Let the countdown recommence: Dubai prepares for Expo 2020

A drone shot of the 1,000-acre Expo site in Dubai South.

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(CNN)Organizers of Expo 2020 Dubai have said they are committed to the global event, exactly one year ahead of its opening.

The first world exposition to take place in the Middle East had been due to open this month in Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
New images of the Expo site, in the south of the city, show pavilions near completion and thoroughfares laid out ready to welcome what organizers had hoped would be up to 25 million visitors across the Expo's six-month duration. More than 190 countries are expected to be represented at the Expo, which is now set to take place between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
Al Wasl Dome, the canopy above a central hub of the Expo site, will live on after the event ends in 2022.
The event's theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" is based around mobility, sustainability and opportunity, with pavilions for each subject designed by Foster + Partners, Grimshaw Architects and AGi Architects respectively. The prestigious task of designing the UAE National Pavilion fell to Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Over 210 million work hours have gone into the initiative so far, say organizers, with efforts in 2020 focusing on landscaping and completing Expo-owned buildings. Construction of national pavilions will be finalized by the end of December, according to a press release.