His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, welcomed the world to Expo 2020 Dubai and to the UAE, at the opening on September 1, 2021 with 192 participating nations. Stars from across the world, including Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, British popstar Ellie Goulding and Chinese pianist Lang Lang participated to the ceremony. The expo has a theme called “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and three subthemes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability. There are 6 mascots: Salama, Rashid, Latifa, Alif, Opti, and Terra. The stage is now set for Expo 2020 Dubai to host the biggest cultural gathering in the world, presenting a visually striking and emotionally inspiring 182 days, as more than 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses, and educational institutions, as well as millions of visitors – create the largest and most diverse World Expo ever. The site is located in the southern suburbs of Dubai and is bigger than 600 football fields. The official Expo song is This Is Our Time, sung by Arab artists Hussain Al Jassmi, Almas and Mayssa Karaa and Emirati singing sensation Ahlam Alshamsi.
The October pass for visiting the Expo is only USD 27.43 as the entire season pass is USD 142.91. The Expo was coronavirus delayed. Dubai’s government has spent an estimated $7bn (£5.2bn) on the event. It hopes to attract 25 million visitors over the next six months to boost tourism and investment in the emirate. Travelers can visit Dubai if they have a negative PCR test done before departure, however a vaccine is required to visit the rest of the United Arab Emirates and the Expo. Earlier this month, the European Parliament urged member states not to participate in the Expo and companies to withdraw their sponsorship after a resolution criticising “systematic persecution of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and teachers speaking up on political and human rights issues in the UAE” was adopted.