World Expo 2020 will open in Dubai on the 20th of October 2020.
The Emirati authorities are already calling it “the World’s Greatest Show” a year before the event.
The site is already being prepared and was partly opened to the international press on Sunday.
A record 192 countries have confirmed they will take part in the event, including Belgium. Every country will have its own pavilion for the first time.
There will also be pavilions dedicated to the Expo itself. “Connecting Minds, Creating the future,” is the theme for the world expo 2020.
A few of these pavilions have already been set up. A total of 25 million visitors are expected to attend over the event’s six-month run period (20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021).
The site, situated halfway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, measures 4.38km2 (the biggest ever site for an Expo). It will require 100 million hours of work to get the site ready.
This is the first time the World Expo will be held in South-East Asia. The previous Expo took place in Milan in 2015 and the next one will be in Osaka, Japan, in 2025.
Apart from the pavilions for the Expo, only a few of the buildings stand completed on the site in the Emirati desert so far. A lot of the building work is still at the excavation or laying foundations stage.
The plan is to pull down the various pavilions and return the land to its original state at the end of the event.
But it is possible that a few of the buildings will be left standing. Local Dubai authorities want to create a new neighbourhood in this area, known as District 2020.