Expo 2020 Dubai

At the upcoming Expo, there will be more than 190 Participating Countries.

For six months, from the 1st of October 2021 to the 31st of March 2022, Dubai will become a global showcase for the 25 million forecast visitors, 30% of whom local and 70% coming from the rest of the world, especially from North Africa and Asia.
It will be the first Universal Exposition to be held in an Arab Country and, more in general, in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region.

The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the United Arab Emirates, the State’s Golden Jubilee.

The THEME of the Expo is Connecting minds creating the future, to be subdivided into three sub-themes:

Opportunity – release the potential of single individuals and communities to create a better future
Mobility – innovative logistics, transport and communication systems between people, goods and ideas
Sustainability – accessibility and resilience of environmental, energy and water resources.

The site hosting the Expo is a new 400-hectar trade fair district (the Dubai Trade Centre – Jebel ʿAlī) located in the south-eastern quadrant of Dubai and next to the New Āl Maktūm International Airport, approximately half-way between the international airports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The centre of the site is Al Wasl Square, named after the ancient name of Dubai, which means “the connection”. The Expo’s three thematic areas fan out from this point like three large petals: Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility. Each area, which is set out to look like traditional Arab souks, hosts thematic pavilions in addition to a Best Practice area.

Between the petals will rise the Welcome Pavilion, the Innovation Pavilion and the UAE Pavilion.

Outside the three petals will be erected the national pavilions, in compliance with the tradition of the Expo.

All the avenues around the thematic areas and the very same central Square will be covered in tents made of photovoltaic material which will generate 50% of the energy needed by the exhibition site. These large tents will also be used for night-time digital projections.

Inside the site, transport is assured by cable car. 750 zero-emission buses called Expo Riders will be deployed to access the site, in addition to installing a new Dubai metro station.

The Programme

The extremely rich Programme of Expo 2020 Dubai is organized at different levels and schedules 17 international days, 11 thematic weeks and 5 series of transversal events at the thematic weeks.


16 October – World Food Day
31 October – World Cities Day
16 November – International Day for Tolerance
20 November – World Children’s Day
3 December – International Day of People with Disabilities
5 December – International Volunteer Day
10 December – Human Rights Day
12 December – International Universal Health Coverage Day
18 December – World Arabic Language Day
20 December – International Human Solidarity Day
24 January – International Education Day
11 February – International Day of Women and Girls in Science
3 March – World Wildlife Day
8 March – International Women’s Day
20 March – International Day of Happiness
21 March – Mother’s Day
22 March – World Water Day

  • Climate change
  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Circular Economy Regions at risk
  • Conservation of biodiversity
3-9 October 2021
  • Space Exploration
  • Governance and law
  • Space data and remote sensing
17-23 October 2021
  • Cities and informal settlements
  • Service delivery (water, energy, waste, etc.)
  • Inclusive and sustainable infrastructure
31 October –
6 November 2021
  • Multiculturalism, interreligious cohabitation and understanding
  • Communities and indigenous cultures
  • Accessibility (inclusion of differently abled people with special needs)
  • Peace and security
  • Inclusive dialogue and responsible reporting (media and public forums)
14-20 November 2021
  • Donations and humanitarianism 
  • Environment and sustainability
  • SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) knowledge and accountability
5-11 December 2021
  • Future of education and employment
  • Skills and TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training)
  • Informal education / knowledge systems
12-18 December 2021
  • Digital connectivity
  • E-governance
  • Smart mobility
  • Supply and retail chains
  • Travel
9-15 January 2022
  • Last mile delivery
  • Women and girls
  • Subsistence means and corporate development
16-22 January 2022
  • Healthcare systems
  • Health-tech (tele-medicine)
  • Community-driven healthcare
  • Wellness and happiness
27 January –
2 February 2022
  • Food systems
  • Food waste and food security
  • Value chains and small farmers
  • Food and nutritional security
20-26 February 2022
  • Water resource management
  • Oceans and ocean economies
  • Water-based ecosystems
  • Washing and cleaning methods
20-26 March 2022


The special programme envisages five series of activities, including the United Arab Emirates’ cultural, social, economic, and environmental pillars.


Getting to know each other better

  • Flip Your World View
  • Cultures in Conversation
  • Dignified storytelling
  • Women of Arabia/Islam

Flip Your World View
This programme is based on Gapminder’s Flip Your World View quiz and will be available on Expo’s mobile App. This series will be organized as flash conversations to enable visitors to challenge their own conceptions with respect to the thematic areas and to understand each other better.

Cultures in Conversation
This programme will highlight the wealth of cultural diversity at the Expo, simultaneously showing that many cultural practices and traditions of different Countries are surprisingly similar. These conversations will be held during every thematic week, encouraging open and interactive sessions in which creatives and policymakers can engage in a significant dialogue. 

Dignified Storytelling
In collaboration with Dubai Cares, this programme places human dignity at the centre of the narrative. These sessions explore the instruments used by journalists, narrators and communication experts to tell the stories of individuals and communities through the lens of sustainable development (including education, climate change, last-mile delivery and the transfer of knowledge) in such a way as to give prevalence to the dignity and respect of individuals. It will include examples of Best Practices projects selected by Expo and Expo Live Global Innovator.

Programme of the Women’s Pavilion: Women in Arabia and in Islam
This programme will shed light on the inspiring stories of women in the Arab/Islamic world. True stories will be told of women in the front line to highlight the catalysing role that women have played for centuries – and continue to play today – in Islam and how they can inspire women throughout the world to achieve new goals.


