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Dubai Expo 2020’s star-studded opening ceremony: All you need to need to know

Published: Updated:

From world-renowned classical musicians to chart-topping pop stars, the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai will see a host of global stars raise the roof at the opening ceremony for the world’s greatest show.

Celebrated Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will lead the line-up at the iconic al-Wasl Plaza on 30 September.

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Bocelli, who has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, will be joined by an array of global stars: British popstar Ellie Goulding, internationally acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang, four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo and Golden Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day.

Highlighting the creative diversity and talent of the region, the electrifying event will also feature Hussain al-Jassmi, Expo 2020 Dubai Ambassador and a trendsetter on the Gulf music scene; much-loved Emirati singing sensation Ahlam al-Shamsi; rising UAE singer Almas; the ‘Artist of the Arabs’ Mohammed Abdu; and Grammy-nominated Lebanese-American singer-songwriter Mayssa Karaa.

Extravagant entertainment, visuals, music

Spectators will enjoy stunning visuals, music and performances as some of the world’s most creative minds, internationally renowned artists and emerging talents come together in an unforgettable extravaganza of entertainment that will be shared with audiences around the world.

People walk past the official sign marking the Dubai Expo 2020 near the Sustainability Pavilion in Dubai on January 16, 2021. (AFP)
People walk past the official sign marking the Dubai Expo 2020 near the Sustainability Pavilion in Dubai on January 16, 2021. (AFP)

Bringing together talent from different geographies, industries and backgrounds, the opening ceremony is co-curated and co-produced by Franco Dragone, the creative director behind groundbreaking productions such as Cirque du Soleil and La Perle; and Scott Givens, president and CEO of FiveCurrents, the award-winning creators behind major live events including Olympic ceremonies and incredible New Year’s Eve celebrations worldwide.

The awe-inspiring product of years of planning and preparation for Expo 2020, the Opening Ceremony will set the stage for 182 days of engrossing experiences and life-changing events, featuring the best of art, music, architecture, technology and culture from around the world.

Expo 2020 Dubai, which will begin on October 1, is set to be the world’s biggest cultural gathering, with more than 60 live events every day and hundreds of cultural and culinary experiences for 182 consecutive days.

An illustration of Dubai's Expo 2020 site. (Supplied: Expo 2020)
An illustration of Dubai's Expo 2020 site. (Supplied: Expo 2020)

Enhanced entry measures for Expo 2020 Dubai have been announced to ensure a safe and exceptional event, as the UAE prepares to welcome the world to the largest global gathering since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid renewed demand for international travel, Expo 2020 is expecting millions of visitors from across the globe.

To enter the Expo site, ticket holders ages 18 and above will be required to present proof of having received any COVID vaccine recognized by their national government, or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.

An aerial view of one of the Expo 2020 Dubai sites, UAE. (Twitter/HHShkMohd)
An aerial view of one of the Expo 2020 Dubai sites, UAE. (Twitter/HHShkMohd)

While non-vaccinated visitors are strongly encouraged to get tested before coming to Expo, a facility adjacent to the Expo 2020 site will conduct free PCR tests on presentation of a valid Expo 2020 ticket, with results expected within four hours.

The measures build on the UAE’s successful COVID-19 strategy and enhance existing measures to ensure the health and safety of all Expo visitors, participants and staff, including on-site sanitization stations, mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor and two-meter social distancing.

All Expo and international participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers must be vaccinated.

As of September 2021, the UAE has administered almost 19 million vaccination doses and fully immunized 80 per cent of its population.

Dubai has seen a steady influx of visitors since it reopened to tourists in July 2020, and the emirate welcomed 2.85 million visitors in the first half of 2021, with numbers predicted to accelerate in the fourth quarter, boosted by Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Read more:

Expo 2020 Dubai: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine, negative PCR required for entry

UAE reports lowest number of COVID-19 cases in a year as Dubai prepares for Expo 2020

UAE aims to become leading travel destination during Expo 2020 Dubai