After a six-month run, Expo 2020 came to an end with a closing ceremony in Dubai.
The ceremony took place at the stunning Al Wasl Plaza, providing a proud moment for the UAE and a spectacular visual feast for fans from around the world.
The showcase was intended to be a celebration of the event’s accomplishments – and of all those who helped make it happen.
The closing ceremony, headed by creative visionary Franco Dragone, aimed to reflect how Expo 2020 Dubai has impacted the lives of all who have visited, while also highlighting the many memories made on site.
The spectacle was enhanced by a world-class production, cutting-edge technology, immersive laser projections, evocative music, and no less than three firework displays.
Dubai’s minister of tolerance and harmony, Sheikh Nahayan, said: “We were honoured to have welcomed millions of visitors from all around the world, as the UAE has always been a place where all people meet.
“Throughout Expo 2020 Dubai’s six months, we had the honour of meeting many delegations, officials and visitors. We celebrated with national days here – at the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai – on our beloved United Arab Emirates’ land; the land of tolerance, coexistence and peace.”
He continued, “Among our most important guests were the generations of the future, particularly hundreds of thousands of our visitors, who were hosted by the Expo School Programme. They are the agents of positive change that we want for a more sustainable, safer, better world for all.”
“We have learned a lot together, and we have proved that humans are of one essence, and one fate. We have come together at an extremely difficult time, the likes of which the world has not seen, embodying the strength of human will, at its finest, and made Expo 2020 Dubai a symbol of hope,” he added.
Before handing over the flag to the next expo hosts, Wakamiya Kenji, minister for the World Expo 2025, and Yoshimura Hirofumi, governor of Osaka, a children’s choir performed Ishy Bilady, the UAE national anthem.
As guests and performers assembled in Al Wasl’s garden for the final time, celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed Gabriel’s Oboe, followed by Going Home, before Al Wasl Dome was transformed into a galaxy of stars.
The underwater scene with dancers waving huge swirling blue sheets that were then opened – in perfectly synchronised fashion – to reveal the 192 flags of the participating countries, creating a circle of flags representing the world and everyone standing together was an undeniable highlight of the show, with singers and the Firdaus Orchestra performing the Expo 2020 Dubai theme song, This is our Time.
Mira Singh, the young star of the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony, was once again the show’s heartbeat, tasked with returning the ring’s mystical powers to its origins, ready for the next generation.
Her voyage includes fleeting glimpses of Al Adiyat: The Story of a Boy and His Horse, the Going Piano, yoga at Surreal, the Expo Explorer’s last journey, dancing with Opti the robot, and an astronaut flying into space from Journey of the 50, among other highlights of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Norah Jones, a Grammy Award-winning singer and composer, emerged at a grand white piano to sing As Tears Go By as the massive golden ring descended from the top of Al Wasl Dome.
Pop icon Christina Aguilera rounded off the event in spectacular way, belting out an impressive rendition of the Greatest Showman’s A Million Dreams, accompanied by another series of dazzling fireworks.
The ‘VIP visitors’ were made up of public and private school pupils from across the UAE, which was fitting given the theme of the event.
– India’s new age travel digital media