SUBTITLE: And the kids are off school, again!
So the city was successful in its bid to host the Expo 2020, making Dubai the toast of Paris (where voting was held on Wednesday night). And, it was really quite amazing how celebratory it all felt, especially given the fact that half the people out partying will probably have moved away long before 2020.
(And I do wonder how many actually knew what the Expo is – but that’s the Expo factor for you, and anything that causes a nation to erupt in joy is a good thing in my books.)
It was just before 8pm when the Expo spirit took hold of me. As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been writing about it at work for months so I did have much more than a passing interest. But, all of a sudden, as the results of the second round of voting came in – and Dubai emerged as the clear leader – a plan started taking shape in my mind.
“Let’s go to the Burj,” I blurted out to DH. “C’mon, if we go now, we can do it.” He looked at me dubiously, as though I was totally bonkers. Not only would there be thousands of people, but the traffic was likely to be horrendous.
“I’ll just get ready,” I added.
“No,” he countered. “If you really want to do this, we have to go right now.”
With the radio on in the car, we made our way towards the Burj Khalifa, the centerpiece of the planned fireworks display. “What if we don’t win?” we wondered. “They’ll just put the fireworks away until New Year,” I shrugged.
But, to be honest, by now, it was in the bag and as the announcement neared, I realised there was no way we’d get to the Burj in time. We’d be in the Dubai Mall car park and miss everything, so I had my second bright idea of the night – to pull off the side of the road, onto the sand, and watch from there.
The view was great – breathtaking even. And as the spectacular fireworks cascaded up and down the Burj, and bursts of colour exploded into the starry sky, I did feel proud – for a few moments, until I realised dozens of other cars were careering off Al Khail road with the same idea as us, and I was standing in a rather precarious position, like a deer caught in the headlights and amid much celebratory beeping of horns.
But, still, I’ll always remember where I was when the Expo 2020 win was announced.