45 striking photos of Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony

The six-month world's fair got off to a spectacular start

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Expo 2020 Dubai drew in viewers from across the globe with a spectacular opening ceremony on Thursday night.

With an upbeat message that the world could come together and put the coronavirus pandemic behind it, viewers were treated to a musical, cultural and historical spectacle.

And what a night it was.

From veteran singer Angelique Kidjo to Ellie Goulding – and the catchy Expo anthem in-between – if there was one message this evening's artists were delivering, it was this: strive for a better future.

The Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli rounded off a superb opening night concert with a rendition of The Prayer.

Earlier, English pop star Goulding called on an invitation-only audience to rise above the world's recent troubles.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, welcomed the world to the emirate with a message: "Today we witness a new beginning."

For all the latest on Expo 2020 Dubai, follow our live blog here

Sheikh Hamdan declares Expo 2020 officially open

Sheikh Hamdan declares Expo 2020 officially open
Updated: September 30, 2021, 7:23 PM