Dubai Expo 2020 opens this weekend, and we cannot wait for those gates to open so we can go exploring. Over 190 countries have come together for the world’s largest exhibition. This is not just an ordinary trade show. This is a global meeting of minds, cultures, arts, tastes, sights, sounds, entertainment, innovation, and so much more, and it is happening right here in our very own backyard.
Historically, the World Fair – or Expos – have been the birthplace of present-day national monuments like the Eiffel Tower or the Seattle Space Needle. Expos launched revolutionary technology that we use today such as the printing press, dishwashers, computers, telephones, and even cell phones. It was the genesis of the bra and women’s feminine products, as well as the first place people were introduced to foods like ice cream, hot dogs, and ketchup.
So while the gates are still closed, and we don’t know yet what never-before-seen inventions, discoveries, and concepts we will be introduced to for the very first time in human history, here is a look at the five things we do know that we cannot wait to see at Expo 2020.
The Future of Food: Epochal Banquet by Bompas & Parr
Bompas & Parr – the Willy Wonka meets Fred and George Weasley of Expo – have created quite the spectacle of a culinary experience with their Universal Museum of Food. In a nod to the chef, Alexis Soyer – who brought the original Universal Symposium of All Nations to the very first World Expo in 1851 – Bompas & Parr are inviting guests to a two-hour, theatrical banquet set 300 years in the future. In a mixture of humor and innovation, guests will be complimented on their vintage 2021 attire as they are ushered into a museum demonstrating the evolution of food, followed by a festive journey of taste where they will eat their way through the future of food with delicacies like transparent bread, vegan bone marrow, and flavor-changing desserts.
A New System That Uses Solar Power to Create Water from Air
Imagine a mechanism that is able to harness solar power and pull water from thin air? That would be pretty life-changing, wouldn’t it? It could turn a desert into an oasis, and provide a well of life where formerly there had only been void. This is what is coming this Expo to the Czech Pavilion. The S.A.W.E.R. (solar, air, water, earth, resources) system is a breakthrough in sustainable technology that could potentially change the course of history on our planet. What better place to show what it can do than by turning its own pavilion into an exhibition and transforming the very desert of Dubai?
The Falcon 9 Rocket
There seems to be a lot going on over at the USA Pavilion, we are not going to lie. Not only will they have Elon Musk‘s Falcon 9 – the first partially-reusable, commercial rocket built for human flight – standing as the highest point of Expo, but they will even have the Mars Rover and the only piece of Martian meteor on Earth – which may or may not be available to touch (still working out the COVID rules). The Americans are also bringing over Thomas Jefferson‘s personal Qu’ran, making it the first time the US has permitted a National Treasure to leave American soil. Andy Warhol paintings as well as the Broadway actors who portray the famous Disney princesses are also slated to make an appearance in October.
The race to build the world’s first Hyperloop is already full steam – er, vacuum? – ahead with multiple companies and countries competing to be the first to perfect high speed land travel. While Spain may not have the monopoly on the Hyperloop, they are generously bringing a Hyperloop model carriage to Expo from the Spanish startup company, Zeleros, to show visitors what we may all be traveling in on a daily basis in the future. This kind of technology is today what it would have been like to see the very first steam engine or automobile at those historic World Expos of the past. The future of transportation is literally only a few years away, and on October 1st we will catch a glimpse of what it could be.
Santiago Calatrava's Iconic Architecture
United Arab Emirates & Qatar Pavilions
Arguably the most famous architect alive today, Santiago Calatrava – known for iconic landmarks such as the Turning Torso of Sweden, The World Trade Center Transportation Hub of NYC, and Santiago Calatrava’s Tower in Dubai Creek Harbor — which just broke ground and aims to be the new tallest building in the world – was tapped to build not just one, but two pavilions for this Expo. We are very much of the mind that both of these architectural feats will go the way of the The Crystal Palace and the Eiffel Tower in history.
The extraordinary 28 wings that open and close like a bird in flight on his moving pavilion for the United Arab Emirates was inspired by the falcon, a symbol of Emirati strength, culture, and heritage. Conversely, he was called upon only 90 days prior to the opening of Expo to design and construct the Qatar pavilion as well, which takes its inspiration from the two crossed and curved swords, along with a dhow boat, and island with palm trees that appear on the Qatari coat of arms.