Dubai: It is now or never, before it is gone forever. You have only two more weeks left to see the world in one place, at Expo 2020 Dubai, which concludes on March 31.
As the “world’s greatest show” enters its last fortnight, visitors, especially those who have not been able to make it to the Expo yet, are urged to make the most of it.
With visitor numbers soaring over 19 million, up almost 1.6 million in a week, Expo is witnessing a huge rush of people wanting to see its impressive pavilions, fully explore the fair grounds and catch all the events.
From unleashing the inner child in you at the giant slide in Luxembourg Pavilion to walking through a sea of fog in the Switzerland Pavilion, several rare experiences await the visitors at most of the pavilions and the technological marvel Al Wasl Plaza, the world’s biggest 360-degree projection dome.
While each of the 192 country pavilions offers unique experiences related to the country, there are plenty of other activities awaiting visitors, from dipping your toes in the Surreal waterfall and getting an aerial view of the entire Expo site from the Garden in the Sky, to engaging in sports and games at the Sports Arena and having some fun time at the Festival Garden.
While meeting the robots across the Expo site and learning to fly at the Emirates Pavilion would offer high-tech experiences, pavilions of countries like Singapore and Malaysian take people closer to nature with net-zero energy concept.
It is also the last chance to shop mascots, games, homeware, apparel, accessories and more at Expo’s Official Stores across the Expo site that are open only until March 31.
For the loyal visitors, who have received stamps from over a 100 pavilion in their yellow passports, it is a chance to get a limited-edition white passport at any visitor centre.
Expo is divided into three main districts or ‘petals’, equidistant from the heart of Expo, Al Wasl Plaza. Named Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility Districts, these are where you will find the bulk of the pavilions. The spaces between the petals are dedicated to two verdant parks – Jubilee and Al Forsan.
With the massive parking areas fast getting filled up across the three thematic districts these days, visitors are encouraged to use the public transport to reach the Expo site.
Dubai Metro’s Route 2020 runs straight to the Expo site. Drop off is right at the mouth of the site’s entrance, next to the Dubai Exhibition Centre, putting you directly in the path of Al Wasl Plaza, which is just a short stroll away. Frequency of the trains is approximately every two minutes.
There are also 203 buses, transporting Expo visitors from 18 stations across Dubai and key cities of the UAE. In addition, 15,000 taxis and limousines have been deployed across the city.
You can catch the free RTA buses called Expo Riders that have been shuttling ticketholders to and from the site every day. Each of the colour-coded buses takes you to one of the three gates of Expo – Sustainability, Opportunity or Mobility District.
If you choose to travel in your private vehicle, you should go early to find parking. You can take the shuttle bus from inside the parking lot to the nearest entry gate.
Moving around the Expo
Expo 2020 Dubai has built accessibility into its very fabric, to ensure that people of determination are fully supported during their visit to the mega-event. Expo volunteers can assist people of determination and their companions with all the options available for them including wheelchairs and free buggies.
Regular visitors can also opt for rental buggies and tour trains that shuttle visitors to their favourite pavilions and points of interest.
With queues to most of the popular pavilions getting longer in the last days, visitors can try to book their visit in advance using the Smart Queue on the Expo site or app.
Each ticket allows you 10 Smart Queue bookings. If you are a multi-day pass or season pass holder, then this is 10 bookings per day. To activate the Smart Queue system, you first need to link your ticket to your Expo account.
All pavilions are open daily. According to the new timings that began from March 1, the country pavilions will receive visitors from 10am to 11pm. Visitors can still roam the site after 11pm. From Sunday to Thursday, Expo is open from 9am to 12am (the next day); and on Friday and Saturday, the site closes at 2am.
Food and fun
In keeping with its promise to be the most inclusive World Expo ever, Expo 2020 Dubai has brought cuisines to suit every palate and budget. From classics to new innovations, street bites and gourmet delights, these are flavours and experiences that will be remembered for a lifetime. The lauded line-up features more than 20 top chefs representing restaurants that have earned numerous Michelin stars – the global hallmark of fine dining and culinary excellence while hidden local gems are also available to treat the gastronomes.
From musical mascots and sport activities to children’s art and kite-flying, Expo entertains kids of all ages with experiences that will leave an extraordinary mark on their lives.
The final Theme Week of Expo 2020 Dubai - Water Week - begins on March 20. Raising awareness that water is a finite source and currently under threat, the week is a call for collective global action and looks at what we can all do to be proactive agents of change.
Latest line-up of events
Celebrate Haq Al Laila at Expo 2020 Dubai on Friday, March 18, for everything from magical projections in Al Wasl Plaza and camel parade to delicious sweets and special stamps.
Visitors can see the star team of upcoming action drama from India “RRR” (Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Alia Bhatt and SS Rajamouli) in person at 4.30pm at the Jubilee Park on Friday, March 18.
World-famous Hungarian pianist and contemporary composer Balázs Havasi brings his show as part of the Hungarian National Festival event series, to thrill the Expo 2020 Dubai audience at 7.30pm at Jubilee Stage.
Another amazing musical night awaits on Sunday, March 20, with the Egyptian singer Ruby’s live show at 9pm on the Sustainability Plaza and Indian music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja celebrating his 25 years at a live in concert at 8.30pm at Jubilee Park.
Visitors can see AC Milan’s star manager Stefano Pioli and members of the squad at a live Q&A at 7pm on Tuesday on March 22, at Festival Garden.
Follow yogi Patrick Beach and Bollywood star Neha Sharma for a group yoga on Wednesday, March 23 at the Expo Sports Arena and Festival Garden.
A captivating show of the enchanting Syrian folk songs will be presented by Takat Band at 9pm on March 29 at the Dubai Millennium Theatre.
Riders can join previous Tour de France winner Andy Schleck for a final opportunity to ‘Ride the World’ at Expo at the Mobility Gate from 06.30am on March 27.