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Expo 2020

What's Expo 2020 Dubai? Top 50 things to do, see and discover

Published: Updated:

With just over one week until it opens to the world, Expo 2020 Dubai is almost finally here.

One of the first global mega-events to take place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, and will see millions of visitors join in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.

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With 192 Country Pavilions, up to 60 live events daily, 200-plus food and beverage outlets and something new every day for 182 days.

Here are some of the top 50 things you can do, see and discover at Expo 2020 Dubai:

1. Taste food from around the world

Get ready for a culinary extravaganza as Expo reveals award-winning chefs and brand-new dining concepts across 200+ eateries. The celebrity chef line-up includes David Myers, Matthew Kenney and Rohit Ghai.

2. Get your Dubai Expo 2020 passport stamped while visiting 22 countries

Looking for the perfect keepsake? Don’t forget to pick up your Expo Passport from the Official Store and get it stamped as you visit pavilions around the site.

The Expo 2020 passport. (Photo Courtesy: Dubai Media Office)
The Expo 2020 passport. (Photo Courtesy: Dubai Media Office)

3. Interact with robots from leading robotics specialist Terminus Group

Terminus Group is deploying more than 150 robots that perform a variety of tasks such as greeting you, providing assistance and performing in special displays, as well as helping with food and beverage delivery and hospitality services

4. Learn the skills of artisan baking

Book your spot at London-based bakery and baking school Bread Ahead, where master teachers will guide you on creating expert level bakes in a domestic setting.

5. Ride around the world on a carousel

Enjoy all the fun of the fair on Around the World, a classic Venetian carousel with hand-painted images of past World Expos.

6. Run the world at Dubai Expo 2020

Get your running gear on and run the world. Take part in the extensive running program and run alongside participants from 192 countries.

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)

7. Take the children to visit Latia’s playground

More than just a playground, this is a fun-filled interactive space. Bounce over nets in the ‘zero-gravity’ chamber, leap into orbit around swings and hop aboard a replica of the UAE’s Hope Probe.

8. Visit a unique food hall with Talabat kitchen

The two-story Talabat food hall not only offers some 30 food concepts, but it also uses cutting-edge technology and robotics to deliver an efficient dining experience.

9. Be part of the world’s first African dining hall Alkebulan

Experience the continent’s vibrant culture via food, music and art at Alkebulan, bringing together seven acclaimed African chefs from across the world

10. Take you best selfie – and see you face beamed into space

If you love a selfie, pose for a space-age version in Emirati astronaut Hazza al-Mansouri’s space suit at Terra Auditorium and have your face beamed into his helmet’s visor.

A picture taken on January 16, 2021, shows a view of the Sustainability Pavilion during a media tour at the Dubai Expo 2020. (AFP)
A picture taken on January 16, 2021, shows a view of the Sustainability Pavilion during a media tour at the Dubai Expo 2020. (AFP)

11. Join the Program for People and Planet and tackle climate change

Explore humanity’s most critical challenges and opportunities through a cultural, social, environmental and economic lens with the Program for People and Planet. Join the making of a new world as you engage in conversations around questions that will shape the future of our planet.

12. Listen to the history of World Expos

Scan the QR codes found in Majlis structures to hear stories of UAE culture and fascinating World Expo facts from renowned Expo Historian Charles Pappas.

13. Watch and participate in sporting activities from all around the world

Expo 2020 Dubai and Dubai Sports Council (DSC) have teamed up to offer a diverse sporting program packed with free activities, exhibition matches, big name sporting stars and an entire hub dedicated to fitness and wellness.

14. Witness the future of food

Enter the year 2320 as immersive multi-sensory studio Bompas & Parr and Expo 2020 bring you Epochal Banquet, a two-hour pioneering culinary experience. Inspired by space, microbiology, artificial intelligence and hyper-intelligence, it will stir your senses in a radical new concept designed to highlight the impact of AI on the future of dining.

