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The World Expo, previously known as universal expositions, is the biggest category event for the collaboration of the most powerful countries. It is a gathering to proudly showcase the products and craftsmanship of nations all over the world.

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Aerial View of the 2020 world expo Dubai, Photo from The Architect’s Newspaper (Courtesy EXPO 2020)

This kind of assembly originated in ancient times. Persia held the first exhibition as early as the 15th century, the function of which exceeded that of a mere bazaar. The first World Expo, the Great Exhibition, took place in London in 1851. The concept became popular and was replicated across the globe, showing an unmatched power of attraction and a record of world-class legacies.

The World Expo, being the epitome of the achievements of human civilization, is one of the most extravagant and expensive events that can last from six months to six weeks. Expos provide a unique international platform to stage a prestigious event allowing interactions among the host country, participants, tourists, trade partners, and investors. The Philippines has joined the Bureau International des Expositions in 1993 and has been a regular participant in both World and Specialised Expos.

The Philippines is first seen at the Expo 2000 Hannover with “The Power of the People”. The country’s theme focused on the abilities and the creativity of the Filipino people. The latest Expo the country has participated in is in Dubai in 2020, carrying the theme “Bangkóta: Philippine Coral Reef”. The theme is inspired by the natural, organic shape of the Bangkóta (coral reef) with defined, free-flowing, open spaces, reflecting a culture that embraces openness, meaningful encounters, and connectivity.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have suspended the World Expo in the previous year, yet Dubai, after eight years of planning and billions of dollars in spending, finally opened the Middle East’s first World Expo on October 1, 2021. Dubai has high hopes that the six-month-long exhibition will allow them to showcase its unique East-meet-West appeal to both visitors and global attention as an open place for business.

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