Expo 98 in Lisbon, was a World Trade Fair hosted in Lisbon between May to September in 1998. The project brought massive investment to Lisbon’s aging infrastructure. It completely revitalized a poor district, which has since transformed into one of the trendiest areas of the capital.
It is generally considered that Expo 98 was a great success, unlike many subsequent expo events. One lasting benefit was the recognition of Portugal as an emerging industrial nation. This single event may have helped the country join the single currency of Europe.
Expo 98 in Lisbon, was planned to coincide with Portugal’ s greatest seafaring expedition – Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India in 1498. Though Expo 98 was only open for 4 months the planning and organisation started almost a decade before the event. After Expo 98 the area was transformed into Parque das Na??es (the park of nations) and is a popular tourist area with bars restaurants and the Oceanarium.
The theme chosen for Expo 98 was the world’s oceans which aligned with the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama. Water was a key feature though out the design of the exhibit halls and venues. The two people placed in charge of the celebrations were Antonio Mega Ferreira and Vasco Grama Moura. They in 1989 sort the backing of the government to fund the application to host the 98 Expo. Lisbon’s major rival during the biding was Toronto but it was awarded to Lisbon in 1992.
The construction of the Park was controlled by the state company. Parque Expo and was headed by the two commissioners, Antonio Cardoso e Cunha (1992-1997). Later due to changes in government Jose Torres Campos (1997-1998). The aim of the commission was to ensure that there was no cost to the country.
100% of the expenses in the construction were covered by the ticket sales and the revenue generated by renting of exhibit halls.
The commission delivered the entire project at minimal expenditure to the population of Portugal. Unlike the next project ‘Euro 2004’ it did not saddle the country with unneeded debt.
Before Expo 98 Lisbon’s infrastructure was greatly improved to a level to reflect a global country. Ticket prices were $34, for a one day entrance and Lisbon’s residents were given a free one day pass.
The area was closed for 6 months after expo 98. The name of the district was changed to Parque das Nacoes.
100% of the specially constructed buildings of Expo 98 were sold to developers before the Expo, so that none of the exhibit halls would be left empty.
During the 10 years after Expo, Parque das Nacoes. has transformed into one of the trendiest addresses in Lisbon. Tall ultra modern apartment blocks were built and the park is now home to 150,000 of people.
There is a buzz about the area. Gone are the days when the park felt like an empty construction site with empty stalls and buildings, every rental is taken and the park is full of visitors.
Parque das Nacoes is constantly growing, the Casino Lisboa has recently opened and there is construction work starting on one of the largest hotels in Lisbon.