Expo 2020 Dubai


Book collectors and UAE aficionados, rejoice—Assouline has collaborated with Expo 2020 Dubai on a collection of seven separate volumes dedicated to the stately event that had a spectacular run for six months until 31 March 2022.

Each volume is packed with spectacular photographs, educational descriptions, exclusive interviews, and incredible insight about the historical significance of the landmark and the impressive architecture that it houses.

“Like the buildings themselves, the books will set new benchmarks for the future, forming an essential record of Expo’s meaningful, lasting legacy,” stated Dr Federica Busa, Senior Vice President of Visitor Experience at Expo 2020 Dubai.

In the sprawling pavilions of Expo 2020 Dubai, trends are sparked, exceptional ideas are presented, and scintillating insight is offered into the world’s rich cultural production and technological innovations. Amongst them, one buoyant pavilion stands tall as a real tour de force that offers generous engagement with the role of women in shaping the future of the world.

It’s the Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, the first standalone at a World Expo since the 1900s that has been entirely dedicated to women, with a ‘New Perspectives’ exhibition that showcases the central role they continue to play as global changemakers. A big hook of the space is that it has brought together a diverse community of creators to contribute to its design and curation.

Part of its impressive roster is Emirati creative Kholoud Sharafi, co-founder and Director of Design Communication at Dubai-based multidisciplinary design firm Tinkah, who was roped in to develop the pavilion’s visual identity – the logo. “The brief was to develop a brand identity that embodied the values and narrative that had been established for the Women’s Pavilion,” says Kholoud. “A key element of the space was the façade and we had to be mindful of the placement of the logo on it,” she explains.

The pavilion preserves and conveys the important role women have played in the past, are playing in the present, and what we should look forward to in the future. We considered these aspects when defining the pavilion’s visual identity.

The project began as a design sprint towards the end of 2019 and the main logo was developed during the initial weeks of 2020. For the logo, Kholoud and the team at Tinkah took a cue from how the pavilion charts the milestones achieved by women, both known and unknown. “The Women’s Pavilion celebrates the seen and unseen women from yesterday, today and tomorrow, with a common purpose of changing the world. In response to the concept narrative driven by the seen and the unseen, the brand identity explores the contrast between femininity and impact,” she explains.

The design also includes references from Cartier’s own creative heritage. “The brand commits itself to preserving and conveying its heritage, and its approach and creativity are recognized in the cultural and artistic worlds. The pavilion preserves and conveys the important role women have played in the past, are playing in the present, and what we should look forward to in the future. We considered these aspects when defining the pavilion’s visual identity.”

Founded in 2012 by an all-women team that includes Kholoud, along with creatives Reem Al Ghaith and Abeer Tahlak, Tinkah boasts a distinct design language that nods to versatility. “Our firm follows a multidisciplinary approach. Every project comes with its unique challenges, so the solution also needs to be unique,” she states.

“It’s never just about the aesthetic. A brand can have a strong aesthetic identity, but the question comes back to what it’s trying to convey. Similar to how a sculptor takes away from a block of clay to reveal the final piece, we too need to take away from all the information that’s gathered as a part of our process in order to arrive at a brand identity.”

One of Tinkah’s recent milestones is creating the brand identity of the UAE’s ‘Year Of The Fiftieth’, which commemorates 50 years of the country’s formation this year. “We’re excited about many of our recent projects and when the time is right, we’ll reveal them to the world,” she reveals.

As a design practitioner, Kholoud is hopeful that Expo 2020 Dubai and endeavors like the Women’s Pavilion will open doors for global and regional creatives. “Our hope is that the platform will support the creative community by establishing standards and practices that recognize, promote and give credit to them for their contributions.”


Expo 2020 Dubai Next Gen World Majlis, Cityzen 2030, was one of the experiences of Expo 2020 Dubai, held on Wednesday 14, November 2018, where school students of the UAE met to talk about opportunities and challenges of the future city. Although I was not there and have not attended the conversation, I figure it focused on how to build happier, stronger, and more sustainable communities for our common future.

The session was titled ‘Gen Z and The Future’, and took place before the pandemic, which effectively changed our world, and caused the delay of the Expo to 2021. The Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ through sustainability, mobility, and opportunity – the three main pillars – albeit remained, and we are all passionately looking forward to it.

Throughout history, cities have charmed us. Countless writers, artists and musicians have found their inspiration in the physical and human aspects of cities. Dubai, the city of Expo 2020, is one of those charming places, voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful Cities in the World and ranked number one in Arabia. Historically, Dubai was called Al Wasl, or ‘the connection’ because it connected people from all over the region. As the city hosting the Expo, it’s connecting visitors from all over the world. It has become the city of the future, a home for innovators, families, artists and pioneers.

Generation Z will live with the legacy of a city that stood up to the COVID-19 challenge fiercely by hosting a mega event with the warmth and hospitality that we, as a nation, are acknowledged for.

