The UAE has a long history with World Expo stretching back four decades to Abu Dhabi's participation in the 1970 Expo in Osaka, Japan.
The relationship continued at Expo Milano 2015, under the heading 'Food for Thought'. The UAE Pavilion for Milan embraced the Expo 2015 theme in all its exciting and challenging facets, using the country's own experience of living in a region where water is more important than oil and where the focus now is on alternative energy.
World Expo Shanghai in 2010 was also a highlight for the UAE, with its iconic structure comprising two dune-shaped peaks – the highest reaching 20 metres – attracting almost two million visitors. Now permanently located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, the Pavilion is a landmark exhibition centre. Praised for its sustainable design, the Foster + Partners-designed pavilion won awards from the Illinois Society of Structural Engineers and the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations.
With Dubai Expo 2020 marking the first time a World Expo is to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, the UAE now has the chance to create a truly transformative World Expo, that takes the Expo's core goals and showcases global innovations to the region and beyond, that truly engages the global community and drives advancements and innovative solutions in the fields of mobility, sustainability and economic development and one that fully embraces the positive halo effect of the Dubai Expo 2020 to leave behind a strong transformative social and economic legacy across the region, and indeed, the world.