The UAE came together on Sunday, 20 October to celebrate One Year to Go until Expo 2020 Dubai opens its doors, with spectacular events in all seven emirates marking the milestone moment in style and offering a tantalising taste of what’s to come at the World’s Greatest Show.
Global superstar Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 Ambassador Hussain Al Jassmi headlined celebrations in Burj Park, Downtown Dubai.
Backed by a seven-piece band, Carey expressed her excitement for the next World Expo before rattling through her greatest hits including Dreamlover, Hero, We Belong Together, Obsessed and Always Be My Baby – the latter featuring an appearance onstage by her eight-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe.
All eyes turned to Burj Khalifa at 2020 (8.20pm) for a stunning LED show, inviting people and nations across the planet to ‘Be There’ for the World’s Greatest Show. Accompanied by a fireworks display, this launched the 12-month countdown to 20 October 2020, when the largest event ever staged in the Arab world will open its doors for an unmissable 173 days of inspiration, innovation and fun for all the family.
Top-class festivities were held simultaneously from 1700 to 2200 in the six other emirates, at Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.
All seven free, family-friendly celebrations underlined the nation’s ever-growing excitement and pride as it prepares to host the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Each drew a bustling crowd and featured musicians, painters, poets and other figures from the UAE’s flourishing cultural scene, as well as great food, craft areas for children, live streams of Dubai’s headline acts and plenty more.
An appearance from Bollywood actress and singer Shraddha Kapoor added further star quality to proceedings at Burj Park, while five UAE-based musicians of diverse genres performed a song they had written especially for the One Year to Go celebrations. Their collaboration will feature in a documentary titled ‘Musical Encounters’ to be released shortly.
Across all seven emirates, performances by 100 artists from 26 different nationalities highlighted the nation’s rich talent pool and multicultural modern society, as well as the global appeal of Expo 2020.