I believe that Dubai Expo 2020, which seeks not only to bring the world together, but also to chart our future course, will help raise awareness through its Theme Weeks that will address global challenges, from climate to connectivity, space exploration, to the future of human health.

And through its program for People and Planet, which is a platform for the free and open exchange of new ideas and innovations, we will be able to reimagine the global economy; place equality, universal respect and human dignity at the center of human progress, and instill a sense of responsibility to live in harmony and balance with the natural world.

Thankfully, more than 80 per cent of Expo 2020 Dubai’s infrastructure will have practical value long into the future as part of District 2020. The Al Wasl Plaza will remain. The sustainability pavilion will become Terra, the Children and Science Center. The mobility pavilion will become a commercial building and the UAE pavilion will remain and will be managed by the UAE government. District 2020 will have these and other assets of the Expo – and, I believe it will thrive.

Dubai is building a global community of action from across our 200-plus participants and partners, and millions of visitors around the world during the next six months, and Generation Z will live with the legacy of a city standing up to the COVID-19 challenge fiercely by hosting a mega event with the warmth and hospitality that we, as a nation, are acknowledged for.

Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh

All eyes are on the UAE as the country gears up to host the long-awaited Expo 2020 Dubai, one of the most diverse and sustainable expositions in the history of World Expos. Scheduled to take place tomorrow, on Thursday, 30 September, the Expo 2020 Dubai Opening Ceremony will be streamed live to more than 430 locations across the UAE, offering everyone the chance to experience the iconic occasion.

What to expect? A string of gripping performances by renowned musicians, including the world-famous Andrea Bocelli, Grammy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning Andra Day, platinum-selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, star pianist Lang Lang, and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

Screens will be set up in locations, including airports, shopping malls and hotels, so you can witness the moment that Expo 2020 Dubai opens its doors to the world. More than 240 hotels across the country will stream the Opening Ceremony, such as Emaar’s Rove, Armani, Address Hotels & Resorts, and Vida Hotels & Resorts, as well as Accor, Marriot, Hilton, IHG, Rotana, Jumeirah, Hyatt International, and Atlantis The Palm.

17 Majid Al Futtaim malls, plus City Walk, Nakheel Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall, as well as 50 Jashanmal locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 97 Mediclinics, Dubai and Abu Dhabi International Airports, Zabeel Ladies Club, and Sharaf DG will also stream the event.

Emirates, the official airline partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, will also stream the event across its first and business class lounges for both local and international flights. Screenings will also take place across locations in Umm Al Quwain, YAS Plaza in Abu Dhabi, and spaces like the Corniche, Al Marjan Island and Manar Mall in Ras Al Khaimah.

Ajman Heritage District and Fujairah Fort will also broadcast the Opening Ceremony live, with the latter accompanied by an evening of festivities, such as a mini village, folklore bands, and traditional crafts and food on offer.

There will also firework displays on the evening of Friday, 1 October, kicking off at 2020 GST at Dubai Festival City, The Frame and The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah. Festival City and The Pointe will incorporate their fountains into a light and sound show, themed as Expo 2020 Dubai, and The Frame façade will be illuminated with the event’s official colors.

The fireworks will mark the first full day of the Expo and commemorate the UAE’s journey, from winning the bid in 2013 to opening the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.

Viewers from anywhere in the world can experience the event through a global live stream, available on Virtualexpo.world and Expo TV tomorrow from 1930 GST onwards. Images courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Expo 2020 Dubai has launched its official anthem, as the countdown to the global event begins. Titled This Is Our Time,  the song highlights the UAE’s culture and celebrates how the event will serve as a melting pot for global nations. It also gives a nod to Expo 2020’s overarching theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

The song features Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi, one of the country’s most coveted artists and Expo 2020 Ambassador, who is accompanied by Lebanese-American Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mayssa Karaa, the Artistic Director of Expo’s all-female Firdaus Orchestra.

This Is Our Time is a tribute to the UAE for all it has been, is today and will achieve in the years to come,” Hussain said in a release. “It’s a song about pride, faith and unity, and I hope that it brings a smile to the faces of everyone who hears it, wherever they may be in the world. Being a part of such an iconic event in the UAE’s history is extremely exciting and rewarding.” 

Also part of the line-up is 21-year-old Emirati singer-songwriter Almas, who has been named as Spotify’s Best Female Talent in the Middle East. “I’m so proud to be Emirati and play a role in a moment that will be forever part of my country’s history. The song is an embodiment of hope and the belief that collaboration will yield a better future for all,” noted Almas. 

I’m so proud to be Emirati and play a role in a moment that will be forever part of my country’s history.

“World Expos bring people together, and we’re pleased to welcome a collection of incredible talents to lend their voices to the official Expo 2020 Dubai song – combining the past, present and future, and providing an inspiration to all,” stated Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai. “In less than 10 days, we look forward to welcoming the world and creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for millions of visitors.”

