposed as a legacy, leaving Dubai closer to became a city of the future.

And what impact are you expecting in the MICE sector in Dubai?

Dubai's Exhibition Centre will be co-located during our Worl Expo, it's a 45,000 sqm venue which will still be there after Expo. It is important to see it is a catalyst to really grow the business event industry. We know at the business event industry helps develop economy, new business networks, scientific exchange, generate employment, economic growth... and because it will be co-located in the 2020 area, it will really solve some of our old complaints and create that value for the U.A.E. and for Dubai. Furthermore, the legacy will be the business to business meetings that we will do during Expo. That will add value to the 190 countries that have confirmed their participation, which I believe is the highest number in the history of Expos. They will be attending because they want to add value to their business, in trade, investment, corporate partners, as this is a long-term investment. During the event, but also after the event, it's about creating value to all those involved. Then after the event, our site becomes District 2020, and with Dubai Exhibition Centre located there, and many other buildings will be repurposed to host diferent companies (Siemens and Accenture have just Confirmed) and government entities, so it really is a long-term investment.

What markets are you aiming your congress centre at?

It's about the exhibition market and looking at innovative new profiles in B2B exhibitions, potentially also B2C. It's also about the conference industry, corporate, associations, incentive travels and business meetings.

And what geographic markets?

Well, 1/3 of the world's population is a one-hour fligt from Dubai, 2/3 of the world's population is a eight-hour flight from Dubai. There's obviously a proximity market that we will focus on first but this is going to be a global destination, as we aim at long-term sustainability following this scale of global ambition.

How do you sell Dubai and Dubai's Exhibition Centre as an original venue?

During our World Expo, delegates will have access to probably the biggest live event on Earth, for six months. 200 food and beverage outlets, non-stop cultural entertainment events, gastronomy, 200 pavilions, immersive experiences, cutting-edge innovation... so hosting an event in an exhibition centre like this, co-located at a World Expo, is really unique.

How would you like to invite our readers to Dubai's 2020 World Expo?

They can expect a six-month long celebration of human ingenuity, innovation, cultural exchange... They can expect a once in a life time experience. We invite the world!