Crowds gather near Dubai Mall as Expo 2020 bid result nears

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By Muaz Shabandri  www.khaleejtimes.com

Counting down to the final moments of voting in Paris, nervous expressions and anxious smiles dotted the faces of a few people who had gathered at the Dubai Mall fountain area in expectation of an official announcement.

Overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa, a large screen showcased a live feed of Dubai TV.

As the voting progressed and member countries cast their choice of host city in a secret ballot, a jittery crowd waited near the screen along with a few journalists and photographers who were waiting for the big moment. A loud cheer and huge applause went up with the confirmation of Dubai’s lead after the first round of voting with 77 votes.

The crowd breathed a sigh of relief as Sao Paulo became the first city to be eliminated from the bid following the first round of voting. The second round of voting started at 7:03pm and member countries were back to voting.

Coffee shops and restaurants near the mall’s fountain were unusually busy with places filling up soon after sunset. More info