DUBAI // On Friday, there were exactly 2,020 days until the Expo 2020 Dubai exhibition begins.

So, to mark this occasion, the organisers encouraged people to write their hopes and wishes for the event on glowing LED balls, which were then cascaded into the lake around Dubai Fountain.

Thousands gathered in the Downtown Dubai area to watch the spectacle, which commenced exactly 8.20pm — or 20:20 in the 24-hour clock.

“I wish the very best for Dubai and I believe Expo 2020 will bring new and dynamic business innovation,” said Ravi Gurang from Nepal.

Rianne Ali, from the UK, said: “I hope the UAE becomes the leader in sustainability for a more eco-friendly future.”

Dubai-based Wael El Hafiz wrote: “I wish the environment to be better and believe Expo 2020 can make this change.”

The organisers of the expo also unveiled two interactive exhibitions, which will travel the country as part of the For Everyone campaign.

These will be stationed at Dubai Mall and Jumeirah Beach Residences — The Beach until Saturday, April 18, before heading off to the other emirates. They will display the history of world expos and fairs, from the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 right up to the Expo 2020 in Dubai. They will also include interactive screens and motion-controlled sensor displays.

Also, three sculptures in the shape of the current Expo 2020 logo will be on display in April at Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Mall and JBR — The Walk. Each sculpture has an interactive screen allowing visitors to learn more about the project and share their thoughts on social media.