Two Emirati children have been named as the mascots of Expo 2020, joined by three robots. Latifa, aged 8 and her brother Rashid, aged 9 will represent the UAE during the highly anticipated event next year.
The great reveal
Latifa and Rashid were announced at an event on Thursday 26th September witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The three robots were also introduced, with the organisers explaining their role in the event. Each robot represents one of the Expo’s main themes, these being opportunity, mobility, and sustainability.
Whilst the two children chosen as mascots are Emirati nationals, the robots were deliberately created without a nationality.
Creative Director of Ceremonies for the event, Amna Abulhoul, said that the premise behind this is to reflect the inclusivity of all nationalities during the Expo 2020.
Naming the robots
With a similar appearance to Star Wars’ BB-8 character, the robotic creations represent Dubai’s prowess in the world of technology and innovation.
During an 8 month project, makers of the mascots took care to design the robots’ features in accordance with the UAE’s cultures and traditions.
Names with meaning were chosen for the robots, with Alif, Opti and Terra being selected. Alif is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Opti as in the word ‘opportunity’ and Terra being the Latin word for Earth.
Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the higher committee of the Expo 2020 Dubai, talked about the purpose of the mascots during.
He said they were designed to strengthen the emotional to the event, bringing the spirit of Expo to life.
He also commented that they would, ‘reflect the traditional storytelling of the region, highlighting our belief that when we come together, we can achieve great things.’
You can see the mascots in public soon, in the form of advertisements and on buses. Next year, official merchandise will also be available.