Dubai embraces the future with World Expo 2020 win

Last updated: 10 May 2016

It’s hard to imagine any city being as grateful a recipient of a World Expo than Dubai when it was unveiled yesterday as the host for 2020’s event. The announcement in Paris triggered fireworks exploding from the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), and schools even shut down to join the party.

As the first Middle Eastern city to be awarded this honor, the arrival of the World Expo will further cement Dubai’s status as the major global hub in its region. In addition, hosting the World Expo should prove to be yet another catalyst for Dubai’s ambition to become a truly smart city.

As we’ve previously blogged about, Dubai has grand ambitions to become the world’s leader in smart city infrastructure, incorporating everything from enhanced online public services, advanced transportation using mobile NFC transit ticketing and contactless multi application banking cards to M2M technology and contactless payments. This was a vision described in detail by HH Sheikh Mohammed as he launched this year’s GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition) a few months ago.

And the Sheikh has again thrown his full support behind Dubai’s next great project, tweeting

He also eyed the long-term effect that the event could bring for the Middle East, proclaiming that

Building the world’s smartest city could turn out to be the greatest gift Dubai could ever hope to give to its next generation. By creating a city that is recognized not only within its region, but also the world over, as a technological superpower, Dubai will give its future generations the best possible chance to succeed in a world in which the effective use of technology is already ubiquitous. Dubai has seven years to turn itself into that city and, if its past exploits are anything to go by, they won’t do it by halves.