This week, Dubai opened a massive six-month exhibition of culture and technology from around the world. And for the first time in an Arab country, Israelis were invited to the celebrations.
Expo 2020 is the latest entry in the current five-year cycle of international World Expos, which trace their origin back to the World’s Fairs that started in the late 18th century and which began being referred to as “Expo” in 1967.
(This year’s Expo was originally scheduled for 2020, but it was delayed. There are specialized Expos in-between the World Expos, so there was one held in Kazakhstan in 2017 and there will be one in 2023 in Argentina, but the next World Expo will be held in Japan in 2025.)
At the Expo site in southern Dubai, a collection of fantastic buildings has been erected to showcase the contributions of countries, organizations, and companies. The complex is divided up into a Mobility District, a Sustainability District, and an Opportunity District, all encircling a transparent geodesic dome that provides a central pavilion for the Expo site. A full 190 countries have pavilions at the Expo.
On the eastern side of the large complex, in a section of the Opportunity District, between the Italy pavilion and the India pavilion, stands the Israel pavilion, where a variety of high-tech displays show videos and virtual reality experiences that highlight the connection between Israel and Dubai and which showcase Israeli innovation and the natural beauty of Israel.