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.