There are world events, like the Olympics or the various international soccer contests, that are special when they happen every four years. And then there’s the world event, the World Expo, which is a demonstration of technology and culture the likes of which you’ll never see again. Such is Expo 2020 Dubai, which promises to be the event of a lifetime.
What is Expo 2020 Dubai?
Expo 2020 Dubai is the latest in a long line of World Expos that have taken place roughly every five years in global cities since 1851. The World Expo is about uniting the world and showcasing innovation, national achievements, and new inventions. In short, they promote cultural exchange and give us a glimpse of a better, more united planet. Previous expos have unveiled some technologies that have gone on to change the world, such as in 1939 when a live television broadcast was shared for the first time at the World Expo in New York, or in 1970, when the world’s first mobile phone was revealed in Osaka. Expo 2020 Dubai promises to be equally groundbreaking.
It is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa, or South Asia. It will have over 190 pavilions from participating countries and up to 60 live events each day that showcase music, technology, and some of the brightest ideas on how to make the future better. Working under the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” Expo 2020 Dubai is particularly focused on mobility, sustainability, and opportunity. It promises demonstrations of technology that have the potential to significantly impact life on the planet, such as concrete that absorbs sunlight to generate power and technology that extracts water from the air.
Of course, there will also be plenty of whizbang technological demonstrations that are more about dazzlement than life-changing innovation, such as robots that can perform orchestral music and the world’s largest elevating platform. Just know that if you visit Expo 2020 Dubai, you’re going to come away from it with something to remember for the rest of your life.
When does Expo 2020 Dubai take place?
Expo 2020 Dubai takes place from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. It was originally scheduled for 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking place for six months, the expo is meant to augment a vacation to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. You can see the landmarks of these world cities and then spend several days exploring the expo grounds to see everything on display. The expo grounds are enormous—they’re larger than the entire country of Monaco—and are conveniently located in the Dubai South district. They’re a mere 20-minute drive from Dubai Marina and directly accessible on the metro line, so you won’t have any problem getting there.
What is there to see at Expo 2020 Dubai?
Lots! But such a concise answer doesn’t do the expo justice. Simply put, if you were to spend an hour exploring every individual pavilion and exhibition at Expo 2020 Dubai, you’d be there for the whole six months. There’s no shortage of things to see and do.
The expo is grouped by pavilions, which showcase individual nations as well as larger concepts and innovations. Each pavilion is fabulously designed and showcases state-of-the-art architecture. Some of the designs resemble natural structures, such as plants or geological monuments, while others are made to look like cultural ornaments such as instruments or even futuristic constructions the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
There are three major pavilions broken down by theme: the Mobility Pavilion, the Opportunity Pavilion, and the Sustainability Pavilion. There are then over 190 pavilions from the participating countries, with unique designs and showcases pertaining to national cultures and innovative fields.
Each day at Expo 2020 Dubai has different entertainment opportunities for visitors. There are live musical performances each night, weekly music festivals, and orchestral performances that showcase the participating nations. You could see a Russian ballet one night and a Bakalama song and dance performance another night. Each week also has a different theme, and each day highlights a different country. You can see various global leaders in innovation and technology give TED-style talks and visit workshops that let you learn about various practices from around the globe. There are also programmes made specificity for the future young leaders of the world, which educate across various disciplines and help shape global citizens of the future.
And let’s not forget the food. For so many people, food is the highlight of any vacation. Expo 2020 Dubai promises to dazzle these people with its world-class cuisine and innovative food technologies. You can enjoy local ingredients from countries all across the world and experience new ways of eating with virtual reality dining and meals cooked and served by robots. It’s like visiting the world’s biggest, most exclusive, and most innovative food court, with food from all the countries of the world in one spot.
The opportunity to visit Expo 2020 Dubai is one you don’t want to miss. With dazzling technology, stunning design, and a convenient showcase of cultures from across the world, Expo 2020 Dubai offers the chance to explore the entire world within the confines of one of the world’s most innovative cities. It’s an event like no other.
Editor's Note: This article was updated on October 25, 2021.
25 May 2021, 7:52 p.m.