It’s an event that organisers are not only describing as the “world’s greatest show” but also as the largest event to have ever taken place in the Arab world. In little over a year, Expo 2020 Dubai welcomes its first visitors and the authorities are moving at full steam in order to get the massive 1083 acre site completed in time for the grand opening on 20th October 2020.
Over the course of the six-month mega-event, organisers are expecting to welcome in excess of 25 million visitors – 70 per cent of whom will have come from overseas. Those visitors will be expecting to visit some of the specially created pavillions from the 192 countries taking part in the World Expo while soaking up entertainment from 60 different live shows taking place every single day or dining in one of the 200+ onsite eateries.
Dubai might already be one of the most iconic cities in the world but its rulers are hoping Expo 2020 will amp up its popularity with global visitors to a whole new level and drive growth and development for years to come. But if Expo 2020 is to be a success then organisers will need an army of volunteers to hep it run smoothly and give visitors a warm welcome.
How big an army? Well, organisers are currently trying to recruit more than 30,000 volunteers who, all combined, will provide 16+ million volunteering hours over the 173 days of the Expo.
While the organising team will be especially keen to attract as many local Emirati volunteers as possible, they’re also going to need lots of expat residents to give up their time as well. And seeing that Emirates airline is not only the official airline of Expo 2020 but also a so-called Premier Partner, it stands to reason that some of its 20,000 strong international cabin crew community get involved.
Emirates is no stranger to offering up cabin crew to help out at major events – from the US Open tennis grand slam to the Dubai World Cup horse races and the FA Cup football tournament.
But the cabin crew who attend those particular events are just a small cadre of specially selected staffers who form the airline’s special Promotions team. Emirates will need to find a whole lot more cabin crew willing to give up their time…
Which is why the airline is now offering all its crew the opportunity to be an Expo 2020 volunteer and in doing so “be a part of history.” The opportunity does, however, come with a big catch. After all, this is a voluntary position so anyone who puts their hand up to take part will be expected to do so in their own time, unpaid.
For cabin crew, that means committing to a minimum of 14-days special unpaid leave or utilising an annual leave allowance. Insiders aren’t said to be overwhelmed with the ‘opportunity’.
Emirates will be playing a major role at Expo 2020 – the airline is constructing its own huge 3,300sqm pavilion which is designed to “reflect the dynamic lines of aircraft wings ready to take flight.”
“The aim for our pavilion is very much in line with that of Expo 2020 Dubai, to stimulate connections, create experiences and foster creativity and innovation, inspiring a commitment for a better future,” explained the chief executive and chairman of Emirates, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum when designs of the Pavillion were unveiled in April.
“The forward-thinking experiences will highlight the best that is yet to come in aviation, and will be a platform to showcase how important mobility is for the world today and in the future,” he continued.
Emirates has also installed special Expo 2020 liveries on 40 aircraft in its fleet in order to “spread awareness” of the event around the world, while a special Expo channel is now playing on its in-flight entertainment system and front line staffers are now wearing large Expo 2020 badges on their uniforms.