Columns/Interviews

Getting to Know the Expo

#4

[Japan Pavilion PR ambasador WAKATSUKI Yumi×UAE exchange students]
The Next Generation’s Talk on the Expo:
A Place to Find Your Dream and Create the Future!

The Next Generation’s Talk on the Expo: A Place to Find Your Dream and Create the Future! The Next Generation’s Talk on the Expo: A Place to Find Your Dream and Create the Future!

Expo 2020 Dubai is set to open in October. But what actually is an expo? And what kind of place is Dubai in the United Arab Emirates? How is it connected to Japan? If you are asking yourself these sorts of questions, you are not alone! In these articles, we try to find some of the answers by hearing from people involved in the Dubai Expo.

We first spoke with the actress Yumi Wakatsuki, who has close connections with Dubai and is helping to spread the word about the city from her unique perspective, and also five exchange students in Japan who were born and raised in the UAE. Wakatsuki and the students serve as ambassadors for the Japan Pavilion and come from the generation of people now in their teens and twenties who will shape the future of the world. What does the expo seem like to them?

WAKATSUKI Yumi

Japan Pavilion PR ambasador
Actress

WAKATSUKI Yumi

Abdulla Almansoori

Japan Pavilion PR ambasador
Tokai University

Abdulla Almansoori

Abdulla Alhosani

Japan Pavilion PR ambasador
Tokai University

Abdulla Alhosani

Rashed Alberi

Japan Pavilion PR ambasador
Tokai University Takanawadai
Senior High School

Rashed Alberi

Abdulla Alshkheili

Japan Pavilion PR ambasador
Tokai University Takanawadai
Senior High School

Abdulla Alshkheili

Khalifa Alsanadi

Japan Pavilion PR ambasador
Tokai University Takanawadai
Senior High School

Khalifa Alsanadi

Japan and the UAE, Two Nations Linked by Cultures of Hospitality

Yumi Wakatsuki

It is a great honor to be selected as a Japan Pavilion PR ambassador for the expo in Dubai, a city that I love! When I previously visited Dubai, I was able to see the venue while it was under construction. The scale of it and the sheer number of people involved left a big impression on me. Around the city, I was also amazed by the shapes and sizes of many of the buildings. I couldn’t help but wonder just how on earth people managed to make them! In Japan, we don’t have the chance to see such artistic and immense sights.

Abdulla Almansoori

Yes, buildings in Japan are very long and thin. Though not small per se, even the buildings in the cities and the underground malls feel compact. Unlike in the UAE, one building in Japan may also have lots of manufacturers and brands, which is very convenient when shopping. Another thing is that Japanese people are very friendly and this really puts you at your ease. I started learning Japanese at kindergarten, so I can speak the language. When I first came to Japan, however, I was too embarrassed to speak much. But if I actually tried speaking with people, I could have conversations and things became more fun. I feel so fortunate to be studying Japanese.

Wakatsuki

People are also very friendly in the UAE. Customer service is very good and people are really considerate of others. At my hotel during my stay in Dubai, not only was the room immaculately clean, they had prepared towels for me in the shape of an elephant. Through their hospitality, they wanted to ensure my trip was enjoyable. I was so delighted with the towels that I left a note saying thank you. And then a message came back: “You’re welcome.” Even without ever speaking directly, I felt how friendly they were.

Encounters Across Borders, Working Together to Create the Future

Wakatsuki

The theme of the Dubai Expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” The word “connecting” here conveys a sense of people and friendliness, since connecting requires another person to connect with. An expo is something that gives us hope for the future: people from around the world come together across national and regional borders to do one thing.

Abdulla Alhosani

Yes, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” expresses the hope that we can create a better future if the whole world cooperates. The Japan Pavilion’s theme, “Where ideas meet,” also feels very appropriate for a world expo, which is a place where different kinds of people gather together to suggest ideas, and then these ideas are shown to the entire world.

Wakatsuki

Talking of the Japan Pavilion, I remember the aquarium inside the Dubai Mall that has the biggest tank in the world. Perhaps only in Dubai could people think of building something of that size inside a shopping mall! The glass used for the tank is actually made in Japan. I remember thinking that this was a great example of “where ideas meet.” I get excited just imagining the even more incredible things that countries will be able to make by joining forces through technology after the expo is over. I also heard that the complex design of the Japan Pavilion architecture is inspired by origami, which is really intriguing.

Abdulla Alshkheili

I have yet to see the actual Japan Pavilion, so I am really looking forward to that. Whenever I go to another country, I like collecting the country’s flag, emblem, and other symbols. Now that countries and regions from across the globe will all be coming to Dubai, I can’t wait to build up my collection at the expo.

Khalifa Alsanadi

At the expo, I want to learn more about the culture of Japan and the rest of the world.

Taking Pride with Our Children and Grandchildren in the Future We Made

Rashed Alberi

I’m looking forward not only to the Dubai Expo but also witnessing the vision of the future on display at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, which is the next expo after Dubai. The theme of the Osaka-Kansai Expo is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.” Like the Dubai Expo, it isn’t just about the near future but also looks ahead to the far future. I’m certain that all our efforts at the Dubai Expo will lead to the amazing image of the future we will see at the Osaka-Kansai Expo. Years from now, I hope we can take pride in the future we helped make when showing our children and grandchildren.

Almansoori

I also think the Osaka-Kansai Expo that follows Dubai will be even better. In the UAE, Japan is particularly famous for its technology, so I’m looking forward to seeing robots and other cutting-edge tech.

Wakatsuki

At both the Dubai and Osaka-Kansai expos, I really hope that people from my generation and also those even younger—people in their teens like you students—take part. If we go on an overseas trip, we can learn about the history of that country but we can’t learn about the future. That’s why a place like a world expo is so important. Even if they’re just a little bit curious, I want young people to come and see the cutting-edge technology on display, and be inspired to do something or to use that technology to make something new. Finding your dream may happen so suddenly! I hope the expo will encourage everyone and inspire more people to work together to make a better future.

  1. TOP
  2. Getting to Know the Expo
  3. The Next Generation’s Talk on the Expo: A Place to Find Your Dream and Create the Future!

This website uses cookies to understand way to enhance users experience. See more