Expo 2020 Dubai will open with a spectacular ceremony featuring hundreds of performers in a show to be broadcast live around the world.
The 90-minute performance on Thursday, September 30, will set the scene for the six-month world fair.
With just two weeks to go before the October 1 launch, organisers released a series of images of dancers and performers.
“The opening ceremony is a breathtaking experience. It is not something that I can explain through words," said Amna Abulhoul, executive creative director of events and entertainment.
"It will trigger something inside you, something that will make you feel that you are ready to change the world.”
Costumes and projections will reflect the diverse nature and landscapes of the UAE, organisers said, while the entire ceremony "personifies Expo’s theme and purpose to connect minds and create the future, with more than 1,000 performers and technical crew, drawn from the UAE and around the world, coming together to make the magic happen".
Mounir Cherkaoui, a performer and choreographer from Morocco, has been rehearsing for more than three months. Inspired to take up dance after watching Michael Jackson as a young boy, he described the show as a “piece of art”.
“I meet a lot of people at Expo and that’s what makes me happy. I meet different nationalities, different knowledge, different mentalities," he said.
"We are friends, we are family that’s what I like … I can’t tell you about the show, it’s a secret, but I can tell you that it’s a piece of art. I’m so happy to dance and to be a part of this project."
Expo 2020 is being billed as the "largest event ever in the Arab world", spread over 182 days of celebration in the year of the country’s Golden Jubilee.