The concept of World Expo dates back to mid 19th century when Britain held the first Great expo in 1851, in London. Since then, the journey of World expo has witnessed exponential growth in revolutionary technologies. The World Expo history included exhibiting art and crafts work without entertaining any trading activities. The framework of subsequent World Expos was organized by different nations showcasing achievements in technological innovations and business regulations.
London World Expo: The Beginning
The London World Expo showcased significant transition highlighting the transitions from commodity exchange to exchange of latest concepts and production technologies. Western countries started showing greater interest in this series to highlight their industrial advances and promoting their trade, technologies, and culture.
The second World Expo took place at New York in 1853 where US exhibited its achievements before the world for the first time at such global level. The third and fourth World expos were also held in US where industrial products like textiles machines, printing presses, trains, and electric motors were introduced for the first time.
Great Depression & the World Wars
The first half of 20th century witnessed some significant impacts of the great depression and subsequent world wars. This was the toughest time in World expo history but it still managed to retain its worth during this period.
From 1926 onwards, countries like Philadelphia, China, and Japan also started hosting this event. China’s raw silk, hand-made embroideries, and emerald, silk and satin started gaining worldwide attention.
In 1933, the World Expo Chicago witnessed participation from more than 47 countries where almost 38.3 million visitors were reported. It was the first time when the Expo was given a certain theme, “A century of progress”.
21st Century & Sustainable Development
The constant progress in technological innovations started paving way for sustainable development. The Hanover World Expo held in 2000 clearly summed-up the achievements of human kind. It was then; the need to “resource protection” was felt by worldwide businesses and that urged reconnecting mankind with nature. The Aichi World Expo held in Japan chose the theme “Nature’s Wisdom”. This was to promote and restore the essence of natural resources along with an equal emphasis on technological advancements. The World expos started demonstrating new possibilities for mankind and making it much better with maximum integration of advanced technologies.
World Expo & Globalization
The World expo history started grabbing global attention where worldwide countries scrambled to display their technical excellence. The event started becoming a platform where world’s leading industries started exhibiting their technological achievements. Inventions like trains, aircrafts, air conditioners, Televisions, nylon, gramophone, and elevator were first introduced to world through this platform.
Various countries from different corners of the world started becoming passionate about holding World Expo due to its massive appeal. The event played a vital role in promoting globalization of economies offering a wonderful platform to exchange ideas and technologies.
World Expo Dubai 2020
The recent World Expo took place at Dubai from October 2021 to March 2022. However the actual event was scheduled at October 2020 to April 2021. It was postponed due to Pandemic effect and despite this, the organizers decided to go with the name Expo 2020.
The grand event took place at a 438-hectare area with subtheme Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. After a long wait, the event finally opened its doors for worldwide investors with a dedicated theme; “Connecting minds, creating the future”. The event highly prioritized the essence of creative and sustainable solutions to fight social, economic, and environmental related problems.
The event also had a dedicated pavilion for women aiming to highlight women’s contribution to the world and its equal participation in leadership. People were also able to see a full-scale replica of Hyperloop that’s set to make its way to UAE. The event also showcased 152 robots that were programmed to cater to visitors and guide them with wherever they wanted to go.
The World Expo event is governed by Bureau International des expositions (BIE). The event acts as a perfect platform to display technical, scientific, cultural, and economic achievements for any country.
World Expo 2023
The next series of World Expo will be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2023. This will be a specialized exhibition that is expected to take place from January 15 to April 15. Keeping in mind World Expo’s huge popularity, it is expected that more than 9.4 million visitors will be reported during this event. More than 100 countries will participate in this grand event and the theme will be “Science, Innovation, Art, and Creativity for Human Development”. Digital convergence will be a highly prioritized topic at this event where its economic impacts will be displayed.
Facts & Stats of Dubai Expo 2022
Dubai Expo 2020 came with an opportunity to celebrate ideas, culture, co-operation, and innovation. Dubai hosted this event for the first time ever and left no stone unturned to take it to a gigantic scale. Here are some interesting facts that will amaze you.
