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Meet the Expo 2020 Mascots

by Eddie Rayner

The Expo 2020 Mascots are finally here as they prepare to go on an exciting adventure through the World’s Greatest Show, Expo 2020 Dubai in October 2020.

They were unveiled in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Ministerof the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee, Expo 2020 Dubai; and Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Inspired by UAE’s deeply rooted history, the mascots embody nation’s true values.

One magical ghaf tree, two intrepid Emirati siblings and three helpful robo-guardians have been revealed as the mascot family for Expo 2020 Dubai, embarking on a thrilling adventure through time and space to discover the meaning behind the next World Expo.


A magical and wise ghaf tree who overlooks the Expo 2020 site. Hundreds of years old, the hospitable character is known for her captivating storytelling as well as her extensive knowledge of UAE history and culture. Salama, who has long been an inspiration to Latifa and Rashid, also enjoys posing riddles and setting challenges.


An inquisitive eight-year-old who dreams of becoming one of the world’s greatest inventors. The chatty youngster – who loves playing with her chemistry set and disassembling electronics – is keen to share her knowledge with others and always looking for an opportunity to learn something new. Latifa, younger sister of Rashid, also knows the entire periodic table off by heart.


This nine-year-old has a passion for the humanities and enjoys telling riddles, reading and writing poetry, drawing different historical eras and recounting family tales passed down through the generations. Latifa’s older brother, he is hardworking and cares deeply for the environment – although he can be a little cheeky too!

The Robots

These robots have been tasked by Salama to serve as the guardians of Expo 2020’s three subthemes. Latifa and Rashid must unlock the challenges of Opportunity (humanity’s relationship with one another), Mobility (humanity’s relationship with technology) and Sustainability (humanity’s relationship with nature).


The guardian of the Opportunity Pavilion, Opti has a heart of gold (literally) and sees excitement around every corner. The diminutive thrill-seeker finds opportunities wherever he goes, and can open portals spanning time and space.


The guardian of the Mobility Pavilion can transform into a variety of vehicles. Alif can walk, run, swim and even fly – he’s always on the move, never predictable and enjoys nothing more than a solved problem.


The guardian of the Sustainability Pavilion is a cheery green robot who helps others understand the need for balance between humans and the environment. The kind-hearted Terra is pragmatic, analytic and detailed-focused – while her nanoparticle coating enables her to blend into any environment.

The country’s ancestors have long found respite in the shade of the Ghaf tree. Salama epitomises this spirit of giving, which remains a cornerstone of Emirati culture today for the 200-plus nationalities that call the UAE home. Millions of visitors to Expo 2020 will experience the famous hospitality for which the nation is known, as they celebrate at the World’s Greatest Show.

Salama the Ghaf tree represents the deep-rooted values upon which the UAE was built – such as stability, tolerance and resilience in often harsh conditions – and in which the nation continues to flourish.

A series of short films starring the mascots will be released in the coming 12 months, each focusing on an Expo subtheme.

As the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 Dubai is set to be a milestone moment for the UAE – welcoming 192 participating nations and millions of global visitors for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

The unmissable celebration will feature at least 60 live performances per day, 200-plus dining outlets, daily parades, A-list musical acts, celebrity chefs, future-shaping tech and so much more from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.