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Expo 2020 Dubai places innovation at heart of its planning with ‘Future Labs’

Thought leaders from around the globe gather in Dubai during Innovation Week to explore new ideas

Expo 2020 hosted ‘Future Labs,’ which brought together leading innovators from around the globe to develop new ideas that can be shared with the world when the event opens its doors.

The two-day long workshop took place a few days before Dubai is officially confirmed as Host City for the 2020 World Expo by the Bureau International des Expositions – the governing body for Expos – on 25 November. The timing of ‘Future Labs’ reflects the importance of innovation to producing an exceptional Expo, which will be held for the first time in the MEASA Region.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Board Representative of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and Director General, Bureau Dubai Expo 2020 said: “World Expos have a long history of capturing the essence of their times, celebrating humanity and showcasing technologies that pave the path to progress. This Expo will be no different.”

HE Al Hashimy continued: “Our theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and this event does exactly that in a very direct way. Our objective is to capture only very best ideas to provide an exceptional experience for visitors and participants in five years’ time. Ideas that will then go on to provide the foundations of an enduring legacy.”

Thirty-four participants took part in Future Labs, including world-renowned Smart Cities expert Paul Doherty; Matthew George, CEO of Bridj, the world’s first smart mass transportation system; wearable technology designer Billie Whitehouse, one of ‘30 under 30 women in technology’ as named by Business Insider; and augmented reality expert, Beau Lotto.

Expo Future Labs took place during UAE Innovation Week; a nation-wide initiative launched by the government as part of the National Innovation Strategy. An annual event, Innovation Week will run from 22-28 November and will feature a series of workshops, seminars and test laboratories that will help generate new ideas and re-evaluate innovations achieved during 2015.