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.

Latifa is an inquisitive eight-year-old girl 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.

Her brother, nine-year-old Rashid, cares deeply for the environment and enjoys poetry, drawing, riddles and family tales passed down through the generations.

The two siblings draw inspiration from the wisdom of Salama, a desert-dwelling Ghaf tree who overlooks the Expo 2020 site and was preserved during construction. Hundreds of years old, the magical character is known for her captivating storytelling as well as her extensive knowledge of UAE history and culture.

Under Salama’s watchful eye, Latifa and Rashid go on an exciting journey guided by the robots Opti, Alif and Terra – who represent Expo 2020’s three subthemes of OpportunityMobility and Sustainability, respectively.

During their adventure, Rashid and Latifa must unlock Salama’s secrets, explore the world-changing inventions revealed at past World Expos and discover all about Expo 2020 and the amazing legacy it will leave behind.

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.

Saada Saab Antypas- akhbar.vip@hotmail.com

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