Dubai Expo 2020 marks a celebration of people and the planet for six months (October 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022). Here are 15 things to do and check out at the World Dubai Expo.
Five years of preparation, 192 nations, 1080 acres, 25 million estimated visitors, and a fiesta of futurism — the world has a new address today, as people unite in the spirit of innovation, futurism, sustainability, and the eclectic vibrancy of human cultures. This once-in-five-years tech and art bonanza is now open to the world. However, spanning over 816 football fields in size, there’s certainly a lot to do there, and you might as well have a tour guide in place.
We’ve done the courtesy of preparing an itinerary of the best things to do at Expo 2020. The special October pass costs AED 95 (offer available online only), which roughly converts to Rs 2,000, giving you multiple-time access to the event, so you can keep coming back for more and something different every time.
Get yourself an Expo passport
Here’s your chance to finally stamp out all your passport pages like a true globetrotter. Since Expo 2020 is like a miniature globe with each pavilion representing a country, apply for an Expo passport and get stamped for every nation and pavilion you visit. This, of course, is optional but definitely fun and something you can take back home. It costs AED 19 (Rs 400 approx.).
Witness the future of food at the Epochal Banquet
While Expo 2020’s already a global food court, why not also taste a slice of the future of dining? Travel to the year 2320 via Bompas & Parr’s immersive multi-sensory studio, the Epochal Banquet. This two-hour-long culinary experience will stir your senses using AI feats from the future. It’s also inspired by space, microbiology, artificial intelligence, and hyper-intelligence.
Visit India, UAE, and the 192 country pavilions
There are 192 nation pavilions at the Expo 2020, and of course, while you can’t visit them all, try visiting most. Each pavilion promises a unique experience and embraces their respective cultures. They also showcase their country’s vision of futurism and development in the coming years. India’s pavilion showcases various dance forms, the art of yoga, and many architectural marvels in the making.
Hitch an electric bicycle
Do you really think you can navigate 1080 acres on foot? Go ahead if you can but instead you could just get hold of an electric bicycle. It will also allow you to explore more places and get around faster. You can find these yellow bikes parked all around the Expo site.
Visit the Emirates Pavillion
What’s going on here? Nothing much, just the ‘Future Of Aviation’ as Emirates likes to call it. This three-story pavilion is an absolute Disneyland for geeks. You can even cop some aviation merch and design your very own aircraft there. Do check it out, not giving out any spoilers!
The 360-degree Al Wasl Opera
If you’re a fan of the classics, this is one pavilion you must visit. In collaboration with Welsh National Opera and composed by Mohammed Fairouz, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience in terms of sound and graphics.
Interact with the on-ground robot-pals
If you’re going there with your kids, here’s something that’ll excite them. There are a bunch of AI-operated robots running around the place that can talk and respond to you. They’re also really cute to take photos with.
The glorious Al-Wasl Plaza
The beating heart of Expo 2020 and the first thing you see upon arrival. It’s a grand cathedral of projection lights and 3D sound. Sometimes, if you need a break from exploring the venue, just have a seat there and enjoy the majestic light work. Hands-down one of the best feats and things to do at Expo 2020.
Go for a run
Yeah, quite literally. As much as the event promotes sustainability and looking after the planet, we also need to love clean and look after ourselves right? Be sure to pack your running gear and participate in an extensive running program alongside runners from 192 countries.
Check out the future of service stations inspired by UAE’s national tree
The Ghaf is UAE’s national tree and a strong symbol of resilience, considering the region’s harsh weather conditions. Stepping to the future, there’s a Service Station that’s been designed upon the exoskeleton of the Ghaf tree structure. More so, it’s solar-powered and features a carbon fibre canopy, too.
There’s a SpaceX rocket at the Expo
Inside the USA pavilion, you’ll find a real-life SpaceX Falcon rocket. Yes, the real deal. It’s almost like a space lab where you can also find authentic moon rocks and the US Mars Rover.
Dine at Michelin-star chef tables
With the best of food arriving at the Expo, you certainly need to see their best chefs too. Check the Jubilee Gastronomy Restaurant that is home to a spectacular line-up of Michelin-star chefs and restaurants. More so, it offers an authentic chef’s table experience.
Take a breather at the Garden in the Sky
Expo 2020 is 1080 acres, so getting a complete photo can be tricky. This is why you need to head to the Garden in the Sky. It’s a 55-meter high platform that promises you a great panoramic view of the site. There’s also a cool garden up top in case you need some fresh air.
Witness Germany Pavilion’s Culture Lab Beethoven-inspired robotic band
I normally wouldn’t talk about individual country pavilions but here’s one that stands out. This is where classical and acoustic meets rock and electronic. The entire band consists of robots and they put on a performance for the ages every day.
Experience A.R. Rahman’s Firdaus Orchestra
This was one of our favourite things to do at Expo 2020. Under the creative direction and leadership of Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman, you can experience a pioneering women’s ensemble that was developed exclusively for Expo 2020. Absolutely spectacular yet typical of Rahman.
All images: Courtesy brand
(Note: Some images are used for representational purposes)