Dubai Expo 2020 unveils mascots

The mascots are, (L to R), Opti, Rashid, Terra, Latifa and Alif. (Supplied)
Updated 26 September 2019

Dubai Expo 2020 unveils mascots

  • The Expo will be represented by five mascots, three of which are robots
  • They were created by a fully Emirati team

DUBAI: The official mascots of the Dubai Expo 2020 have been revealed during a colorful event at the Dubai World Trade Center.

The expo starts in October 2020, but the building work at the site near Dubai’s Jebel Ali is well underway and many of the pavilions have already been unveiled.

At Thursday’s event, that was attended by more than 200 people including international media and children from local schools, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum appeared on stage as the mascots were introduced.

First there was an animation of the mascots, a narrative explaining their backgrounds, personalities and roles, there was a bang and then confetti fell, then the show was over.

The audience had waited the best part of two hours for the show that seemed to last just five minutes.

But in that short moment, the eyes of the many children lit up with excitement as they were introduced to the five mascots: Rashid, Latifa, Terra, Alif and Opti, were designed by a fully Emirati team.

Rashid and Latifa are two children who represent the Emirati population.

The remaining mascots are robot, each of which represent an Expo sub-theme, sustainability, opportunity and mobility.

“We made these characters ourselves, we know what Expo is and how we want to deliver the message,” Creative Director of Ceremonies Amna Abulhoul said during a press conference after the launch.

 “We created a world of characters, some don’t belong to a nationality, and some do… we want to show that we are one world,” Abulhoul said.

Finally, the Ghaf tree, Salama, will be “like a grandma,” to the characters Abulhoul explained, guiding and protecting them along their adventures.

The organizers will release a number of other episodes with the mascots, who represent the importance of family in Emirati culture, before Expo 2020 launches.

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

Updated 17 min 12 sec ago

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

  • Dubai prepares for eye-catching countdown on Burj Khalifa
  • Live performances from singer Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 ambassador Hussain Al-Jassmi

DUBAI: Crowds gathered at different locations in the UAE on Sunday night to mark its one-year countdown to Expo 2020 in October next year, with host emirates Dubai staging a spectacular concert, topped by a light projection on the iconic Burj Khalifa.

American superstar Mariah Carey was the star of the night, which also saw performances from regional artists including Khalifa, Shamma Hamdan, Abri and Funk Radius, Showcase and Jaysus Zain. The audience also grooved to a few Arabic tunes from Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi.

A make-shift stage was set up at the Burj Park in Dubai’s downtown area to host the performances, while people also enjoyed a good view of the tallest building in the world. The countdown was facilitated by Emirati social media sensation Khalid Al-Ameri and Bollywood actress Shraddah Kapoor. 

A 3-minute firework display lit up the skies of Dubai as the crowd eagerly waited for Carey to appear on stage.

The 49-year-old singer sang her all-time favorite songs, including “Emotion,” “We Belong Together,” and a revival of the Motown classic “I’ll Be There,” to an enthusiastic audience who didn’t mind the heat and humidity at the outdoor venue.

The other six emirates also marked the occasion with free-for-all activities in venues such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

The events, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Expo 2020 Director-General Reem Al-Hashimy said, will “offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020.”

“The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo,” she added, in a report by state-run WAM.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi featured YouTube sensation Sandra Sahi, as well as singers Stephon Lemar, Layla Kardan, the Emirati Trio.

Indian band ROOH, singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki and other regional artists were celebrating the count down at Sharjah’s Al Marjaz waterfront.

While the Ajman Museum hosted Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.

The 6-month Expo 2020, to be held at a vast new site in the south of Dubai, will officially open on Oct. 20 next year, with organizers expecting an estimate of 25 million visitors.