Catalysing opportunities for everybody

  • SDG Programme
  • Best Practices Programme
  • Women in Development
  • Expo Scheduled Live Programmes

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Programme
This programme will focus on localising and implementing the 2030 Agenda and will assure everyone has opportunities, enhancing and putting in place innovative approaches to the provision of services and solutions enabling “last-mile” communities and families who risk being left behind to fully benefit from and actively contribute to sustainability.

Best Practices Programme
Events and scheduled programmes on approaches and solutions offered by the best practices for achieving the SDGs that can be phased so as to have a greater impact. The weekly programming slots in the area of best practices will shed light on successful solutions and approaches for a vast range of transversal international development themes and resilient habitats; water-food-energy security; education and health; subsistence means, corporate development and an inclusive and sustainable provision of services. The projects and best practices winners will be highlighted and inserted in the events of the Expo’s special programme.     

Programme of the Women’s Pavilion: Growing Women
This programme will focus on the central role that women play in sustainable development and in all sectors of development. It will give resonance to the voice of women, from decision-making tables to the fields.

Scheduled Expo Live Programme   
The scheduled series of programmes of Expo Live reveals the importance of social entrepreneurs in singling out solutions to global challenges, simultaneously catalysing opportunities for new partnerships. This series covers 14 sectors and 16 SDGs and is grouped into five categories: Women who Spark Change, the Power of Determination, Next Gen Humans, Tech for Good, Man and Nature and Live in Balance.


Re-establish a balance with the Planet

  • Conservation for Hope
  • Coming full circle
  • Sustainability @ Expo
  • Expo Live: Man and Nature

Conservation for Hope
This programme is focused on the conservation and restoration of wildlife and of the ecosystem as a means whereby to guarantee environmental sustainability and to protect our planet.

Coming full circle
This programme will present the different approaches that individuals, companies and societies are adopting to make a collective transition towards a more regenerative and resilient development model: from eliminating waste to moving towards circular economies and building more equitable commercial and mobility networks.

Sustainability @ Expo
Universal Expos are a showcase for the greatness of human ingeniousness – and nowhere is this more evident than in the innovative ways that our participants are responding to the Expo’s sustainability standards. This series of events will highlight, out of the Expo’s entire site, the Countries proving their sustainability in action through their Pavilion’s contents, design, programmes and events: from rainforests to net zero energy and to living models of regenerative agriculture.

Expo Live: Man and Nature
The Man and Nature series of Expo Live will address sustainability (agriculture, energy, waste, water, the environment) from the perspective of coexisting with Nature through protection and restoration, disclosing the Best Practices of Global Innovators.

4. VISION 2021

Create value with the United Arab Emirates

  • Expo Live Events
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Golden Jubilee Programme
  • Ministerial dinners

Expo Live Events
They include the Great Challenges, which explore solutions to the pressing global challenges that characterize the vision of the United Arab Emirates; the Expo Live Legacy Fund Launch, a high-level event to celebrate the achievements of Expo Live and the launch of the new fund that will contribute to the vision of the United Arab Emirates; and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Innovation Summit, an opening event in which to share best practices and co-create elements with which to build a collaborative social innovation ecosystem to support the GCC and more.

Intangible Cultural Heritage
The conservation of intangible cultural heritage: practices that need to be protected, at every thematic week.

Golden Jubilee Programme
A special programme dedicated to celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the United Arab Emirates and honour the legacy of the deceased Sheikh Zayed.

Ministerial dinners
Easy conversations between high-level political leaders to promote international cooperation with the United Arab Emirates on the topics of every thematic week.


Activate economic growth and partnerships

  • Global business Forum
  • Thematic Business Forums: exploit opportunities
  • National Business Briefings
  • Expo Live: panels and networking

Global business Forum
Expo 2020 and the Dubai Chamber will host 3 Global Business Forums – Africa, Latin America and ASEAN – focused on the economic prospects of the United Arab Emirates and of the three continents, with the aim of encouraging international flows by meeting challenges and grasping opportunities.

Thematic Business Forums: exploit opportunities
In association with its International Partners (IP), the Expo will host 9 thematic business forums to highlight non-traditional business opportunities, cutting-edge technologies and the advances made by the United Arab Emirates, the IPs and the Expo partners that are relevant for each theme. The forums will also be an opportunity for the United Arab Emirates and the IPs to have relevant conversations capable of favouring the transfer of know-how and important business opportunities.

National Business Briefings
Expo 2020 will offer all IPs a platform hosting a Country Business Briefing on their National Day at the Business Connect Centre. The briefing will enable Countries to take advantage of the presence of their Heads of State, leaders and experts of different sectors, to promote their pavilions and highlight the principal investment opportunities in their Country.

Expo Live: panels and networking
Expo Live panels and networking sessions are events for social entrepreneurs, sector leaders, public officials, philanthropists and advocates of change aimed at working together to have a long-lasting social and environmental impact.

For Italy, participating in Expo Dubai is an unrepeatable opportunity to promote innovations, technologies and best practices developed in the Expo’s priority sectors; increase technological partnerships and direct foreign investment opportunities, international collaborations between companies and academic and scientific organizations and showcase our Country’s points of excellence and creativity to the millions of visitors from all over the world.

Visit the official website of Expo 2020 Dubai

Download the programme of Expo 2020 Dubai