Daily Archives: December 2, 2013

Expo 2020 Vote & National Day Long Weekend in Dubai

ImageThe Emiratis we met in Dubai this past weekend were so hospitable, like this gentleman handing out dates in the Dubai Mall.ImageThere was a real spirit of celebration on Wednesday, Nov 27th and we learned that there were 2 great reasons for them to celebrate: the UAE is celebrating it’s 42nd National Day and they also found out that Dubai won the 2020 Expo vote!  As the UAE President said, “Our joy in the UAE was double by the win as it coincides with the celebrations of the 42nd National Day.”ImageAfter watching the Dubai Fountain show, we managed to squeeze our way through the crowds to return our stroller and find a taxi to head back to our hotel.  It was only later that we realized the significance of the Burj Khalifa being bathed in a gorgeous blue lighting.  While walking through the mall, we noticed an interesting scene at one of the information desks.  We saw huge crowds of tourists reaching their hands out for these blue Expo 2020 flags as souvenirs of being there on the day of the vote.  I wish I took a picture of that.  When we returned our stroller to the counter we borrowed it from (What a great concept to have free use of strollers for shoppers! Wow! Talk about customer service!), the Egyptian man there gave our daughter these 2 small flags with a big smile.the personal touch at dubai mallThanks for your great service, Raafat!  Your warmth, smiles and assistance (especially to our daughter) are sure to be lasting impressions of my wife’s first trip to Dubai! 🙂ImageYou can just imagine the great mood in Dubai the day after the Dubai Expo 2020 victory!  🙂  Made even greater by the fact that all educational institutions were granted an extra day off on Thursday on hearing the wonderful news.  On our visit to the Mall of the Emirates on Thursday, November 28th, we were greeted warmly (as were all shoppers) by small marching bands and people proudly dressed in the most ridiculous costumes (I mean that in the nicest sense!) to celebrate the fact that the Emirate of Dubai won the rights to host the 2020 world fair.ImageHere’s a short 50 second video clip I pieced together of the small victory parade in the Mall of the Emirates: When I got back to the hotel and went online, I noticed this great commemoration of the Dubai Expo 2020 on the main google page:                               Image                            Cool!  What a weekend to be in Dubai!

CONGRATULATIONS to Dubai and to the entire UAE on this great victory!

Here’s a video of the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan, waving the UAE flag on top of Burj Khalifa to celebrate.This is great cause for celebration.  In the 150 year history of the World Fair, this is the first that the exposition will be held in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

A win for Dubai is a win for the region!  Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, seems to think so as he tweeted the following on Wednesday night after the vote, “To all the Arab countries: thank you for your heartfelt encouragement. Together we now share a historic moment for our region. #Expo2020