Incredible views, no? That’s Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, the Crown Prince and successor to his father, the current Sheikh of Dubai. Also, a bit of a daredevil/heartthrob.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Dubai’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo, and guess what? Dubai will be hosting the illustrious event in 6 years! I’ll be honest: before we moved here, I never gave much (okay, any) thought to the world expo/world’s fair (exception: when I used to visit Barr in St Louis or when I read this book); however, after having lived here during the bid process and learning more about the event, I’ve come to realize what an honor it is.
Why, you ask? 🙂
Well, first off, Barr brought up a good point a few days ago insofar that after the Summer and then Winter Olympics (both of which would be a challenge for Dubai to host), this is probably one of the largest scale global events, bringing together hundreds of cultures and coming to the attention of the world media (I mean hello, the hottest month that I’ve been here is September and Lord knows it is hotter in July/August – prime Summer Olympics months – how would athletes fare in 115++ degree weather? And Winter Olympics – HA!) That being said, this is really Dubai’s moment for such a global event! Secondly, this is a bigger deal than most due to the fact that this will be the first time that a Middle Eastern country hosts the big event.
It was beyond words to describe the excitement that people (myself and Anna included) felt when Dubai was announced as the host city last Wednesday. When it was fairly certain during the voting process that Dubai had this in the bag, Anna and I headed to the Burj Khalifa where there was slated to be a big fireworks show (something tells me that organizers were in on something we werent given the scale of this show). The crowds around the burj and the fountain were not to be believed, and flags were handed out for people to wave as everyone waited for the announcement, watching the world’s tallest building in wild anticipation. And man alive, was it wild when it was announced. People. Went. Insane. And then the fireworks started. (You can check out some of my shaky videos of the madness and fireworks here and here.)
The expo’s theme is “Connecting Minds; Creating the Future”, and there is already buzz around town about what will be built over the next 6 years in preparation for the expo…as if there is enough construction 😉 That being said, the influx of jobs and capital into the emirate is not to be discounted. Either way, it will be incredible, and add this event in 2020 as well as the fact that I got to share the announcement moment with my sister to the list of reasons I love Dubai! Who’s up for a visit just in time for Anna’s 30th birthday? Until next time…