expo 2020 fireworks
Fireworks display during the UAE National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai. Image Credit: Expo 2020 Dubai

We’re entering the year 2022 in less than 10 days, and New Year’s plans are still up in the air for most. With so much slated for December 31 around the UAE, you might want to take a look at what the biggest fair in town is up to. At Expo 2020 Dubai, the momentous countdown will be marked by two firework displays, a lineup of DJs and a festive gathering at a brand new venue on site.

If you’re tempted to see it for yourself, our guide will tell you how you can welcome the New Year at the world expo – complete with transport, timings and attractions.

jubilee stage expo 2020
Jubilee Stage at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Expo 2020 Dubai

Getting to Expo

Expo 2020 Dubai is located in Dubai South, near Jebel Ali and Dubai Investments Park. All major roads lead to the dedicated Expo Road (E77). Your commute options to the fair include private car, free Expo Rider buses and the Dubai Metro.

Car: Those visiting with their own cars can park in any of the three main parking lots – Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity Parking zones. Since the lots are large, catch dedicated shuttle buses to cut your walk short to and from the gates. For more on parking at Expo, check out this explainer.

Bus: Public transport users can travel for free if they board the Expo Rider RTA buses. These run from select stops in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Here is a guide that lists all the bus stops in each emirate and their timetables.

Metro: This is your best option if you are travelling with family, especially little ones. Expo 2020 Metro Station drops off visitors right at the mouth of the metro gate. From here, it only takes a five-minute walk to reach Al Wasl Plaza – the heart of the site. The organisers assure that the train will run throughout New Year’s Eve, which wraps up at 4am at Expo.

Tickets and PCR test

While children aged 17 and below can enter Expo for free, they must book a free ticket. Adults aged 18 and above need to purchase a ticket – a single entry costs Dh95 – and present a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination.

Unvaccinated visitors with a ticket can avail free PCR tests from select centres across the UAE.

Thirteen hours of 2022 festivities

From 3pm to 4am of the next day, the Expo site will pull an all-nighter with site-wide celebrations on December 31. Here are three things you mustn’t miss - DJ live shows, fireworks and a new venue:

11.30pm: DJ Dimitri Vegas

dimitri vegas dj
DJ Dimitri Vegas Image Credit: Supplied

Catch Belgian DJ star Dimitri Vegas set the mood just 30 minutes before the countdown at Expo’s Jubilee Park. If you’re in a different district, board the People Mover bus to get to the park in time. In this guide, you will find the stops and other mobility options to help you get around the fair.

12am: First set of fireworks and midnight ball drop

To catch all the midnight happenings, make sure you are headed to Al Wasl Plaza for the countdown. Expo has a ‘ball drop’ moment planned here for when the clock strikes 12. At the same time, the skies will light up with an array of fireworks, the first of the two displays.

1.30am: DJ Armin Van Buuren

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DJ Armin Van Buuren Image Credit: Supplied

A world renowned Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren will continue the music festival past midnight at 1.30am. Crowds at the Jubilee Park and elsewhere can also expect a lineup of Arab, Filipino and Indian DJs to lead them into the New Year.

3am: Second set of fireworks

Don’t go home just yet – witness your second round of fireworks of the year 2022 at the site.

Festival Garden at Jubilee Park

Take breaks between DJ performances at the newly opened Festival Garden in the Jubilee Park. Here there is a communal seating, stage, food trucks, kiosks and carts, where you can spend quality time with the entire family and rest your feet.