Expo 2020 Dubai Next Gen World Majlis, Cityzen 2030, was one of the experiences of Expo 2020 Dubai, held on Wednesday 14, November 2018, where school students of the UAE met to talk about opportunities and challenges of the future city. Although I was not there and have not attended the conversation, I figure it focused on how to build happier, stronger, and more sustainable communities for our common future.
The session was titled ‘Gen Z and The Future’, and took place before the pandemic, which effectively changed our world, and caused the delay of the Expo to 2021. The Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ through sustainability, mobility, and opportunity – the three main pillars – albeit remained, and we are all passionately looking forward to it.
Throughout history, cities have charmed us. Countless writers, artists and musicians have found their inspiration in the physical and human aspects of cities. Dubai, the city of Expo 2020, is one of those charming places, voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful Cities in the World and ranked number one in Arabia. Historically, Dubai was called Al Wasl, or ‘the connection’ because it connected people from all over the region. As the city hosting the Expo, it’s connecting visitors from all over the world. It has become the city of the future, a home for innovators, families, artists and pioneers.
Generation Z will live with the legacy of a city that stood up to the COVID-19 challenge fiercely by hosting a mega event with the warmth and hospitality that we, as a nation, are acknowledged for.
I believe that Dubai Expo 2020, which seeks not only to bring the world together, but also to chart our future course, will help raise awareness through its Theme Weeks that will address global challenges, from climate to connectivity, space exploration, to the future of human health.
And through its program for People and Planet, which is a platform for the free and open exchange of new ideas and innovations, we will be able to reimagine the global economy; place equality, universal respect and human dignity at the center of human progress, and instill a sense of responsibility to live in harmony and balance with the natural world.
Thankfully, more than 80 per cent of Expo 2020 Dubai’s infrastructure will have practical value long into the future as part of District 2020. The Al Wasl Plaza will remain. The sustainability pavilion will become Terra, the Children and Science Center. The mobility pavilion will become a commercial building and the UAE pavilion will remain and will be managed by the UAE government. District 2020 will have these and other assets of the Expo – and, I believe it will thrive.
Dubai is building a global community of action from across our 200-plus participants and partners, and millions of visitors around the world during the next six months, and Generation Z will live with the legacy of a city standing up to the COVID-19 challenge fiercely by hosting a mega event with the warmth and hospitality that we, as a nation, are acknowledged for.
Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh