Burj Khalifa is illuminated during festivities marking the 'One Year' countdown to Expo 2020 on Sunday. AFP
Megastar Mariah Carey headlined a concert underneath the illuminated Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, where thousands gathered for the centrepiece of festivities across the UAE.
At exactly 20:20 local time, the skyscraper was lit up with "1 year to go" and "the world's greatest show" in both English and Arabic.
Mariah Carey performs during a concert celebrating Dubai Expo 2020 on Sunday night. AP
"These spectacular nationwide celebrations will usher in the final leg of a historic journey," said Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and also Director General of Expo 2020.
"The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo."
Dubai hopes to attract 15 million visitors to the sprawling site taking shape on sand dunes south of the city's gleaming downtown, being built at the staggering cost of Dhs30 billion ($8.2 billion).
Officials are pinning high hopes on the event, the logo of which is emblazoned on everything from business cards to airliners.
Some 200 countries will take part in the fair, which runs from Oct.20, 2020, to April 10, 2021.
Attractions will include the UAE pavilion in the shape of a falcon in flight and a dome crafted from 800 tonnes of steel which will be the world's largest 360-degree projection surface.
Organisers say the Expo is much more than a six-month trade show.
The experts believe the much-anticipated event will give the economy a tremendous boost.
The first "World Expo" was held at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851, world fairs have been used to showcase new ideas and technology and serving as nation-branding exercises.
Raed Safadi, chief adviser to Dubai Economy which is charged with guiding the emirate's financial fortunes, said Expo will add some $34.6 billion to the economy between 2013 — when it won the bid to host the event — and 2030.
"It will be gross value added, directly, indirectly and induced. You come to Expo, you stay at a hotel, you go shopping, etc," he said.
Also in the spotlight is the government's goal of attracting 20 million tourists in 2020, an increase of around 20 per cent from this year.
The exceptional “World Government Summit- Expo 2020” will be the biggest gathering yet since its inception with expected attendance of over 10,000 high-profile officials, 30 international organisations and 600 experts and scholars.
Months of planning have successfully led to the final piece of Al Wasl dome being lifted into place after an intricate and complex construction operation. The dome’s huge steel crown was positioned
The pavilion is located in the 'Opportunity District' and has a total covered area of 35,000 Sqft. The inner journey of the Pavilion is set under the theme ‘Pakistan: The Hidden Treasure’ with an aim to enhance tourism, commerce and investment in Pakistan.
Pavilions Premiere bookings can be made from Jan.16 at https://expo2020dubai.com/en/pavilions-premiere with each visit costing Dhs25. Visitors are urged to book early as the experience will operate five days per week with limited operating hours...
Move part of Dubai’s efforts to enhance the efficiency of its alternative dispute resolution sector and reinforce its growing status as a global arbitration hub.
Lt. Gen. Al Marri also reviewed security measures for all upcoming events to be held across the venue, and inspected the latest smart technologies that have been employed by the force to secure the venue in collaboration with local and federal authorities.
As part of their continuous efforts towards preserving and protecting children's rights, the Dubai Police have recently resolved a case filed by a 17-year-old adolescent and his mother who sought the Force’s assistance in persuading the father not to force his son into studying a specific specialisation in college.
The committee has approved continued strict adherence to home quarantine procedures and required testing schedules based on personal responsibility, apart from monitoring by healthcare systems to ensure compliance with precautionary measures.