Right after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, World Expo is the third- most important and influential event in the world. Just like the other grand events, Dubai World Expo 2020 has relevant mascots to represent the theme and ideas behind “the world’s greatest show.”
Dubai is already considered to be a city from the future and since winning the right to host the World Expo in 2020, it has even more opportunities for further transformation as it becomes one of the largest international transportation hubs. Keeping all the progression in view, the expo will be represented by five mascots, three of which are robots.
Meet tha mascots of the Dubai World Expo 2020
TicketsToDo presents to you a closer look at the mascots of the Dubai World Expo 2020, unveiled last year at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Here is everything you need to know about, the now famous, FIVE.
Rashid and Latifa are two children who represent the Emirati population. The three remaining mascots are robots each representing the sub-themes of the Expo. The face of the expo is a magical tree, symbolizing the Ghaf tree which is the national tree of the UAE. Named “Salama,” this tree serves as “a grandma,” guiding and protecting these children along their adventures. The creators of these characters said the process of creating these mascots took eight months and every part of the mascots – from their names to their clothes – is meant to embody different aspects of the UAE’s culture and traditions.
A nine-year-old boy who loves nature and amazing tales is one of the mascots of this six-month-long event. He deeply cares for the environment and enjoys poetry, drawing, riddles and family tales that have been passed down through generations.
Eight-year-old Latifa is Rashid’s sister, an inquisitive girl who dreams of becoming one of the world’s greatest inventors. This chatty kid loves to play with her chemistry set and oftentimes disassembles electronics. She is keen to share her knowledge with others and is always looking for an opportunity to learn something new.
While the two children represent the Emirati population, the robots are said to be independent of any nationalities. It was deliberately done so, so that the non-Emirati population would not feel excluded since they are as much a part of the UAE.
The name is derived from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. A blue robot, Alif represents the subtheme of Mobility and is designed to help people move from one place to another by changing its shape. It signifies our relationship with technology. The wings of ‘Mobility’ are attached to a powered jet-backpack that give Rashid and Latifa the power to fly high.
Derived from the word ‘opportunity’, this orange robot, Opti, represents the subtheme of Opportunity and is designed to create golden opportunities for people. It also signifies human relationship with each other. The watch of ‘Opportunity’ will allow Rashid and Latifa to travel to any place and time so that they may explore the stories of history and future.
Derived from the Latin word for Earth, this green robot, Terra represents the subtheme of Sustainability and signifies our relationship with nature. The goggles of ‘sustainability’ have the power to reveal all aspects of an environment – from animal and insects to water and wind. These goggles can figure out even the smallest details of nature.
The Magical Tree
This tree is “Salama” (meaning ‘peace’ in Arabic), a desert-dwelling Ghaf tree overlooking the Expo 2020 site. The tree was preserved during the construction and is now the face of the Expo.
The Ghaf tree is the national tree of the UAE and though it is not necessarily a mascot, the tree’s underlying significance is powerful. The city’s ancestors have long found respite in the shade of the Ghaf tree. Salama epitomizes this spirit of giving, which remains one of the fundamentals of Emirati culture today for the 200+ nationalities that reside in the UAE. Millions of visitors to the Expo 2020 will experience the famous hospitality for which the nation is known.
This tree also represents the deep-rooted values upon which the UAE was built. These values are stability, tolerance, and resilience even in harsh conditions. Another use of this tree is to draw focus on environmental protection. The two siblings, Rashid and Latifa draw inspiration from the wisdom of Salama. This magical character is hundreds of years old and is brilliant in storytelling as she has extensive knowledge of UAE history and culture.
Under Salama’s watchful eye, Rashid and Latifa go on an exciting adventure guided by the robots, Alif, Opti and Terra who represent the three subthemes of the Expo 2020– Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. These robots as mascots highlight technological innovations and advancement while these kids, supported with ‘special gear’ correspond to the three Expo subthemes. During their journey, Rashid and Latifa must unlock Salama’s secrets, explore the world-changing inventions revealed at the past World Expos and discover all about Expo 2020 and the amazing legacy it will leave behind.
A series of short films starring the mascots will be released later this year, each focusing on an Expo subtheme.