The clock’s ticking for Expo 2020 Dubai

WORLD Expos have always been about innovation. They’ve connected nations, challenged thinkers, entertained individuals, couples and families, strengthened economic activity and boosted tourism. They’ve shaped experiences, wowed young minds and captured headlines. Expo 2020 Dubai will encompass all of this, and more.

In less than 600 days, Expo 2020 will welcome millions of people from around the world for an experience like no other. With 190 participating countries already confirmed, visitors to Expo 2020 will be able to see the entire world in one place. More than 60 live events every day, more than 200 food and beverage outlets, including at least 50 cuisines, inspiring architecture and captivating storytelling will combine within the site’s immersive Country Pavilions, which will showcase the best that each nation has to offer.

It will also make history as the largest event ever held in the Arab world and the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, which organisers hope will inspire a renewed sense of optimism.

Organisers expect 25 million visits to be recorded during the six months of the event, with 70 per cent of visitors to come from outside the UAE – the highest proportion in the 168-year history of World Expos. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration for all, regardless of background, culture or age.

This presents an invaluable opportunity for travel professionals and the travel trade. Expo 2020 will be the number one destination within the UAE during the six months of the Expo, from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, executive director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai will host the world for 173 days, each one offering new and exciting experiences. We are inviting the world to enjoy a vast programme of events, curated art, food and beverage from all corners of the globe. They can explore 190 countries in one destination, and be inspired and empowered to contribute to a brighter future, together.”

Expo’s Authorised Ticket Reseller programme is specially designed to enable the travel industry to package and tailor experiences for leisure and business clientele, generating new revenue streams. Travel companies will also benefit from adding Expo 2020 to their portfolio of travel options, to attract new clients and to offer their existing clients truly unforgettable content.

According to statistics from the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai welcomed 15.79 million international visitors in 2017. The tourism industry worldwide will be able to leverage the unique nature of Expo 2020, introducing this region to visitors for the first time and encouraging those en route to other destinations to break up their trip to enjoy Expo 2020.

Authorised Ticket Resellers will receive commissions on an incremental scale based on the number of tickets a travel company sells among all of their travel packages. The companies will also benefit from marketing support, a dedicated reseller logo, inclusion on Expo 2020’s official global reseller’s list and direct and easy access to Expo 2020’s B2B ticketing platform.

The global media coverage of the destination will strengthen the position of Dubai and the UAE on the world stage and further enhance their brand awareness, benefiting inbound tourism – and the businesses linked to Expo 2020 – for many more years to come.

Sanjive Khosla, deputy chief visitor experience officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We offer a wide range of attractive benefits including a tiered commission structure, training, marketing collaterals and access to an Authorised Ticket Reseller logo to support the industry to attract their clientele to Expo.”

During the Arabian Travel Market, held in Dubai between March 28 and April 1, delegates will be able to gain a better understanding of what Expo 2020 offers as a value proposition for the travel industry and their customers. This includes announcing the various ticket price categories and where and when they will be sold.

In line with its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and three subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, Expo 2020 will show how we can shape a brighter tomorrow through collaboration. It will be an opportunity for discovery and enrichment. As well as giving visitors the chance to take part in a global celebration and discover the innovations that will change their lives for the better, it will challenge them to play an active role in shaping our collective future. Those who come to the next World Expo will leave feeling connected, enriched and inspired.

Expo 2020 is working with its partners to development, implement and showcase innovative technologies that are helping to shape our future. Expo 2020 will showcase not only one technology, but a confluence of technologies as enablers. Working with its technology Premier Partners, including Accenture, Cisco, Etisalat, SAP and Siemens, it can optimise each visitor’s experience and interaction by digitally connecting them with their surrounding environment and enriching their interactions throughout the Expo journey.

For example, technology can be used to positively affect moods and create awe-inspiring experiences, while ensuring a safe and secure environment at Expo. This will be driven by augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT). From the moment visitors begin interacting with Expo to buy their ticket, plan their itinerary or book queuing times, their experience can be enhanced through a variety of technologies.

Expo 2020 is already accessing the next-gen network 5G, thanks to its partnership with Etisalat.

* Find Expo 2020 Dubai on stand ME2520