Expo Dubai 2020 - America at the Crossroads
By Gregory Houston
In 1851, the iconic Crystal Palace in London was built to house the world’s first Great Exposition. In the century that’s followed, Expos have become the focal point of innovation – from electricity to light bulbs. From elevators to airplanes. Telephones, telegraphs, automobiles, computers, cellular technology, solar power… even the ice cream cone was first exhibited at a World Expo.
2020 will mark the largest Expo since Shanghai in 2010, and one of the largest in our lifetime. As the emerging global hub of travel, finance, culture, and technology, Expo Dubai presents the United States a unique chance to showcase the very best of American innovation in a setting that will resonate in history. Think London in 1851, Chicago in 1863, St. Louis in 1904, New York in 1964, and Shanghai ten years ago. Think Dubai 2020.
Between October 2020 and April 2021, more than 1000 acres in central Dubai will be transformed into a spectacular center of public diplomacy and commerce – the silk road for the 21st century. A hub, a communion, a crossroads where more than 180 nations and an estimated attendance of at least 28 million will converge. It will be one of the greatest shows on Earth. Ever.
BTG calls upon the United States to take a strong presence at this important event. We must, from a trade perspective. We must, from a public diplomacy perspective. We must, from a global power perspective. Outside of the Olympics, few international platforms exist for showcasing the great and diverse qualities that define what we, as Americas, project to be.
We applaud President Trump, Secretary Tillerson, the leaders of the Expo Unit, and the entire State Department for embracing Expo Dubai 2020 and look forward to seeing our national involvement develop over the coming years.
We encourage all Americans – from corporate leaders to community activities – to embrace this opportunity as well. It will take all of us to truly make this opportunity a moment in history. Let’s all come together to tell our story – to tell the world about what America is today, where’re going, and who will be tomorrow. It’s a good story – an important story. Telling it at this first Expo in the Middle East – at the crossroads of the old and new world – is up to all of us.