Artists and performers from many countries kicked off the first day of Dubai Expo 2020 on Friday.
More than 190 nations are using their pavilions to spotlight their greatest tourist attractions, discoveries and ambitions.
This year's Expo is unfolding as the virus continues to course across the world, with untold numbers still working and studying remotely — and connecting to the world virtually.
It's unclear how many visitors Dubai can attract, and how much the Expo will stimulate its tourism-driven economy — especially in the blistering early autumn heat, which on Friday caused tempers to flare, some visitors to faint and most people to sweat through their shirts.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed Expo 2020 back a year and may affect how many people flock to the United Arab Emirates. But the six-month-long exhibition still offers Dubai a momentous opportunity to showcase its unique East-meets-West appeal as a place where all are welcome for business.