Meeting global superstar Lionel Messi at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza

UAE school students score opportunity of a lifetime: meeting global superstar Lionel Messi at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza


DUBAI, 18 February 2020 – Ten lucky school students from across the UAE became the envy of millions of sports fans with a rare chance to meet one of the greatest athletes in the world, Expo 2020 Dubai ambassador Lionel Messi, at the Expo 2020 site.


Selected in a random draw held by the Expo School Programme, the students accompanied by their teachers met the international football superstar at Dubai’s next architectural marvel, Al Wasl Plaza, which will become the centrepiece of Expo 2020 when it opens its doors on 20 October 2020.


Messi, one of the most-decorated footballers in the history of the game, visited the site of The World’s Greatest Show of human achievement and brilliance to lead the students on a tour of Al Wasl Plaza, take pictures with them and sign souvenirs and memorabilia, including footballs and football boots. He was joined by Expo 2020 mascots Rashid and Latifa.


Lionel Messi said: “It was very enjoyable to meet and spend time with the students – their generation will provide the next superstars in sport and many other walks of life, leading us all to an optimistic new future driven by innovation, sustainability and global collaboration as will be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai.


“I’m delighted to be working with Expo 2020, which is putting youth at the centre of its vision and mission. Like everyone, I will be thrilled to visit Expo 2020 after it opens in October to see for myself the many innovations, live shows, international dishes, arts and cultures from more than 190 countries as the world’s leading showcase of human brilliance and achievement.”


The record-breaking six-time winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or and current FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, Messi is Argentina’s all-time top scorer, and as captain of the national side, has led the South American country to three major tournament finals, including the FIFA World Cup in 2014 when he was voted best player of the tournament.


Through the Expo School Programme, millions of visits are expected from school students from across the UAE who will experience the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, and the largest event ever held in the Arab World, when it opens its doors for six months from 20 October 2020.


The students who met Messi came from the Australian International School, Rashid Bin Saeed School, Al Jahiz Girls School, Omar bin Al Khattab School and Al Saada School.




About Expo 2020 Dubai


Expo 2020 Dubai will bring together millions of people for The World’s Greatest Show, celebrating human brilliance and achievement under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

  • The six months from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 will be a moment in time to be part of an unparalleled event. We are extending a warm Emirati welcome to the world:
    • 25 million visits are expected, with many visitors expected to come more than once
    • 70 per cent of visitors anticipated to come from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 169-year history of World Expos
  • An entertaining global celebration with something for everyone, Expo 2020 will wow visitors with 60 daily events across 173 days, showcasing the best of music, technology, creativity and culture, while 200 F&B outlets will feature famous chefs and cuisine from every corner of the world
  • Expo 2020 will be an endless journey of discovery. Visitors will have access to the latest innovations and breakthroughs, with more than 200 participants – including 192 nations, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational institutions – coming together to highlight real-life solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges
  • Expo 2020’s sub-themes of OpportunityMobility and Sustainability will inspire visitors to make a conscious effort to think and live differently, and give them renewed optimism that, through collaboration, it is possible to make a lasting change to the world
  • The first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) will be located on a 4.38 sqkm site adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South

Media Accreditation and Media Information System, Tawassul

Expressions of interest for Expo 2020 Media Accreditation are still open via the Media Information System, Tawassul.

Tawassul is regularly updated, providing the latest content assets, including press releases, photographs, audio and video, the electronic media kit, and information on broadcast and photography operations. It also provides you with important information and updates on facilities and services such as media accreditation, relevant visa information for international accredited media and permits.

To kick off your journey with Expo 2020, please ensure that you:

  1. Register to access Tawassul at

  1. Once registered, submit an Expo 2020 Media Accreditation expression of interest. To attend Expo 2020 or cover Expo 2020 remotely using content and assets generated by Expo, you must be accredited.

For support, contact Expo 2020 Dubai’s Media Operations team at or +971 56 689 2101.


Follow: Twitter: @expo2020dubai | Facebook: @Expo2020Dubai | Instagram: expo2020dubai


About World Expos


In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.

World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s