15. Interact with whales

Want to see a humpback whale? Then visit Rashid’s Playground, where you can clamber onto the back of one of these giant replica creatures.

16. Taste a new culinary experience

Rising Flavours food hall includes a chef’s table and live cooking shows from eminent GCC-based chefs, including rotating culinary pods and fine-dining restaurants that bring the taste of the region to millions.

17. Design your own aircraft

Discover the future of aircraft cabin design while designing your very own aircraft at the Emirates Pavilion, experimenting with robotic arms and exploring the innovative metallic and composite materials of the future.

18. Discover how food is grown in a desert farm

Welcome to the farm of the future, which uses salt water and fish to grow crops. The Desert Farm makes the most of the three natural resources that are plentiful in the UAE – sun, sea and sand.

19. Watch Dubai Expo 2020’s night-time light festival

Every night after the sun slips below the horizon, the buildings and spaces come alive with projections and light installations create a magical world of wonder and beauty.

20. See how Nigeria aims to achieve zero hunger

Learn how Nigeria became pioneers in exploring technological solutions to age-old agricultural challenges.

21. Visit the solar-powered home of tomorrow at the Dewa Pavilion

From the solar roof to the temperature-buffering entryway, the DEWA Pavilion is designed to maximise efficiency and offers plenty of futuristic touches, such as a drone-delivery hatch and a weight-measuring bathroom floor.

22. Experience food from a Michelin-star chef

Jubilee Gastronomy Restaurant is home to an incredible line-up of chefs from Michelin-star restaurants presenting their signature Chef’s Table experience, together with a rooftop lounge.

23. See the service station of the future

The UAE’s national tree is renowned for its resilience to harsh weather conditions. The Service Station of the Future is built on an exoskeleton based on the ghaf tree structure, supporting a cutting-edge, solar-powered, carbon-fibre canopy.

Service Station of the Future at Expo 2020 Dubai. (Twitter)
Service Station of the Future at Expo 2020 Dubai. (Twitter)

24. Experience retail therapy at the World Souq

The World Souq features a range of beautiful pieces of ethically sourced craftsmanship from around the world.

25. Travel around the world though music during Expo Beats

A unique monthly festival that breaks geographical barriers and connects the world on stage through the sounds and rhythms that unite us.

26. See the SpaceX rocket at the US Pavilion

The USA Pavilion showcases the SpaceX Falcon rocket along with exhibits and artefacts, such as pieces of rock from the moon and the US Mars Rover.

27. See the awakening of al-Wasl Plaza at dusk

From the dome of al-Wasl Plaza’s first great act of magic, watch as it flickers to life with hues of purple, blue, red and orange, growing more vibrant as the sun sets and the night rolls in.

28. Hear from giants at the Mobility Pavilion

Meet the larger-than-life, nine-metre-tall historical giants of mobility whose innovations helped navigate the world and paved the way for the technology we use today.

29. Have a glimpse of future trave with the Hyperloop at the Spain Pavilion

The six-meter hyperloop carriage model will give visitors a glimpse of the high-speed technology that might power their future travel.

30. Relax among the Dubai Expo 2020 parks

Enjoy an afternoon stroll, unwind for an evening of live performances, or sit on a picnic bench at one of the Food Truck Parks.

31. Attend a monthly gathering of poets

A curated music and poetry night from a gathering of world-renowned and emerging poets from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the wider Arabic-speaking world, are regularly performing together in a two-hour poetry slam mixed with music from the KSA House Band.

32. See a renaissance masterpiece’s high-tech twin

Behold a five-meter-tall copy of Michelangelo’s David, printed in 3D, at the Italy Pavilion, in a high-tech reproduction project that blends history with the innovation-driven present.

