Expo Dubai 2020 all set for high-octane inauguration

Here’s what you can expect to witness at the opening ceremony on September 30.

An incredible roster of international, regional and home-grown talent is set to perform at Expo 2020’s opening ceremony, taking place in the iconic Al Wasl Plaza on September 30. Spectators will enjoy a masterful display of stunning visuals, music, and performances, as some of the world’s most creative minds, internationally renowned artists and emerging talents come together in a dazzling, ground-breaking performance that will be shared with audiences around the world.

Among those slated to perform are world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli, Grammy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day, platinum-selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, international megastar pianist Lang Lang, and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

Dubai will soon see the start of Expo 2020 on October 1. Image: Shutterstock/Creative Family.

Highlighting the creative diversity and talent of the region, the glittering line-up also includes the ‘Artist of Arabs’ Mohamed Abdo, much-loved Emirati singing sensation ‘Fananat Al Arab’ Ahlam Alshamsi; Emirati Artist and Expo 2020 Dubai Ambassador Hussain Al Jassmi, a trendsetter on the Khaleeji music scene in the Middle East and internationally; rising UAE singer-songwriter Almas; and Grammy-nominated Lebanese-American singer Mayssa Karaa.

Drawing inspiration directly from Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the opening ceremony will take spectators on an incredible journey across its subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, showcasing the deep-rooted values of the UAE and the vision and purpose of the Expo, while welcoming the mega event’s 192 participating countries in spectacular fashion.

Tareq Ghosheh, Chief Event and Entertainment Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, says: “As the global spotlight shines on the UAE, this incredible, unforgettable evening will celebrate the collaborative, creative and optimistic spirit of Expo 2020, demonstrating our commitment to hosting a mega-event that will delight the world. Combining some of the most sought-after names in the world of music, live events and entertainment with the awe-inspiring, world-first technologies of the iconic Al Wasl Plaza, this is the ‘big bang’ that sets the scene for 182 days of visually striking and emotionally inspiring experiences, as we invite visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world.”

Behind the scenes, preparations have brought together creative minds from different geographies, industries, and backgrounds, including a talented in-house team of Emirati and international creatives, with event organisers not only commissioning but also actively co-curating and co-producing the collaborative spectacle. The wider team is led by Scott Givens, executive producer, and CEO of FiveCurrents, whose credits include 62 iconic ceremonies, including the most Olympic Ceremonies ever, and includes Franco Dragone, acclaimed artistic director of ground-breaking productions such as La Perle and Cirque du Soleil, and Jared Sweet, the award-winning creative director behind ceremonies spanning six countries.

Al Wasl Plaza is where the action will unfold.

Available to watch on Expo TV, Virtual Expo, and broadcast to a global audience of millions across multiple channels, the opening ceremony will showcase the stunning Al Wasl Plaza, including the largest immersive sound installation in the world and the world’s largest blended video projection installation. The first event of its kind to take place ‘in the round’, the audience will be at the centre of the show as it unfolds, with the revolving stage, stunning surrounds and immersive technologies coming to life around them.

The ceremony will also serve as an important opportunity to demonstrate Expo’s commitment to the health, safety and well-being of its staff, participants, and visitors as it brings the global community together for one of the first times since the onset of the pandemic.

Running from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, Expo 2020 will feature the best of art, music, architecture, technology, and culture from around the world. From an adrenaline-boosting sporting programme to the jaw-dropping outdoor night-time light festival Kaleidoscope, to gathering the world’s brightest minds for the Programme for People and Planet, there is something for visitors of all ages and interests – and one visit may not be enough. The largest event to be held in the MEASA region, Expo 2020 will enable millions of people to experience the world in one place, explore new frontiers and embrace opportunities for tomorrow.

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