Opportunity: Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to fostering an inclusive future.

Opportunity is a word that signifies hope and promise. This word implies endless possibilities and the possibility of something greater and better. In the wake of one of the most challenging periods in human history, it is a word the world clings to – both on a macro and micro level.

The United States’ first expo in 1876 introduced the telephone and typewriter to the world on a public platform. The first mobile phone
was revealed at the Osaka expo of 1970, and the Eiffel Tower was constructed for the Paris Expo of 1889. 

The Opportunity District will feature pavilions from around the world, including those from the GCC countries- the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar- and from the United States, China, India, Japan, Israel, and the United Kingdom. The pavilions are meant to illustrate how life and actions are interconnected and how social innovators are creating the realities of tomorrow.

AGI Architects has designed the main Opportunity pavilion, aptly called ‘Mission Possible.’ It is based on the urban history of the plaza and its universal significance as a place where people can engage regardless of their age, language, or cultural background. In the pavilion, visitors will journey through the stories of three individuals – Mama, Abel, Mama Fatma, and Mariam (representing different countries) – whose seemingly insignificant actions have significantly impacted their communities.

The pavilion focuses on individual action that has the potential to have a significant community impact. Its focuses upon the Sustainable Development Goals and our role in assisting their implementation. As a visitor, one would have the opportunity to experience the lives of three individuals – from the UAE, Zanzibar, and Peru – and follow their journey through what they accomplished in their community and how that impacted others.

Future goals

Governments, businesses, and business leaders often use the term vision to describe their vision for the future. Despite this, it is essential and critical to implement a vision. The UAE, which celebrates its golden jubilee this year, announced plans to launch new projects for the next 50 years. 


Projects of the 50 include initiatives such as the ‘Green Visa’ for expatriates, allowing them to sponsor themselves and a federal freelancers visa and other work permit reforms. As part of the package, there is also a new Dhs5 billion program called Tech Drive to support the adoption of advanced technological innovations in the industrial sector and a new data law designed to protect the privacy of individuals and international companies in the country. As part of the ‘Nafis program’, the government also plans on creating 75,000 private-sector jobs for Emiratis and has allocated Dhs24 billion to support the initiative.

Growing inclusively

Despite the focus remaining on economic growth on the local, regional, and global levels, the opportunity pavilion will also emphasize the importance of socially inclusive growth. It’s where the technologies of the future will play a crucial role. Future technologies will enable the delivery of human-centered solutions to ensure people’s holistic well-being and transcend geographical, social, and cultural barriers. These solutions will be applicable across various industries and all aspects of our daily lives.

With the implementation of virtual hospitals and smart wearables, access to telehealth will be enhanced, and life expectancy will increase through the provision of predictive and regenerative care. Individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic communities and geographical areas will be able to pursue lifelong learning and decent employment through digital education and job matching platforms. Assistive technology and exoskeletons will enhance productivity, while virtual workplaces will enable agile work arrangements. Fintech has the potential to boost financial inclusion and reduce transaction costs significantly. The use of social integration and volunteering platforms, virtual tourism, and e-sports will allow otherwise marginalized groups of individuals to engage in the community. By using digital resources for redistribution and crowdfunding, surplus resources can be distributed to people in need.

Using renewable technologies will make it easier to source, allocate, and sustainably consume water, energy, and food in deprived regions and segments. The advent of smart homes will encourage citizens to be more comfortable and optimize their consumption patterns. The vehicles of the future, such as hyperloops, self-driving cars, and drone-assisted delivery services, will provide greater connectivity and more affordable solutions.

The power of youth

To say that the future of the world resides in the hands of the younger generation is probably a cliché. Nevertheless, that statement is gaining more power with the young generations having greater access to information and technology – and as a result, having a more significant influence on decision making. One of the main goals of the Opportunity District is to empower youth and to offer them activities specifically designed to develop their skills.

Expo 2020 will offer free guided tours of the site to schools across the country as part of its Expo School program to inspire the very young. These tours, comprised of four journeys – Legacy of the UAE, World of Opportunities, Sustainable Planet, and Universe in Motion – are tailored for different age groups. In addition to young children, youth aged between 15 and 24 accounts for 16 percent of the world’s population. However, they also experience several challenges, including inadequate access to affordable quality healthcare, education, stable income, and non-crowded housing, particularly among vulnerable groups.It is important to emphasize that despite Industry 4.0 and the need for digital skills, many young people struggle with high dropout rates, low educational attainment, and declining interests in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects in school. As a result of these challenges, youth unemployment has risen to 15 percent, further exacerbated by Covid-19.

Youth, however, have a unique opportunity today. Globalization and technological advancements will empower them to participate in shaping their future actively. Personalized education programs, the prevalence of diversified career paths, and the increasing number of entrepreneurship opportunities in the gig economy allow students to design unique educational courses tailored to their abilities and interests. As part of the civic participation process, they have access to innovative platforms and channels that allow them to voice their issues, participate in government planning and policy formulation, and steer efforts towards positive change.

Expo 2020 will play a significant role beyond its six-month period to re-energize large-scale events, drive investments in startups, and support local economic growth. Expo 2020 will project Dubai as the most futuristic city in the world, which can evolve with time and turn any crisis into an opportunity.


In the words of Expo 2020: “Even one person can be the key to unlocking eight billion opportunities that can help individuals and communities create a better tomorrow, today.Each action and decision we make impacts someone else, whether at home or abroad. Be part of a global movement to end poverty, protect the environment, and ensure peace and prosperity by 2030. Commit to making a difference, feel empowered to act, and watch the ripples grow.