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    A legacy of lasting memories: Expo 2020 Dubai guests share their special moments

    Guests of all ages and nationalities have shared the lasting lasting impact Expo visits had on them and their loved ones
    4 min read
    Visitors at Surreal_ The Water Feature_Large Image_m56225
    As the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) nears its conclusion, guests from all over the world have shared the long-lasting experiences they have enjoyed at Expo 2020 Dubai.

    Thanks to the site’s design and a supportive team of friendly ‘Expo Hearts’ – volunteers and staff across the entire Expo 2020 Dubai site and the 200-plus pavilions – guests of all ages, backgrounds and abilities have been able to enjoy an incredible experience.

    South African resident Dr Aloysia Ogle said: “[Expo] has really opened my mind to the possibilities for the future … I was so pleasantly impressed with the accommodations made for people of determination. I have visited with my father-in-law in a wheelchair, my son with autism and my small daughter in a stroller and still managed to have an amazing experience.”

    Another resident noted that his brother, who has 90 per cent hearing loss, was treated very kindly by the Expo staff during his visit and, as a result, he feels confident because people outside the family treat him with respect.

    A 72-year-old resident and his wife took part in the Senior Guest Experience and had a very smooth experience, where they were able to visit nine pavilions without being tired, thanks to the fast-track service and their helpful buggy driver.

    The impact of Global Goals Week, hosted for the first time outside the UN General Assembly in New York, and ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have made people reflect on how their individual decisions have a ripple effect on the world at large, as well as how nations must work together to see measurable change.

    Indian resident Sera Rachel Jacob said: “Having learnt about the Sustainable Developed Goals in theory during undergrad, I never got to see them being implemented by world nations. At Expo 2020 Dubai, I got to see how all countries contribute and plan to achieve these goals.”

    The Women’s Pavilion was another significant draw for guests, who came away with a better understanding of issues affecting women and the need to narrow the gender gap.

    Japanese resident Ayano Yoshida said: “I have never been to an Expo before Dubai … It’s educational, fun, has great hospitality, beautiful architecture and women’s leadership. The first Expo in Middle East and Africa led by a woman sends a powerful message.”

    The Women’s Pavilion directly inspired Indian resident Jevica D’souza, who said: “My mom and I went to the Women's Pavilion ... We learnt about the impact women have on the world and it made me realise my importance as a woman and how several women’s achievements were credited to men in the past.”

    In line with one of the messages of this year’s International Women’s Day for men to be accountable for change, Indian resident Abdul Najaf had many positive takeaways and said: “My behaviour towards women has improved after visiting the Women’s Pavilion. The Mission Possible [– The Opportunity] Pavilion helped me understand more about controlling the use of natural resources like water, electricity etc.”

    For students, many of whom have spent the best part of two years learning online, Expo 2020 Dubai opened up a world of possibilities, whether through participating in the Expo School Programme or visiting with their families.

    UK resident Andrew Hudson said: “It has given my children a view of the world through the Country Pavilions. They have seen the differences in many places and they understand human resilience. They understand challenges in the past and how people’s determination helped overcome them. They can see we are all the same, but have different environments, different opportunities and different challenges. But together we can make positive change.”

    Visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about different countries and cultures through their pavilion visits – and many have made future travel plans based on their newfound curiosity.

    Uzbek resident Sug'diyona Djumanazarova, who intends to continue her studies, said: “Thanks to Expo, I have decided to move to Norway to study further after I finish my degree. The staff were so polite and the pavilion was so informative.”

    Chilean tourist Vicente Allende said: “Learning more about other cultures by visiting the Country Pavilions makes me rethink my preconceived ideas about them. The more knowledge I acquire, the more open and inclusive I become. We must educate ourselves regarding other cultures and become much more tolerant and respectful. Our planet is at the edge of an environmental disaster and strengthening our countries relationships will allow us to fight this together as one.”

    Austrian tourist Dr Karin M Strasser agreed: “For me, Expo 2020 Dubai has motivated me to travel as much as I can. I believe knowledge and understanding of other nations and ethnic groups contributes to world peace.”