After six historic months that saw millions of visits, world-class entertainment and mind-blowing innovations, Expo 2020 Dubai closed its portals for the last time on Thursday.
And the last family to leave the world fair had a special surprise in store for them: A picture with Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, in front of the mega event’s futuristic entry portals.
In a statement posted on social media, Expo 2020 Dubai’s organisers confirmed that the family was the last to leave the world fair, which came to a close after a spellbinding night marked by fireworks and performances.
The night, which saw the Expo flag being handed over to Japan that will host the next world fair at Osaka in 2025, captured the joy and achievement of a six-month journey that began at Al Wasl Plaza on October 1, 2021.
“Today is not the end of Expo 2020 Dubai, but a new beginning,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai had declared in an audio message that boomed through the beating heart of the mega fair.
Recalling the Expo 2020 journey in his speech, he said: “We portrayed to the world a different version of ingenuity that touched the hearts and minds of every member of society.
“Our sons and daughters have proven their ability to overcome unprecedented difficulties and challenges. And in every moment of this journey, we reflected the values of the UAE — values of affection and hospitality.”
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Amidst all the celebrations, emotions ran high as residents bade a wistful farewell to the mega event that had enthralled them with hundreds of events, shows and performances.
“I am breaking down in tears. I do not want this to end,” said Filipino expat Marissa Lisie.
One by one, pavilions at the sprawling site switched off their lights — and with that, the world’s greatest show took its final bow.