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Expo 2020 Dubai finally opens

Cancelled last year due to the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai opened this week. Here's what to expect.

This week saw the unveiling - finally - of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Expo 2020 Dubai finally opened this week. This is the first time the Middle East has hosted an international exposition and in the year that UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee.

The six-month long event was originally due to be held last year - hence the 2020 moniker - but was delayed by a year due to Covid.

The original Great Exhibition was held in London’s Crystal Palace 170 years ago and world expos now take place every five years as a gathering of nations and a sharing of culture and innovation. As with past events, Dubai Expo 2020 aims to celebrate humanity’s creativity.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be hosting the largest ever number of participating countries in the history of world expos and no expense has been spared, with 191 nations’ pavilions built at a special venue southwest of the city centre.

Guests can have their expo ‘passport’ stamped as they ‘travel’ to and experience the 192 countries that are exhibiting. Head underwater on an interactive aquatic treasure hunt in the Seychelles, or hear Beethoven performed by robots at the Germany Pavilion.

The Expo 2020 Dubai venue is twice the size of Monaco and even has its own Metro station.

The site has been set-up as dedicated districts around three core sub-themes, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Each will have its own pavilion, performance space, interactive gallery, art installation, park and gardens.

Expo 2020 Dubai's Al Wasl Dome will act as a focal point for many of the site’s 60 daily performances, with live music in the garden every day at 3pm featuring choirs, orchestras, bands, dance groups and solo performers.

At 12.45pm each day the site’s Ghaf Avenue will host a Colours of the World Parade, featuring performers from any of the Expo’s participating nations. And every Thursday and Friday evening the Jubilee Stage will host live music and DJ sessions.

The Al Wasl Dome will also be hosting the UAE’s first-ever opera in October, as more than 100 performers bring to life the history of the region in Arabic and English, from its Bedouin roots to the multicultural hub that it is today.

Expo 2020 Dubai is also the Official Exhibition Partner of Manchester City and has also partnered with Indian Premier League cricket team Rajasthan Royals. Players from both teams will be present at the event with a range of activities for guests to engage with.

For foodies, more than 20 award-winning chefs will be conjuring up brand new concepts and signature dishes. Enjoy a plethora of plant-based restaurant concepts, brilliant burgers from the US, Thai street food, Michelin-starred Indian cuisine, an Italian burrata bar, robot-powered takeout delivery across the site, an African dining hall featuring ten chef-led concepts, baking workshops with London’s Borough Market’s Bread Ahead Bakery & School, or eat your way along the Silk Road at farm2table in the Mobility Pavilion. End your day with a tipple or two at the rooftop bar.

Expo 2020 Dubai runs until March 31, 2022, and costs around US$25 for a one-day ticket. All visitors aged over 18 years must present proof of Covid-19 vaccination or take a Covid-19 test. Emirates is offering complimentary PCR testing in a facility next to the Expo 2020 Dubai venue.

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