With its management of the 2008 Olympic games a smashing success, China will, from May 1st to October 31st, 2010 at the Shanghai World Expo, try and outdo its Olympic success. As one of the Chinese workers at the Shanghai World Expo told me, “Like it left its footprints during the ancient ages, China is beginning to make its mark on the modern world.”
Well, he had a point. No one can deny that this country contributed much to the ancient civilizations of the past. With at least 5,000 years of civilization as a background, China will dazzle their visitors. Shanghai’s World Expo will be the first world exhibition held in a developing country – perhaps a misnomer. With the fastest growing economy in the world, many believe China to be fully developed or on the verge of joining the fully developed nations. While touring the Expo grounds and surrounding area, my Canadian Colleagues remarked, “Look around you! It sure looks to me like China is a developed country.”
Although many might be familiar with the ‘World Fairs,’ beginning from 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London. Since that time, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for cultural, economic, scientific and technological exchanges. They have provided platforms for displaying historical experiences, the exchange of innovative ideas and articulating visions for the future. This year, attendees, besides having the chance to experience an incredible diversity of cultures, can learn the latest technologies offered by near 200 countries and 56 international organizations word-wide.
The Shanghai World Expo, expected to be the largest World Expo ever held so far, will focus on innovation and interaction, highlighting the new century. Over 70 million are expected to attend the Fair – 3.5 million from outside China. It will likely be the largest attendance for any Expo.
From May 1st to October 31st, 2010, for six months on both sides of the Huangpu River water front, mostly between the Nanpu and Lupu Bridges, will be humming with activity, delivering to the world what is hoped to be a successful and unforgettable exposition. The 2008 Olympics proved that China could deliver.
Being the first World Exposition with the theme of urban centres, the Exposition is expected to attract both governments and interested peoples from many countries, focusing on the Expo theme, ‘Better City, Better Life.’ Participants will display urban civilization in its fullest extent and exchange their experiences in urban development, disseminating advanced notions on cities and exploring new approaches to human lifestyle and work in the new century. They will learn how to create an eco-friendly society and maintain the sustainable development of human beings.
The Shanghai Expo 2010 will explore the full potential of urban life in the 21st century and the participants can exchange their experiences and advanced notions on cities and explore new approaches to human habitat, creating and envisioning better living in future urban environments. Outlines for future cities will be created and harmonious urban life styles provide an extraordinary educational and entertaining platform, for visitors, from all over the world
Visitors coming to the exposition will at no time be bored. Five parades with floats will be staged every day, and a good number of cultural extravaganzas and innumerable shows are on the agenda. During the six-month exposition, there will be more than 20,000 shows given at 32 activity areas, in the Expo site. Some 200,000 to 220,000 people are daily expected to see the performances.
No doubt the Exposition will draw travellers from the four corners of the globe and give them the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of cultures. It will be a thrilling dialogue between all human civilizations.
Almost all the pavilions are imaginative and unique, such as the Saudi Arabian Pavilion erected in a form of a dhow (Arab sailing ship) or the Canadian stunning pavilion, featuring Canadian red cedar exterior. It is expected to be one of the top pavilions and an excellent Canadian eye-catcher, expected to welcome some 5 million visitors during the 184 days of the Expo.
Many people are waiting with great anticipation to taste the wonders of China’s first ever world Expo. Since winning the bid to host the Expo in 2002, approximately $4.17 billion US dollars have been invested in the event, with life in Shanghai during 2010 acutely geared to hosting one of the biggest events the world has ever seen.
As happened at the Olympics, there is little doubt that China will present the world with a magnificent and unforgettable Expo. Above all, the fair will be a supreme welcoming event for one touring China in 2010.