This handout picture obtained from Italy's Pavillion for EXPO 2020 in Dubai shows Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio (R) during a ceremony held at the Italian pavillion in the Gulf emirate to unveil a 3D-printed copy statue of Michelangelo's David (L) in the United Arab Emirates on April 27, 2021. (AFP)
This handout picture obtained from Italy's Pavillion for EXPO 2020 in Dubai shows Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio (R) during a ceremony held at the Italian pavillion in the Gulf emirate to unveil a 3D-printed copy statue of Michelangelo's David (L) in the United Arab Emirates on April 27, 2021. (AFP)

33. Join a jam session

Jalsat@Expo is an introduction to Arabic tradition, showcasing the welcoming spirit of the UAE and the essence of Expo's connectivity.

34. See water being created out of thin air

Venture inside the Netherlands Pavilion for a unique multi-sensory show that takes you on a journey through the closed-loop farm’s wonders, from the water harvested out of thin air to the mushrooms grown on the walls.

35. Play with robotic penguins

Encounter cutting-edge robotic baby penguins at the Monaco Pavilion, before playing a ‘jump and run’-style game to guide a baby penguin through different challenges, including ice cracks, leopard seals and plastic rubbish, until they are reunited with a group of adult penguins.

36. Witness operatic music at Jubilee Park

Expo’s al-Wasl Opera program for students is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for school choirs to come together on the Jubilee Stage and perform extracts from al-Wasl Opera.

37. See augmented reality attraction

Virtual Expo offers a new way to learn, play, interact and be entertained whether you are visiting Expo 2020 in person or logging in from a remote location globally.

38. Check out the world’s first air train

Take a unique sightseeing tour on the world's first compressed Air Train.

39. Experience a garden in the sky

Make your way to the Garden in the Sky where you can stand on its tree-lined upper deck 55 meters from the ground level and get perfect panoramic shots.

Garden in the Sky at Expo 2020 Dubai. (Twitter)
Garden in the Sky at Expo 2020 Dubai. (Twitter)

40. See how water, earth and fire combine to make the Expo 2020 water feature

Step inside the 14-meter-high walls of the Expo 2020 Water Feature and be mesmerised by the 360-degree immersive water, light and fire show, set to music curated by Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi.

41. Listen to a Beethoven-inspired robotic band

Fusing classical, acoustic, rock and electronic music, the robot orchestra at the Germany Pavilion’s Culture Lab will put on a performance for the ages.

42. Join an Isha prayer by seven award-winning Imams

As the night ushers in the final call to prayer, a spell of tranquillity descends upon al-Wasl. Golden sand cascades down from above, giving shape to great marble pillars of gold and white, inspired by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

43. Discover Dubai Expo 2020’s commitment to the site’s flora

The Expo site includes a 220,000 square meters nursery behind the cultivation of more than 12,000 trees, including palms, more than 256,000 shrubs and thousands of flowering plants and herbs.

44. Learn all about past expos at the World Expo Museum

Visit the World Expo Museum to learn about the incredible history and impact that World Expos have had over the years as stages for introducing to the world some of the most exciting and cutting-edge ideas and innovations

45. Hear from the all-women Firdaus Orchestra

The Firdaus Orchestra is a pioneering women’s ensemble developed exclusively for Expo 2020 under the creative direction and leadership of Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman. The composer is forging new musical paths with female musicians in the Arab world.

46. Breathe Old Dubai’s spirit

Take a walk in the some of our charming alleys that are a true reflection of old Dubai.

47. Explore the best in contemporary UAE design

The MENASA – Emirati Design Hub space showcases the breadth of local design talent and enables you to buy a wide range of contemporary design products, including bespoke craft pieces, homewares, fashion, jewellery, furniture and lifestyle products.

48. Go on a journey through time

Sameem is an open-air pavilion that takes you on a journey through time, where you can engage with Emirati storytellers, artists and artisans as things are built in real-time, right before your eyes.

49. Celebrate female change-makers

The Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, celebrates the important roles of women from around the world throughout history, illustrating that when women thrive, humanity thrives.

50. See the Mission Possible at the Opportunity Pavilion

Be inspired by three individuals – Mariam, Abel, and Mama Fatma – whose seemingly small actions have created a big impact in their communities in the areas of food, water and energy

Read more:

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