- The event took place at Dubai South District with an area of 438 hectares (4 km long and 1.8 km wide).
- There were more than 100000 participants who took part in various cultural events to entertain more than 25 million visitors.
- 270000 new jobs were declared in different sectors and more than 200 restaurants from across the globe offered their best cuisine.
- Dubai Expo 2020 also witnessed more than 60 live shows. More than 192 countries experienced the world-class amenities in Dubai.
- The event boosted Dubai’s economy with 122.6 billion AED. World Expo aims generating new employment opportunities with 905,200 full-time jobs from 2013 to 2031.
- World Expo’s contribution to UAE’s GDP was 1.5% with AED4.7 billion spending in SME sector.
- The tickets were available for AED 95 (for one day) and for AED 195 (for multiple days).
- There was also free access for students, kids and youths between the age group 6 to 17 years.
Key Highlights of Dubai Expo 2020
More than 192 countries showcased their culture, history, and hospitality to let you experience almost a real visit to that country. The architectural marvels that pavilions represented were a point of attraction for myriads. Those who didn’t pre-book their tickets needed to be a part of long queues.
The event was an all-round platform for musical events, theatres, sports events, and national day celebrations. For tech enthusiasts, the event was nothing less than an island of treasures. They got to witness some major advancement in AR/VR, Robotics, AI, autonomous vehicles, and futuristic technologies.
There was much for kids too. Two separate parks were dedicated for kids and youths where they explored some top-notch cuisines form different restaurants. “Eat at Expo” was a dedicated section for food lovers where they can satiate their taste buds with different cuisines from more than 200 restaurants.
Innovations Creating Opportunities
Dubai Expo 2020 was also home to several innovations that are creating new opportunities for world to live a better life leveraging technological innovations. The opportunity district at Dubai expo perfectly catered to changes that we have undergone and will witness in the coming time.
Innovations that Drive Mobility
The mobility district openly exhibited major transformations in digital world that drive mobility. Autonomous vehicles remained a key highlight for visitors and the most visited section of the event. Visitors also learnt a lot about latest developments in space explorations including UAE’s National Space Program & Emirates Mars Mission.
The Sustainability District
Economies across the globe are heading towards sustainable solutions to assure a better and secure future. At Sustainability district, visitors got to explore some best advanced technologies that can assure hi-tech future for us. The key focus was on adopting eco-friendly solutions to keep the planet green and a better place to live for our generations.
The Expo Live Global Innovation Program offered funding, support, and required exposure for global innovators. People really witnessed some creative solutions to bring a difference in both societies and environment. The global Best Practice Program introduced some real solutions to challenges in form of best practices that we can follow to overcome them.
Women’s World Majlis
Visitors were also engaged in conversations focusing on major issues that women face in modern-day life. The women’s pavilion was dedicated towards bringing innovative perspectives that can drive more opportunities for women. The World Majlis is a forum where global thought leaders present their ideas and innovations to empower women. The Next-Gen World Majlis was set up to strengthen programs that can prioritize universal leadership among women and bring them in mainstream.
Addressing Global Challenges
Theme weeks were designed to tackle the greatest challenges and opportunities of present time. There was an increased emphasis on utilizing top-notch technologies to overcome these challenges with minimum cost. The program for People and Planet was launched for 10 theme weeks exploring some major challenges and opportunities from social, economic, and environmental lens. Climate & Biodiversity, Space, and Urban & Rural Development were some key areas that were in focus.
The series of World Expo events have certainly helped countries to join hands together and come up with some innovative ideas & technologies to make this planet a better place to live. In the coming time, there will be an increased emphasis on sustainable growth in technology, science, and culture so that people find it more convenient to connect and overcome challenges. The World Expo has now exceeded far beyond an event. It has indisputably become a thought process that is catering to umpteen lives in overcoming global challenges faced mankind.