DUBAI – An exciting portal has been opened to a new virtual experience, with players and students around the globe now able to explore Expo 2020 Dubai via immersive Minecraft worlds, thanks to a collaboration between Expo 2020 and Microsoft – and the feedback has already been overwhelmingly positive.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Minecraft experience presents a unique, first-of-its-kind exploration of a World Expo. The offering allows a global community to interact with Expo 2020 content and experiences in a manner that leverages both their interest and digital fluency, and share the excitement surrounding the first World Expo held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

On the Minecraft Marketplace, players go on adventures through Expo 2020, allowing them to see the world in one place with more than 190 countries represented. The Expo 2020 Minecraft world recreates pavilions and features of the site, whose scale is roughly twice the size of the Principality of Monaco. Players explore this rich world, going on quests and treasure hunts through Expo’s themed districts – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – as well as journeying back in time to visit previous World Expos.

Additionally, the Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE), aimed at students from kindergarten to grade 12, offers lesson plans for teachers to use in their classrooms, allowing students the chance to further explore Expo 2020 Dubai’s subthemes and the ways in which they can build a more sustainable world. Lesson topics range from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to culture and the study of migration. All lessons link back to the Expo 2020 world, whether as part of an activity asking students to build something new inside the site, or conducting research on some of the structures and pavilions.

Rehan Asad, Chief Programme Officer, Expo 2020, said: “The Microsoft and Expo 2020 collaboration is part of a wider Virtual Expo ecosystem that will allow visitors, for the first time, to digitally discover and immerse themselves in a World Expo. Through Minecraft and other digital platforms, virtual visitors will be able to curate their Expo experiences, allowing them to connect with Expo’s subthemes through learning, play and an appreciation for a new generation of digital connectedness.”

Ihsan Anabtawi, Chief Operating and Marketing Officer, Microsoft UAE, said: “We are very excited to be working with Expo 2020 Dubai on this unique project, which at its core will help connect minds and create the future in line with Expo 2020’s theme. Minecraft is a much-loved and recognised game and Minecraft: Education Edition is a highly effective, game based learning platform. By putting both into the service of Expo, we are delighted to make a contribution to bringing Expo’s spirit to the world.”

Since Expo’s Opening Ceremony on 30 September, 8.2 million people have visited Virtual Expo on its platforms. Building on a promise made in 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that Expo 2020 Dubai would deliver the most advanced virtual experience ever for a World Expo, Virtual Expo is an exciting representation of the physical event that visitors can easily access and interact with away from anywhere in the world.

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