Having welcomed more than 14 million visitors, Dubai Expo 2020, a World Expo, draws to a close at the end of March.
Three agency planners share their views on its legacy.
Rebecca Amey, Managing Director, Jack Morton MENA
planning and agility are what made Expo thrive throughout the pandemic –
managing the changing rules and regulations with regards to aviation,
Covid and visitor requirements.
“At the government level, this involved clear and quick communication
of updates to policy and procedures, while at the event level, rapid
testing for the workforce and Expo visitors was available, and visitors
and event attendees felt safe.
"We worked with a diverse range of stakeholders and across a variety
of activities and engagements, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Pavilion, the Emirates National Oil Company and Siemens. Our engagement
included creative concept, design, experience design, and build for The
Blueprint, Siemens’ Customer Experience Center.
"The Expo showed us that the desire for human connection and
interaction is stronger than ever and that now, if you are hosting an
event in person, you need a good reason. Content, messaging, and
experiences must work harder to justify why attendees should travel."
Jessie Ng, Vice President, strategy and growth of global activation, Pico Group
2020 Dubai was a mammoth achievement – Pico designed, built and
operated some 20 national, corporate and thematic pavilions. These
included national pavilions for Algeria, Brazil, Cambodia, Czech
Republic, Malaysia, Malta, Peru and the United Kingdom, SAIC Motor at
the China Pavilion, PTT at the Thailand Pavilion, the Dubai Cares
Pavilion and more.
"It has paved the way for the re-emergence of large-scale events from
‘hibernation’ during the pandemic. The protocols, technologies and
techniques it employed will be leveraged and further developed to make
subsequent large-scale events ‘future ready’. This knowledge contributes
to the general ongoing conversation around global healthcare
infrastructure and prevention of future epidemics.
"The legacy will be a sense of unity and increased progress in
fostering ‘future-proof’ communities and societies. After Expo 2020, the
site will be transformed into a sustainable smart city called District
2020. Elements of Expo 2020, such as the thematic pavilions and site
infrastructures, were designed and built in consideration of District
2020’s future plans."
Natalie Crampton, Director, TEC
"One year ago, we
were six months away from Expo starting and we were all extremely
nervous about whether or not it would happen. There were different
lockdowns all over the world and we were really unsure if we were going
to get the visitors into Dubai. Fast forward to the present time and it
has been a massive success, the market is definitely booming here. The
hotels were packed, with sky-high rates, the highest they have ever been
and with events happening left, right and centre.
"The government in Dubai has been very cautious when it comes to
health and safety around Covid, asking for vaccinations and PCR tests
and we had to wear masks everywhere up until the beginning of March.
"Dubai Expo 2020 has been a saviour for the events industry. It has
really given our sector the big push it needed post-pandemic. The legacy
for Expo is very exciting, with the area being transformed into
District 2020. It's great to see such innovation and technology staying