Though the event is still years away, Expo 2020 Dubai is already making history as the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East. The World Expo is one of the world’s oldest and largest international events, having taken place every five years since 1851 in London.
Expos exist to showcase the latest progress and innovations from around the world, and to bring people together to promote the exchange of ideas and global cooperation. Hosting the World Expo is not only a testament to the region’s growing influence on the global stage, but it is an event for Dubai to be proud of.
To mark this momentous occasion, Expo 2020 Dubai was in need of an identity that would open the world’s eyes to Dubai and its storied history, from its ancient beginnings to becoming a symbol of the modern world.
A symbol of connection
The initial project was to create a symbol that would reflect the global ambitions of an Expo event, as well as distinctly represent Dubai. The final design takes inspiration from a collection of gold rings discovered in the desert by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Each link touches and is touched by another, reflecting both the original beauty of the artifacts and the idea of connection between people and the exchange of ideas. This symbol is a perfect representation of the Expo’s theme: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
However, the real challenge was how to launch the symbol with excitement and pride, and keep the momentum building until the actual event — still years away. As it rolls out over time, the Expo institutional brand needs to be flexible for its partners and participants, and be adaptable for promoting the associated community and outreach programs.
We designed a brand architecture and visual system to demonstrate how different elements of the Expo 2020 identity would build over time to express specific audience objectives, from building awareness, to encouraging engagement and finally to creating a desire to visit the event. At the heart of the identity is the symbol. It remains a core inspiration, unifying the overall look and feel in the lead up to 2020 and beyond.
The official logo was unveiled to an audience of tens of thousands during the fair’s launch event in Dubai. It was projected onto the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, offering the world its first glimpse at the historic symbol.
Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visitors from over 180 countries — the largest proportion of international visitors in the Expo’s history. Running from October 2020 to April 2021, Expo will mark the beginning of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations and serve as a springboard for its economic, cultural and scientific growth that builds a better future.