In his closing message, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that Expo 2020 Dubai offers the opportunity for "a new beginning" for the UAE and the world.
In an audio message delivered at the closing ceremony of the mega global event, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid told the audience: "During the Expo 2020 Dubai journey, we portrayed to the world a different version of ingenuity that touched the hearts and minds of every member of society. Our sons and daughters have proven their ability to overcome unprecedented difficulties and challenges. And in every moment of this journey, we reflected the values of the UAE – values of affection and hospitality. Today is not the end of Expo 2020, but a new beginning."
"The UAE and Dubai will continue, God willing, to be graceful and strong – and able, to Connect Minds and Create the Future with this exceptional government, and the leadership of my brother Mohamed bin Zayed," His Highness added.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, attended the closing ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai, held today at Al Wasl Square, the beating heart of the six-month global event. The ceremony saw the baton for World Expo being handed over to Osaka, Japan, which will host the next Expo in 2025.
The ceremony was also attended by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council; Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai; and a number of officials.
Over six months, Expo 2020 Dubai brought together over 190 participating nations, including multilateral organisations and academic institutions, and millions of visitors under the event's theme, 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', to exchange new ideas and perspectives, inspire meaningful change and create a brighter future for all. The global event that opened in October 2021 made history as the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation.
The closing ceremony started with the UAE national anthem, followed by an address by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, in which he congratulated the UAE leadership on the exceptional success of Expo, which he said "will remain engraved proudly in the memory of history, and the world, as one of our young country's many achievements."
Sheikh Nahyan attributed the success of Expo to the remarkable efforts of its leadership team led by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, as well as to Reem Al Hashimy and her entire team.
He also thanked the thousands of volunteers and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) for their relentless efforts in presenting the magnificent event. He also highlighted the various events that took place at Expo 2020 Dubai during the six months of the event, including the celebration of the UAE's Golden Jubilee. The UAE is looking forward to participating in Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai and sharing the unique and rich experiences gained from the organisation of the mega global event in Dubai, Sheikh Nahyan added.
Jai-chul Choi, President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) thanked the UAE leadership for its support for the success of the event. He also said that this is the first World Expo in which more than 190 countries participated with their own pavilions, which is a collective achievement and a demonstration of solidarity, fraternity and international coordination. "It has been made possible by the UAE's dedication to hosting a transformational and unifying event, and by the commitment of the BIE, the Organiser and all participants to persevere in the delivery of this wonderful World Expo," Choi said. "During this tumultuous period, Expo 2020 Dubai has been a beacon to remind us all that, to navigate these challenges, we must join together and work in unison."
He also said participating countries, visitors and all those who have been part of Expo 2020 Dubai will take away essential lessons for the future based on their experiences at the event. "When the Expo ends and this site evolves into a new urban district, the enduring spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai will persist, adding new energy and ideas to the meaning of what a World Expo is. The impact of Expo 2020 Dubai will undoubtfully be woven into the Expo tapestry, an essential part of our shared global narrative," Choi added.