Earlier this week, the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum toured the premises of the country's upcoming Expo 2020 and was left quite impressed. The leader's visit, along with Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan, marked the 450-day countdown to the opening of the six-month long event.
With almost a year before the exhibition kickstarts in the emirate, the leader has vowed to make the expo the best in its 168-year history. In a tweet he posted after his visit to the site, he wrote:
"450 days remaining for Expo 2020 Dubai, with 190 countries leading the world towards a better future through their pavilions for the first time in the MEASA. We are ready and remain true to our promise of hosting the best Expo edition yet in its 168-year history."
Dubai has been getting ready to host the international exhibition since it won the right to do so in 2013. At the time, the emirate outranked more than eight cities including São Paulo (Brazil), Izmir (Turkey), Ekaterinburg (Russia), and Ayuthaya (Thailand).
During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau.
He expressed his thrill with the progress and hailed the expo's team for all the work they've done. The leader also urged "all national authorities to intensify their efforts to make the expo succeed."
In a statement to public news agency WAM, the ruler added: "We must all work hard to achieve success. Whatever people achieve without hard work, they lose without regret."
Expo 2020 at a glance
Dubai will become the first Arab and Middle Eastern city to host the Expo — which is over a century old and a platform where several of the world's most important inventions were launched.
The history of World Expo is interesting to a point it single-handedly changed history as we know it.
"World Expos are famous for their groundbreaking architecture, from the Eiffel Tower in 1889 to the Space Needle in 1962," Chief Community Engagement Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, Manal AlBayat, once told The National.
On Oct. 20, 2020, the six-month long event is set to carry a theme titled "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future." It will also feature three sub-themes: "Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability."
The event - which features football star Lionel Messi as its global ambassador - is expected to attract 25 million visitors to Dubai.