Mira Singh to offer 'outstanding' performance for Expo 2020 Dubai closing ceremony

Her father spoke to 'The National' about what might be next for the young Dubai model

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Mira Singh, the young star of the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony who became a celebrity overnight, will return to the same stage at Al Wasl Dome for the closing ceremony on Thursday.

Mira, who was born in Dubai to an Indian father and Belarusian mother, told The National earlier that her life changed after her starring role in the 90-minute opening event on September 30.

While details of the closing ceremony have been kept tightly under wraps, the Expo 2020 social media have shared teaser posters featuring Mira, promising a "spectacular" event.

"See global music icons, enjoy dazzling fireworks, and exciting performances unfold beneath the stunning Al Wasl Dome," Expo 2020's Instagram account posted on Sunday.

Speaking to The National, Mira's father, Jitendra Pal Singh, says the closing ceremony will be bigger and better than the opening show.

"Her performance will again be outstanding, I am sure," he says, proudly.

Singh says Mira, who turned 12 earlier this month, was changed by the experience in September.

"It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It was really quite an experience for her. She looks at the world in a different way now and she has become more confident."

Mira, who has been modelling since she was 6, saw her popularity spike after the opening ceremony. In the show, she played a young girl who is handed a golden ring — the inspiration for the Expo 2020 Dubai logo — and whose journey kickstarts 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.

Besides Bocelli, the 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.

Mira's Instagram account, which had a little more than 1,000 followers before the show, now boasts more than 14,000.

“I am speechless. My life has changed a lot since the opening ceremony,” she told The National a few days after the ceremony. “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."

Mira said there were “thousands of girls” at the audition held in August, who were then whittled down to a final three, before she was selected. The younger of two children, she is also trained in the Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam, and takes ballet and piano lessons weekly.

She has since returned to Expo 2020 a few times. In October, she visited the Belarus Pavilion as a special guest.

After the closing ceremony, it will be back to school and an already busy roster of modelling assignments, her father says. But it will be up to Mira, who is an aspiring singer and actress, what she eventually makes of her success, says Singh.

"We don't really plan. We take each day as it comes.

"I will be supporting her in everything that she wants to do. Tomorrow, if she wants to leave all of this, it's up to her. There is absolutely no pressure from us."

Organisers on Monday said festivities for the closing ceremony are set to begin at 7pm "with the young girl from the opening ceremony in September taking the audience on another compelling journey".

"For 182 days, she has grown, learned and connected with people from around the world — what remains is the final step before she awakens to her full potential," Expo event organisers said.

The one-hour ceremony will have an Emirati soul that would touch on a global experience, the organisers said.

Global music stars including US artists Christina Aguilera and Norah Jones as well as American cellist Yo-Yo Ma will lead the line-up of performers at the ceremony, before the world's fair baton is passed from Dubai to Expo 2025 Osaka.

Visitor numbers at the attraction are already soaring during the final week, with organisers saying it's been the busiest period since opening six months ago. Gates will shut at 3am on Friday after the closing ceremony late on Thursday.

Last week, the number of visits inched close to the 21 million mark, with 1.8 million visits registered in the previous seven days, as tourists and residents line up to be part of the largest global gathering since the start of the pandemic. A final tally of the number of visits will be released on April 1.

Scroll through the gallery below for images from the spectacular opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai:

Updated: March 31, 2022, 12:17 PM