If you are constantly updating yourself with the current happenings on Chinese soil, you probably are aware of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. All set to open on May 1st, this six-month long event is touted to have over 70 million visitors. The $2.6billion event is the largest in China and has prompted a city-wide makeover that has cost an estimated $45billion! Work is in full swing at the Expo site, which spans 5.28 sq km on both banks of the Huangpu river (covering the equivalent of almost 1,000 football pitches), to be ready in time for the opening. The Shanghai Expo hopes to resuscitate the once-grand tradition of international gatherings that began with London’s Great Exhibition in 1851. Wen Jiabao, the country’s premier, has described the event as fulfilling a 100-year-old dream. Visitors planning on checking out this Expo can expect to be welcomed by sites such as buildings shaped like rabbits and apples, Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid on show, and violin-playing robots. The expo has generated a lot of curiosity among residents who queue up almost every day to peer through the 10-foot-high wire fence towards the distant Chinese pavilion.
Rumors suggest that Saudi Arabia’s display at this Expo is the most expensive, with a reported budget of $164m. It includes imported date palms and a 1,600 square meter cinema screen. In fact, all various countries are gearing up with various offerings for visitors at this one-of0a0kind grand expo.
Will the Expo give the world another iconic structure like the Eiffel Tower? We will have to wait and watch.