Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Expo update! US to participate in Astana 2017, selects creative team; Dubai 2020 moves forward

by James Ogul


georgekrolusapastana2017Astana Expo 2017 [Kazakhstan] opens June 10, and 111 counties have confirmed participation – including the United States, as per an announcement made at the 4th Annual Kazakhstan – US Convention.

A team including APCO, the Eurasia Foundation and BRC Imagination Arts has been selected to design, build and operate the USA Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017.

US Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol, has been announced as Commissioner of the USA Pavilion. Astana organizers state that 90% of site construction is completed and some countires are already in their spaces starting to install their exhibits.

DUBAI 2020

British Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that the UK will participate in Dubai Expo 2020, adding the UK to a list of six other countries that have committed, with many more anticipated. Expo organizers  expect to ultimately sign 180 countries.

May met with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai at the annual gathering of GCC leaders. Dubai Airports is now an official supporter of Dubai Expo 2020 and will work with the Expo 2020 team and airport stakeholders to create an Expo experience inside the airport to entice transfer passengers to return or stopover. The Expo hopes to attract 70% of its visitors from overseas, which is an unusual attendance model for a world’s fair.

2022-23 HOPEFULS

The city of Lodz, Poland submitted a bid for Expo 2022 on June 15, 2016, and the deadline for competing bids is coming up on December 15. Minnesota plans to bid before the deadline to be considered as the host for Expo 2023.

MarkRitchieFaceTimeThe US Department of Commerce has recommended national recognition for a Minnesota 2023 Expo and the State Department has certified that Minnesota’s bid is eligible for consideration by the Bureau International des Exhibitions (BIE). Their findings have been forwarded to the White House.

Minnesota’s plans hinge on the US rejoining the BIE and there are efforts in Congress to make that happen. Mark Ritchie, Minnesota World’s Fair President & CEO, announced today (Dec 9, 2016): “President Obama has just issued memos to the US State and Commerce Departments announcing his formal recognition of our bid to host the 2023 World’s Fair and instructing the State Department to notify the BIE of his decision. This action should trigger the submission of our Letter of Candidature next week.”


Toronto has dropped out of the running to host Expo 2025, but the BIE has just received the candidature of France to organize the Universal Exhibition 2025 in Paris. France has chosen as its theme “Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for our Planet.” The exhibition would take place from May 1 to October 30, 2025. Any other country wishing to bid on the opportunity to host a 2025 world’s fair has until May 22, 2017 to apply. Osaka, Japan has indicated an interest in competing. Osaka last had a world’s fair in 1970 which was the second most attended in history.

See James Ogul’s free online book, “Tales from the Expo” published on this site.

Jim Ogul
Jim Ogul
Since retiring from the US State Department in 2011 after a 30+ year career in world expos, James Ogul ([email protected]) has remained on the scene in an advisory and consulting role. He writes regularly for InPark Magazine about world’s fairs. See his free online book, Tales From the Expo.

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