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Preparing to Welcome the World: Perseverance and Optimism Prevail

On March 7th, Gulf News, the biggest selling English newspaper in the UAE, published a story with the headline “Expo 2020 ‘on track’ despite coronavirus”.  

In light of so many other events being cancelled, both globally and locally, this was heartening news.  The fact that officials are even mentioning the Covid-19 virus this far out bodes well. I appreciated it for two reasons.

 The first is that, although the Expo is over seven months away, organizers have acknowledged travelers’ fears by giving us a progress report rather than remaining silent.  We now know that organizers are working with government officials, WHO, and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), taking proactive action rather than adopting a “wait and see” approach.  It’s no accident that Dubai, and the UAE as a whole, has some the lowest numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world.  Thermal scanning of all passengers at all airports has been effective, and this technology is soon to be implemented in UAE shopping malls as well. 

The second reason is much more personal. I have been to the Expo 2020 site. I drove down Expo Road. I saw the massive new metro station waiting to greet thousands of visitors.  I met with Expo representatives and viewed construction in progress. I saw Expo 2020 billboards and television ads.  The excitement was palpable.  I want to go back and see it when it’s all shiny and new and open to the public. I want everyone to see it.

Expo 2020 is the very first World’s Fair to take place in this part of the world, and the organizers are not going to let this opportunity pass them by. They are working hard to ensure a safe and successful Expo for all.

Joan Thompson, Expo Sales Executive
Ya’lla Tours USA

Posted on March 13, 2020


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