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Many citizens of the UAE are counting the days this week, not only in anticipation of yet another public holiday for National Day on 2nd December, but also to hear if Dubai has been successful in its bid to host the World Expo 2020.

Photo Credit: expo2020-dubai.blogspot.ae

Photo Credit: expo2020-dubai.blogspot.ae

The competition has been tough but there’s a quiet air of confidence that Dubai will be announced the winner in Paris this Wednesday. The National newspaper has been running a series of articles in which local people describe what the Expo would mean for Dubai and the nation at large. The comments have largely been about recognition – showing the world what Dubai can do on a global scale, bringing more visitors to the region to witness the advances the country has made in its 42 years of existence, promoting Emirati culture, and demonstrating the benefits of setting up business here. The hopes are fuelled by a desire to see the UAE progress further and continue as a modern role model for other countries in the region.

World Expos are associated with new inventions and technological progress, so I’m wondering what Dubai will produce or choose to showcase in 2020 if the decision goes our way. Six years isn’t very long to come up with something that needs to compete with the following ‘Top Ten’ selection from previous Expos:

London 1851: the Colt revolver

Dublin 1853: the elevator/lift

Paris 1855: the sewing machine

London 1862: the calculating machine

Philadelphia 1876: the telephone

Chicago 1892: the application of electricity

Paris 1900: motion pictures

St. Louis 1904: controlled flight, the wireless telegraph

New York 1939: television

New York 1964: computer technology, fax machines

They also launched the ice-cream cone for the first time in St. Louis, 1904 – a far more laudable addition to human existence than the colt revolver in my opinion!

For more info about the UAE and the latest news on Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020, see uaeinteract.