The first International Planning Meeting (IPM) opened today in Dubai ahead of the next World Expo that is being held there in 2020. The two-day meeting, held on 23-24 May 2016, is being attended by representatives from 132 countries and organisations, demonstrating the high level of interest in the Expo four and a half years before its opening.
This meeting, which is the first of several IPMs to be organised annually in the years leading up to the opening of the World Expo, allows the host country to present its plans and discuss the progress of the Expo’s organisation. It gathers representatives from Expo 2020 Dubai, members of the Government of the UAE, officials from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and international stakeholders who are interested in taking part in the Expo.
For the first time since Expo 2020 Dubai was officially registered in November 2015, interested participants have a common platform to exchange with organisers on the Expo’s themes and masterplan, raising any questions they may have. Expo 2020 Dubai is also presenting the Expo Live programme, which over the next four years will seek out and connect the innovators of tomorrow. The programme will support the development of solutions to major challenges facing humanity, with the results to be presented at the Expo.
The opening speakers included Reem Al Hashimy, the Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Vicente G. Loscertales, the Secretary General of the BIE. Mr. Loscertales declared that as construction begins at the Expo site, “this IPM is the first step in the development of a community of countries engaged around the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, laying the foundations for a successful and insightful World Expo in 2020.”
Expo 2020 Dubai will take place between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021, with visit numbers expected to reach 25 million. In April 2016, Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation in the Expo.