A UAE minister has hailed Expo 2020 Dubai as a historic opportunity to share Emirati achievements with the world, as an official announced construction work is close to completion ahead of next year's landmark event.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office, said excitement is building with less than one year to go until the World's Fair, billed 'the greatest show on Earth', gets under way.
She said the highly-anticipated opening on October 2020 - marking the first time the world fair has been hosted in the Middle East - will unite all sections of society.
"It is a day that will affect our entire region and its children, youth and elderly, as well as its governments and peoples," said Ms Hashimy.
"We have never had this opportunity to showcase our achievements, cultures, heritage and aspirations and dreams to the entire world on a global platform, such as the expo.
"We see the expo as an opportunity for our young people to interact with the world, as well as to showcase the rest of the world to us through the global media."
She said the celebration of innovation and ingenuity will allow the Middle East to make its mark on the global stage.
"The roots of our region and its civilisation are as old as history. Our region has presented humanity with many of the values, ideas and inventions that underpin our present," she said.
"Meeting people from around the world under the banner of the Expo is exactly what our planet needs, in order to overcome the challenges it faces by exploring new solutions and ideas. Our focus at the Expo 2020 Dubai is on the future."
Under the banner 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', more than 190 countries will come together to show off their latest in cutting-edge technology.
Millions of visitors are expected to flock to the emirate during the six-month fair.
The event aims to inspire entrepreneurs as well as transform lives as creative thinkers seek to tackle issues ranging from climate change to plastic pollution.
Ahmed Al Khatib, chief development and delivery officer for Expo 2020 Dubai, told state news agency, Wam, that the sprawling Expo site is rapidly taking shape.
He said the main construction work on the site has been completed, including the large area of the three sub-theme areas of "Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability".
The infrastructure is complete, including the stations that will supply power to the entire site. The roadwork around the expo has also reached an advanced stage, he said.