EXPO fireworks
File picture of Expo 2020 Dubai Opening Ceremony fireworks at Al Wasl Plaza, the same venue where the closing ceremony will be held on March 31 Image Credit: Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai: The curtain will come down on Expo 2020 Dubai on March 31 with a closing ceremony at the central Al Wasl Plaza, the same venue where the opening ceremony took place 182 days ago last October.

Global music icons Christina Aguilera, Norah Jones and Yo-Yo Ma will perform, with more than 20 giant screens across the Expo site, including the main stages, Festival Garden and various country pavilions, enabling everyone to view the events. The celebration will continue into the night, with full headline concerts from each artist across Jubilee Stage and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre.

Opening ceremony starts at 7pm

The evening will begin at 7pm with the young girl from the opening ceremony taking the audience on another journey. The audience beneath Al Wasl’s dome – home to the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface – will also put the focus on the next generation, as Expo exclusively invites hundreds of children from across the UAE to witness the wonders as the country looks to the next 50 years, having celebrated its Golden Jubilee during Expo 2020 Dubai.

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File image of opening ceremony: The evening will begin at 7pm with the young girl from the opening ceremony taking the audience on another journey

Later in the evening, Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma will play a concert at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre from 8.45pm; Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and pianist Norah Jones will entertain visitors with her own concert on the Jubilee Stage from 9pm; and pop legend Christina Aguilera will present an extended performance on the Jubilee Stage from 10.45pm.

Cast of ceremony

The cast of the closing ceremony includes more than 400 professionals and volunteers from 56 different countries, with 745 costumes created for the culmination of Expo. Forty members of a UAE-based children’s choir will perform Ishy Bilady, the National Anthem of the UAE, joined by the all-women Firdaus Orchestra, conducted by Yasmina Sabbah.

Also taking the stage will be the Expo 2020 World String Ensemble, a group of 16 international musicians led by maestro Harout Fazlian, and Italian pianist Eleonora Constantini, familiar to many Expo visitors as the performer behind the Flying Piano show at Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion.

The closing ceremony, streamed live on Virtual Expo and Expo TV, will also remind audiences of some of Al Wasl Plaza’s iconic moments, including calligraphy poetry in the sky from Emirati poetess Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi; the falcon from immersive theatrical show Journey of the 50th, which was presented during the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations; and the horse from The Boy and The Horse, a tribute to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

As Expo 2020 Dubai looks to the future, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, will hand the BIE Flag to Ambassador Jai-chul Choi, President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), who will then present it to representatives of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai.

The celebrations will continue throughout the night, with more fireworks displays at midnight and 3am.

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Arrive early

March 31 is expected to be one of the busiest days at Expo 2020 Dubai and visitors are advised to arrive early. The use of public transport, including the Park & Ride service from Jebel Ali Metro Station, is encouraged, with the Dubai Metro open 24 hours to ensure visitors’ safe and efficient arrival and departure.

Five Currents are the producers of the Closing Ceremony, with Scott Givens as Executive Producer of the show.