Onne of the first global mega events to take place in the UAE since the onset of COVID-19, Expo 2020 will run from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022. It invites millions of visitors to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of culture, human creativity and technological innovation.

Visit Expo2020dubai.com and follow @Expo2020Dubai on Instagram.

Expo 2020 Dubai has launched the MENASA – Emirati Design Platform, as a part of its Design and Crafts program. More than 40 local and international designers will participate in the exhibition with their works showcased in a curated collection at the anticipated event, which runs from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022.

“The collective approach of MENASA, which means ‘platform’ in Arabic, is inspired by the theme and spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’,” Dr Hayat Shamsuddin, Senior Vice President of Arts and Culture at Expo 2020 Dubai, said in a release. “By bringing together artisans and designers from the UAE and around the world, we’re nurturing a rich cultural and creative dialogue that will contribute to a meaningful legacy after Expo 2020 closes its doors.”

The program will feature seven design collaborations between creatives in its Craft Stories section. Designers and artisans from 11 countries, such as Spain, Lebanon, Brazil and India, will explore Emirati crafts and traditions with a contemporary twist to showcase them in a new light.  The platform will also include a ‘Designer of the Week’ showcase, which will spotlight 24 artists and concepts from the UAE.

At the helm of the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Design and Crafts Program is Samer Yamani, founder of Barcelona-based Creative Dialogue, who has also curated the MENASA platform with the aim of presenting Emirati cultural traditions and how they take root in natural materials and local techniques.

On the UAE front, the platform has collaborated with Alia Bin Omair, Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts, Bil Arabi, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, Ammar Kalo, Khalid Shafar, and Tashkeel. Also participating are international brands, including BD Barcelona Design from Spain, Iwan Maktabi and Nicolas Jebran from Lebanon, India’s Klove Studio, and Estudio Campana from Brazil.

For more information, visit Expo2020dubai.com

In spirit of solidarity and unity with the world as it combats COVID-19, Expo 2020 has announced that it will be adjusting its opening dates. On Monday this week, Expo announced its support for the proposal to explore a one-year postponement, in light of input from participating countries. The World Expo committee is set to finalize the decision, taking into account the exacerbating global economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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While everyone involved in #Expo2020 #Dubai remains firmly committed, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have expressed a need to postpone Expo’s opening by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge. In spirit of solidarity and unity, we support the proposal to explore a one-year postponement at today’s Steering Committee meeting. We will follow due processes with Expo’s governing body, Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), on making the decision to delay Expo 2020, which requires a two-thirds majority vote from the BIE General Assembly. We believe that now, more than ever, humanity needs to come together to remember what unites us. This is not a cancellation, but we must also play our part in keeping everybody involved healthy and well. For more information, click the link in bio. بينما لا يزال كل من لهم صلة بإكسبو 2020 دبي على التزامهم، فإن الكثير من الدول تضررت بشدة بسبب فيروس كورونا (كوفيد-19)، وعبرت بالتالي عن الحاجة لتأجيل انطلاق #إكسبو2020 #دبي لعام واحد، من أجل مساعدتها على التغلب على هذا التحدي. وبروح من التضامن والوحدة، فقد دعمنا مقترح دراسة مسألة التأجيل لعام واحد خلال اجتماع لجنة التسيير اليوم. وسنعمل وفقا لإجراءات المكتب الدولي للمعارض الخاصة باتخاذ قرار بالتأجيل، وهو ما يتطلب موافقة ثلثي الأعضاء في الجمعية العمومية للمكتب الدولي للمعارض. نؤمن أن الإنسانية تحتاج إلى الاتحاد الآن أكثر من أي وقت مضى في ظل هذا التحدي العالمي، لكي نتذكر ما يجمعنا. هذا ليس إلغاء، ولكننا ملتزمون بأداء دورنا في الحفاظ على صحة الجميع وسلامتهم. للمزيد من المعلومات، يرجى زيارة الرابط في حسابنا

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In her recent message,  Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, highlighted how communities have come together since the UAE won the bid to host the 2020 World Expo.

“It’s woven in the fabric of the United Arab Emirates to bring people together,” she said. “As we worked towards October 2020, however, something terrible happened to our world. And so, our journey must take a different turn.” HE Reem reinstated that Expo 2020’s promise still stands, ‘Connecting minds, creating the future’. “When we come together as one, humanity knows no limits,” she added.

In the wake of the global crisis that has struck all industries across the world, it’s essential, now more than ever, to reflect on the values related to sustainability, mobility and opportunity that Expo 2020 is a proponent of. Because together, we’ll emerge from this stronger than ever.

Expo 2020 site; Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh

Visit Expo2020dubai.com and @Expo2020Dubai on Instagram.