Media briefing document (November 2019)
“No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities.”
(His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE)
Therefore the UAE is a story of no limits
What this nation has achieved since the formation of the union is unbelievable
But it has always been a journey where the human being is at the centre
A story of innovation with purpose
Expo 2020 will be the perfect stage to share this inspiring story with the world
Through its subtheme of Mobility
Celebrating the relationship between humans and technology
Where human progress has no limits
Mission: Human Flight
Through Expo 2020, the programme will achieve 100 per cent autonomous human flight. Pilots from the Jetman team will perform four stunts – flying faster, higher and lower than ever before – creating a new benchmark for the world of aviation. On the team is Ahmed Alshehhi, on an inspirational yet gruelling journey to earn his wings as the UAE’s first ever Jetman and introduce himself to the world in 2020.
The milestone stunts:
- Tianmen Mountain, China (23 November 2019):
This is a unique opportunity to fly in an environment that contains both overhead and underlying obstacles. Two Jetmen will soar through the stunning Tianmen Cave, also known as ‘Heaven’s Gate’. Thanks to the topography of the landscape, the Jetmen will aim to fly as low as 50 metres above ground.
- Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE (Late November 2019):
This will be the first time a Jetman tests low-altitude flying in an urban environment. A plethora of skyscrapers line both sides of Sheikh Zayed Road, the main transport artery of Dubai, creating a manmade canyon with no option for failure. Two Jetmen will fly at about one-third of the height of the lowest buildings, before zooming towards Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai and ‘buzzing’ the world’s tallest tower.
- River Thames, London, England (Early 2020):
Bringing the future of human aviation to the city which hosted the first ever World Expo in 1851, Jetman will complete a low-altitude flight over the River Thames.
- Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE:
As part of Expo 2020 Dubai, Jetman will perform a take-off and landing stunt from the Mobility Pavilion – adding an extra touch of wonder to the World’s Greatest Show.
What is Mission: Human Flight?
Mission: Human Flight is a programme launched by Expo 2020 with the high-octane organisation XDubai to achieve 100 per cent autonomous human flight. In a series of milestone stunts, Jetmen will amaze and entertain the planet while also embarking on a journey of discovery. The mission is also preparing to introduce the first Emirati Jetman, Ahmed Alshehhi, to the world – underlining the UAE’s status as a nation of no limits.
Please can you tell us some more about the two Jetmen performing the Tianmen Mountain stunt?
Aerial partners Fred Fugen (nationality: French, born 25 July 1979) and Vince Reffet (nationality: French, born: 15 September 1984) boast an impressive list of accomplishments in the world of extreme sports. Their achievements together include a world-record, 828-metre base jump from Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, multiple Freefly world championships and a record-breaking 33,000-foot skydive and swoop over Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain.
What does it take to be a Jetman or Jetwoman?
Do you think you’ve got what it takes? As Ahmed Alshehhi is discovering, becoming a Jetman is no walk in the park (or glide in the sky).
To earn their wings, candidates must pass a fitness test and a Federal Aviation Administration medical. They must also have completed 7,000 skydives and 600 base jumps, and hold a private pilot licence.
The candidate must learn how to operate the Jetman equipment, including the wing and parachute systems plus fault-finding methods, as well as helicopter scheduling and comprehensive emergency response training.
Further skydive training, seven written exams and a solo cross-country flight are just a few more measures that any candidate needs to successfully navigate on their journey to become a Jetman or Jetwoman.
Why is Expo 2020 performing this stunt in China?
The unique beauty and topography of Tianmen Mountain provides a stunning backdrop for the Jetmen to test and showcase their aerial capabilities to the world.
What are relations like between the UAE and China?
The UAE and China share warm and historic ties.
In July 2019, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of China, in Beijing and discussed ways to strengthen relations between the two nations.
In November 2019, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took Chinese broadcaster CCTV on a tour of Dubai – discussing how Expo 2020 has taken inspiration from the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and encouraging Chinese visitors to attend the World’s Greatest Show.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, shared her thoughts on UAE-China relations last year with The National newspaper. You can read the opinion piece here.
What is Expo 2020 Dubai?
In October 2020, the UAE will welcome 192 participating countries and millions of global visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration that seeks to build a brighter tomorrow for us all.
Held under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. It expects to attract 25 million visits, equivalent to the population of Australia, to its dedicate site in Dubai South.
Sixty live performances a day, future-shaping technologies, concerts from A-list artists, daily parades, cutting-edge architecture, world-famous chefs, special celebrations including Christmas and Diwali, and more than 200 F&B outlets serving cuisines from across the globe: these are just a handful of reasons why Expo 2020 will be the World’s Greatest Show.
Expo 2020 Dubai is also introducing a number of firsts in World Expo history. For instance, it will be the first time every participating country has its own pavilion – each featuring a wealth of vivid experiences to showcase the nation, its people, culture, innovations, achievements and aspirations.
The 192 Country Pavilions, including the China Pavilion, are located not according to geography, as in previous World Expos, but instead by their chosen Expo 2020 subtheme of Opportunity, Mobility or Sustainability.
The next World Expo will underline the UAE’s status as a hospitable and inclusive connecting hub for the globe, with a rich history and culture as well as a strong vision of the future. It will also provide the perfect opportunity for the UAE to say ‘hayyakum’ (Arabic for ‘welcome’) to the world and showcase the warm Emirati hospitality for which the country is known.
We can’t wait to welcome you to our unforgettable celebration, taking place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.