As anticipation builds for EXPO 2025 Osaka, the next chapter of the major global event held every five years, we take a moment to delve into some of the rich history of World Expos—a hub for global ideas, innovation, and culture since 1851.

Drawing from our experience as F&B master planners for Expo 2020 Dubai, and our ongoing role as lead F&B consultants for the thriving development that now exists on the event’s original site, we also outline the major role that F&B plays in shaping the guest experience, both during the event and for the communities that inhabit these venues after these monumental six-month events conclude.

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World Expos, also known as World's Fairs or Universal Expositions, are large international events designed to showcase the achievements of participating nations.

Captivating audiences since the first expo was held in London's Crystal Palace in 1851, with highlights such as the debut of the Eiffel Tower at the 1889 Paris Expo and the introduction of the telephone at the 1876 Philadelphia Expo, these grand events showcase the latest advancements in technology, art, culture, and of course, food!

These grand events showcase the latest advancements in technology, as well as art, culture, and of course, food!


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  • Pavilions – Exhibition spaces where countries, organisations, and companies showcase their innovations, culture, and achievements. Pavilions often feature interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and informational exhibits.

  • Cultural Performances and Events – A diverse range of cultural performances are showcased, including music, dance, theatre, and art installations, celebrating the cultural diversity of participating countries and regions.

  • Food and Beverage (F&B) Offerings – F&B is an essential component of World Expos, with a wide range of culinary experiences available to visitors.

  • Innovation and Technology Exhibits – The latest innovations and technologies from around the world, highlighting breakthroughs in areas such as science, engineering, sustainability, and design.

  • Conferences and Forums – Expo organisers often host conferences, seminars, and forums where experts, policymakers, and industry leaders discuss key issues related to the expo's theme. These events provide opportunities for knowledge exchange, networking, and collaboration.

  • Thematic Districts – Many events are organised around specific themes or topics, with thematic districts dedicated to different aspects of the theme.

  • Legacy Projects – Legacy projects aim to create positive, long-term impacts on the local community and economy and include infrastructure improvements, urban development projects, and cultural initiatives.


Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme was "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future," with a focus on opportunity, mobility, and sustainability. Its legacy strategy aimed to create long-term benefits through sustainable development, economic impact, cultural exchange, and educational programs.

Similarly, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, themed "Designing Future Society for Our Lives," continues this mission by emphasising sustainable, human-centric solutions, international collaboration, and innovation to improve global quality of life.

“Our objective was to showcase our culture, history, and innovations to the world, and take back ideas with us to study for the next few years to host Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai. 

In interviews following Japan’s participation at Expo 2020, Aiko Yabunaka, Secretary General of the Japan Pavilion commented on the desire to draw crucial insights from its involvement.


Importantly, Japan faces the exact same challenge as the UAE in its need to transform the major purpose-built event space into a functional and vibrant space for future communities. Historically, this has been achieved to varying degrees of success. Several sites have been repurposed and integrated into their host cities, while others have faced criticism for their lack of purpose or underutilisation after the event.

Japan’s post-expo redevelopment of the site is hoped to generate economic opportunities and stimulate growth in the region. And just as we’ve seen through our involvement at Expo City Dubai—the new mixed-used development that operates on the event’s site—providing a strong F&B component is crucial to incentivising investment and entrepreneurship; attracting new businesses and industries; and creating job opportunities for residents.


Food has always been one of the most powerful gateways to understanding different societies, and a catalyst for social interaction.

At World Expos, F&B often takes centre stage, offering visitors a taste of diverse cuisines and food traditions from each corner of the globe, while providing the backdrop for important discussions and interactions between attendees. From street food vendors to fine dining establishments, these events celebrate the universal language of food, fostering connections and fostering a sense of unity among visitors.

Moreover, F&B is crucial to the commercial success of these events as well as individual pavilions, serving as a magnet for foot traffic, encouraging repeat visitation and enticing visitors to spend longer within the event’s venue’s ecosystem.



As F&B Masterplanners, we understand the pivotal role that F&B plays in creating vibrant and sustainable communities. Our approach goes beyond mere logistics; we build roadmaps for creating inclusive spaces that cater to diverse needs and preferences, as well as support the viability and profitability of venues for stakeholders for generations to come.

In the context of Expo 2020, TGP delivered a comprehensive F&B master plan that aligned with the event's overarching goals. Recognising the importance of food and drink venues in driving footfall and enhancing visitor experiences, we sought to integrate F&B offerings seamlessly into the venue’s fabric.

From curated dining experiences to innovative food concepts, our master plan transformed Expo 2020 into a major dining destination for local and international visitors alike, showcasing the culinary richness of the host nation.

Moreover, we believe F&B serves as a cornerstone of sustainable growth and economic prosperity across all the projects we work on. When executed well, robust F&B strategies can provide long-term sustainable business models for entire developments, as well as produce life-changing opportunities for millions of individuals.



As we look ahead to EXPO 2025 Osaka, it's clear that F&B will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the event's success. From iconic innovations to cultural exchanges, food has the power to transcend boundaries and unite people from all walks of life.

With organisations like TGP leading the way in F&B master planning, we can expect EXPO 2025 to be a culinary extravaganza that leaves a lasting legacy on both the city of Osaka and the global community. So, as we prepare to embark on this gastronomic journey, let's savour every moment and celebrate the rich tapestry of flavours that make our world truly extraordinary.

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