Everything you need to know about Expo 2020

The countdown is on – the pavillions are being designed and constructed, tens of thousands of volunteers are signing up to get involved and the city is preparing to host what is set to be the biggest event in its history.

Get ready to experience some of the greatest cultures the world has to offer in 173 days of celebration. Here’s your ultimate guide.

What’s happening?
An expo is a world fair, bringing together hundreds of countries from across the globe – giving them the chance to share ideas and innovations with the rest of the world. The first-ever was held in The Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park in 1851, and since then, many of history’s most famous inventions have been exhibited, including the telephone in 1876, the ice cream cone in 1904 and even a humanoid robot in Nagoya in 2005. Back in November 2013, Dubai won the right to host Expo 2020 – becoming the first country ever in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia to do so. Fireworks exploded from the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab. A national holiday was declared for all educational institutions across the country. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, promised the city would “astonish the world”. And now it’s happening.

When is Dubai Expo 2020 on?

Expo dates:
1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022

Opening hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 9am-1am  
Friday/Saturday: 10am-2am

One year after the original time of opening, October 2020, Dubai is recovering from the pandemic. In line with government health regulations, the site will contain three COVID-19 testing facilities, with thermal cameras, mask distribution, sanitation foggers and social distancing practices all in place.

The expo will be held for six months and welcomes 192 country representatives, along with millions of visitors. The expo site is located in the Dubai South region, with access via car in around 40 minutes from both of Dubai’s international airports. The site is also reachable by the city’s metro line.

What will there be to see?
The Expo 2020 site will feature pavilions dedicated to countries from around the world, with 75 entertainment events hosted every single day. There will be live performances from world-famous stars and comedy greats, cultural experiences from poetry slams to fashion shows and talks with the world’s top academics. There will be mindfulness sessions, extreme sports and everything in between. And there will be innovation – whether it’s make-your-own robot workshops or exhibitions showcasing the latest 3D printing technology. It’s even possible to go under the sea or walk through a simulated Arabian wadi at the interactive Terra Exhibition. Every day during the 173 days of Expo 2020, a different country will be featured in a cultural showcase that includes parades and other festivities. And the fun doesn’t stop at sunset, because there will be fireworks displays and entertainment into the early hours. Basically, it’ll be massive.

What is there to do at Dubai Expo 2020?
Dubai Expo 2020 will offer a variety of experiences within different district showcases, along with specific weekly themes. Theme weeks will address current global concerns and human areas of study, ranging from Space week, to Water week, and Climate and Biodiversity week.

Along with visiting the various pavilions and exhibits at the event, visitors will be able to experience numerous parades, concerts and festivals showcasing the world’s arts and culture, along with modern Middle Eastern architecture.

The event also features high-end restaurants and food outlets, with a focus on bringing to light the future of food. The technology used throughout this food journey is also aimed at helping others and making a “planetary healthy diet,” along with the invention of new cuisines.

Where is the Expo 2020 site?
It’s all happening in the Dubai South district, near Al Maktoum International Airport. There will be a lot of dedicated transport heading to the site 4.38 sq km site, and a metro station that can handle 44,000 passengers per hour. With an influx of international visitors expected, while new hotels are springing up near the Dubai Expo 2020 site.

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