The very first World Expo was held in London in 1851. Since then it has grown in importance and stature to become of one the biggest international events, attracting millions of people from around the world to the host city every five years. Each one serves as a major catalyst for economic growth in its chosen location, which is why the World Expo proves to generate such major competition in the bid to win the rights to host this historic event.

World Expos in the past have provided the basis for the launch of numerous inventions and innovations, from the first sewing machine in London in 1862 and the first telephone in Philadelphia in 1876, to lighting in Chicago in 1893. The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris was even created for the 1889 World Expo celebrations. 

Past World Expo inventions include:

  • 1876 Philadelphia: The first commercial typewriter was launched
  • 1893 Chicago: The first ever Ferris Wheel
  • 1901 St. Louis: The world’s first edible ice-cream cone
  • 1939 New York: The television was first introduced to the public
  • 1970 Japan: The first mobile phones were exhibited

Connecting Minds, Creating the Future

Dubai Trade Center – Jebel Ali

World Expo Site

Under the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", World Expo 2020 will inspire speakers, participates and visitors to consider the future and how we can all make a difference.

Equidistant from the centres of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the site for World Expo 2020 will be renamed Dubai Trade Center – Jebel Ali, a 438 hectare site on the southwestern edge of Dubai.

The three large pavilions will each embody one of the event’s sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility, Sustainability. The central plaza, using the old Arabic name for Dubai, “Al Wasl” (meaning “The Connection”), will hold presentations and discussions to promote collaboration and innovation.

Following the event, Dubai Trade Center – Jebel Ali will continue as a working monument; the site will be used as a research center and university.