This is a report from a Dubai Expo that is written by Mohsen Mohassel Yazdi one of the Ph.D. students of the URD
Expo started on October 1, 2021, for 182 days, with the presence of 192 countries in Dubai, and continues until March 31, 2022. I did not have any information about the content and objectives of such an exhibition before Dubai Expo, and I did not know how would be exactly the atmosphere over there until my entrance. When I entered the dome shape entrance of the fair, all of my previous mentalities disappeared, and I found myself experiencing a completely new and special event in my time, and have discovered a different world. In this report, as the result of my three-day visit from the Expo, I tried to introduce this international event and present an open impression of the space and view of the exhibition during this period.
Expo is the only exhibition, in which investment and profitability have no position, and is a very important opportunity for the introduction of capabilities, and future plans for the countries. It has an independent watchword and message at each period. The watchword of this period was “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The Expo was commenced with three main themes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability, has 205 pavilions, 192 pavilions belonging to the countries, and the rest to other participating institutes and organizations. The pavilion of each country is a window for the demonstration of the past, present, and future of the country. Each pavilion is designed so to represent the social and scientific achievements and cultural background, as well as the perspective of the country’s development in a modern form. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the exhibition for Iran throughout the history of the Expo is the proximity with Iran because it was the first time Expo was held near Iran borders and in the Middle East. This exhibition was due to be inaugurated in October 2020, but the event was postponed for one year due to the spread of Coronavirus.
Expo has a 170 year background and is held every five years in one country. This period is being held in Dubai. Expo exhibition was first held in 1851 in London, with the presence of 25 countries, and with a focus on “Industry for All Nations”. Before holding this Expo in Dubai, it was held in 2015, in Milan, Italy, 2010 in Shanghai, China. The next Expo exhibition is held from 13 April to 13 October in Osaka, Japan. Russia, South Korea, and Italy have declared their readiness for 2030.
Dubai is the second Moslem host of the Expo exhibition, and this caused a highlight of the Islamic aspects of the Expo, and several pavilions were created particularly focusing on the Islamic topics and ideas. For example, one of these pavilions was Union of Islam World’s, which introduced the life of 25 prophets named in the Holy Quran in five languages. In a part of this pavilion, a program with the title of “Prophets, As If You See Them” is presented, in which the most modern technology is used for the introduction of life and behavior of heavenly prophets. The program displays the messages of peace, life, affection, patience, coexistence, and humanity introduced by the divine prophets to the world. In another part of this pavilion, there is a program with a focus on the superior morality of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.) demonstrating the comprehensiveness and beauty of the global message of Islam. This exhibition uses digital technology in different languages for taking the visitors to another world and provides an attractive video experience through the very big displays for the visitors, as if they found themselves at age of prophets’ life, and accompany them during their lives. Furthermore, there is a campaign in this exhibition, called “Islam, Religion of Peace”, with the main focus on the humanitarian behavior of prophets, particularly Prophet Mohammad (s.a.).
In addition to the pavilion of the countries and organizations, there are other sites and pavilions discussing various issues. The three themes of Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity, Insight, pavilions of the United Nations, and Media Center are among the most important ones. Some sites are allocated to the public programs and events. For example, Al Wasl Plaza dome is the heart of Expo exhibition area, and attractive and significant programs are held under this 65 m dome.
In summary, the Expo exhibition is a scene for the familiarization of people with world countries, while introducing the history, culture, and future programs of the world countries for the improvement of the quality level of life as well as promotion of the peaceful coexistence with each other. One of the other objectives of this big gathering is the achievement of sustainable development in the countries, societies, and families. Sharing the experiences of different countries for solving global issues was among the objectives of Expo. Any country in this exhibition first displays the best of its cultural, religious, and historical aspects to introduce itself better, and then, provides the solutions of that country for the global challenges through the introduction of leadership programs in the future. Expo is an opportunity for the promotion of the international image of a country and presentation of its performance, introduction of beauty, culture, diplomacy, and civilization. Moreover, Expo is a unique opportunity for the visit of people from different countries in the world with each other as well as the peaceful relationship among the visitors. On this account, one of the achievements in the Dubai Expo is to hold congresses among the religious leaders of the world, which were held several times for different occasions. For example, a meeting with the title of “Role of Religious Leaders in World” was held in the exhibition, and the Christian, Moslem, Jewish, and Druze leaders shared their ideas on the procedure of promotion of peace, coexistence, and dialogue among religions, and discussed on the various aspects of teaching compromise and dialogue among people, religions and suitable tools for creating strong connections, encounter with extremism and prejudice. Holding such events, particularly in the Islam world causes the followers of different religions to visit each other in a non-commercial or political atmosphere, become familiar with the mentality of Moslems, and talk to each other to create a sustainable, peaceful, and friendly relationship.