expo city dubai al wasl dome show
Saturday night's show brought back memories of Expo 2020 Dubai's opening ceremony exactly a year ago at the same venue Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: After sundown, the stunning visuals on Al Wasl dome came back to life – signalling the official opening of Expo City Dubai and reminiscing the inauguration of Expo 2020 Dubai exactly a year ago on October 1.

The show, titled ‘Awakening of Al Wasl’ - which will continue to take place five evenings a week (Wednesday to Sunday) and is open to the public for free - is not just a visual treat but also a showcase of the legacy of Expo 2020, which Expo City Dubai is now carrying forward as it builds a dynamic “city of the future”.

Designed as a blueprint for sustainable urban planning, Expo City Dubai is developed as a clean, green, innovation-driven, human-centric city of the future. It has retained 80 per cent of the infrastructure of the World Expo that ran from October 1, 2021 to March 31 this year.

What’s open?

Aside from Al Wasl Dome, the Vision and Women’s pavilions also opened on Saturday, in addition to Alif (Mobility) and Terra (Sustainability) that opened earlier on September 1, in time for the opening of schools in the UAE. The 360-degree observation tower, Garden in the Sky, is now also open, as well as the Surreal water feature.

'Surreal' water feature at Expo City Dubai
'Surreal' water feature attracts visitors of all ages Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Coming soon

Popular pavilions such as the falcon-inspired UAE Pavilion and KSA pavilion will re-open soon; and details of the re-purposed pavilions of India, Pakistan, Luxembourg, Australia, Egypt and Morocco will also be announced soon.

The Dubai Exhibition Centre, which is just next to Expo 2020 Metro Station, will host the inaugural Dubai e-Sports Festival next month for two weeks that will bring together leading gamers and e-sports thought leaders from across the world.

Later this year, the Opportunity Pavilion will become the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum — a new addition highlighting the history and impact of World Expos and celebrating the success of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Reunions and recollections

Many families and residents chose to spend their weekend to witness the re-opening of Al Wasl Dome. One of them was Chris, a Filipino expat who came with his family. He told Gulf News: “We used to come here every weekend, during Expo 2020 Dubai. It was nice to see Al Wasl dome beaming with colourful lights and music once again.”

Early in the day, around 50 Expo City Dubai staff and their families opened the Sustainability Entry Portal at 9am, welcoming the public and heralding the official opening of Expo City Dubai. Visitors to Expo City Dubai also welcomed the return of some of Expo 2020 Dubai’s most popular food and beverage vendors.

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Children aged 12 and under and people of determination can visit the attractions for free but are required to obtain their complimentary pass at one of Expo City Dubai’s ticketing booths Image Credit: Twitter/@ExpoCityDubai

Entering Expo City Dubai is open to the public and free of charge to entre, including the Surreal water feature and Al Wasl Plaza. However, visiting the pavilions require a ticket.

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Special pass, tickets

A one-day Attractions Pass — valid from 1 October onwards — is now available for Dh120 to visit Vision, Women’s, Terra and Alif pavilions, and will evolve to include more pavilions and attractions as they open.

Tickets are available online and at ticket offices at Expo City Dubai. Children aged 12 and under and people of determination can visit the attractions for free but are required to obtain their complimentary pass at one of Expo City Dubai’s ticketing booths

al wasl dome at expo city dubai
Al Wasl dome has been iconic of Expo 2020 Dubai - and now Expo City Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Getting there

The best way to reach Expo City Dubai is by Dubai Metro. But there are also ample parking spaces available at Al Forsan, Jubilee, Mobility and Sustainability districts.