Mira Singh on her Expo 2020 Dubai fame: 'My life has changed'

The young model was the star of the spectacular opening ceremony on Thursday night

Mira Singh, the young star of the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony who is only 11, says she has been inundated with more offers of work ever since her appearance at the spectacular show on Thursday.

“I am speechless. My life has changed a lot since the opening ceremony,” she tells The National. “I didn’t think it would be so big and the fame would be like ‘wow’.

“I’ve been receiving a lot of offers, projects and commercials. I’ve also got the UAE National Day 50th celebrations so I might be doing that too.”

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Born in Dubai to an Indian father and a Belarusian mother, Mira, who has been modelling since she was 6, has also seen her popularity rise on social media. Her Instagram account, which had a little more than 1,000 followers before the Expo ceremony, now boasts more than 10,000.

But Mira says she was “really nervous” before the show began on Thursday.

“There were so many famous and important people and I didn’t want to let anyone down,” she recalls. “But I was also very excited because I really love performing on stage.”

Mira featured throughout the 90-minute show, playing a young girl who is handed a golden ring – the inspiration for the Expo 2020 Dubai logo – and whose journey kick-starts the Expo story. She also danced on stage and guided Grammy-winning Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, who is blind, to the stage for the evening’s final performance.

“My favourite part of the show was the moment the garden starts and the ghaf tree grows and the flowers start to bloom,” she says.

Besides Bocelli, Thursday night’s ceremony also featured performances by British pop star Ellie Goulding, American singer Andra Day, Saudi superstar Mohammed Abdu, Emirati sensation Ahlam Alshamsi, Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

Emirati stars Hussain Al Jassmi and Almas performed the Expo 2020 Dubai theme song This is Our Time, along with Lebanese singer Mayssa Karaa.

Held at the Al Wasl Plaza dome, the centrepiece of the Expo, the ceremony also featured more than 1,000 performers and dancers. Meanwhile, Oscar-winning Indian composer AR Rahman’s all-women ensemble, the Firdaus Orchestra, comprising 50 musicians from across the Arab world, provided much of the evening’s music.

Mira says there were “thousands of girls” at the audition in August, and they were then whittled down to a final three, before she was selected.

"At the audition, we had to enact the part where the grandfather gives the girl the golden ring. So I auditioned with another actor and I guess they liked me and chose me,” she says.

A 7th grade pupil at JSS International School in Jumeirah Village Circle, Mira says she’d like to be a full-time actress “and also do modelling and commercials”.

She also loves to sing and dance, is trained in the Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam, and attends ballet and piano lessons weekly.

The younger of two children, Mira says her parents, mom Svetlana and dad Jitendra Pal Singh, are her biggest supporters.

“All my life my parents have [supported me] and encouraged me in everything and it’s been a lot of help from them,” she says.

Singh, a businessman who moved to the UAE in 1995, says he was elated watching his daughter on stage on Thursday night.

“I have not had this kind of reaction ever in our lives and we’re just so proud,” he says.

Scroll through the gallery below for more pictures from the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony:

Updated: October 4th 2021, 11:51 AM