Crowds gather near Dubai Mall as Expo 2020 bid result nears


By Muaz Shabandri

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