LANDMARKS across the United Arab Emirates have been glowing yellow as they are lit up to mark the opening today of Expo 2020 Dubai – a ceremony that will be live-streamed to more than 400 locations across the country.

And as the fireworks illuminate the night sky over UAE, a Scottish ­university is preparing to showcase its 200-year history of developing ­research and innovation that contributes to and drives forward solutions to global challenges.

Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt ­University will be taking part in the postponed Expo 2020, which had been hit by the pandemic It is expected to attract 25 million visits from around the world for a six-month celebration of ­creativity, innovation, humanity, and world cultures.

The event, which is taking place for the first time in the Middle East, is due to host more than 190 countries, and will provide a global platform to showcase Scottish – and British – ­innovation.

During the six months of Expo 2020, the UK Pavilion’s theme is ­“Innovating for a Shared Future”, where Heriot-Watt will display work from its global innovation and ­research institutes, focusing on how artificial intelligence (AI), ­robotics, net zero, energy and health are ­shaping the world of tomorrow.

The university will host a day-long Future Skills Conference on ­December 8, providing an ­inspirational line up of its world-leading academics and industry experts.

It will explore purposeful ­education, industries and jobs of the future, alongside the skills, lifelong ­learning and the entrepreneurial mindsets needed from the global workforce to grow future economies.

“For 170 years, World Expos have provided a platform from which to showcase the greatest innovations that have shaped or will change the world we live in,” said Dr ­Gillian ­Murray, the university’s deputy ­principal ­(enterprise and business).

“That’s why Heriot-Watt University is proud to be a supporting partner of the UK at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

“Taking part in Expo 2020 demonstrates our continued commitment to sharing our expertise and working with global business partners to ­create impactful and relevant lifelong learning opportunities to develop ­‘future made’ graduates.

“For Heriot-Watt to be one of four UK partners at this global gathering is a golden opportunity to showcase our expertise.

“We’re excited to be ­launching ­major new initiatives during Expo 2020, ­supporting education ­opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional learners.

“We are committed to the delivery of high-quality education in the UAE regions, from our established ­campus and our state-of-the-art facility at Dubai Knowledge Park.

“Through these unique facilities for students and research delivery, we will continue to make an outstanding impact for society.”

Simon Penney, trade ­commissioner for the Middle East and the UK’s consul general in Dubai, added: “It is great to have Heriot-Watt University as a partner of the UK at Expo 2020 Dubai having had such success here in the UAE for over 15 years.

“With over 40% of international schools in the world using the British curriculum, UK education expertise is in high demand.”

Meanwhile, UAE authorities have unblocked internet calls for visitors to the Expo 2020 site, Reuters has ­reported. Most of the applications use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, a system that allows free ­internet-to-internet voice and video calls through WhatsApp, Skype and other apps, which were previously blocked in the UAE.