Dubai welcomes the world

Expo 2020 Dubai opens doors from October 1 to March 31, 2022. An incredible array of entertainment with up to 60 daily shows, one-of-a-kind food experiences and awe-inspiring architecture await visitors 

The wait is over. The world has arrived in Dubai and the enchanting city is super excited to welcome the world for the Expo 2020 Dubai, which begins on October 1.

With more than 190 countries having already set up their pavilion aiming to showcase the best of their nation, Expo is getting set for a memorable opening extravaganza on September 30.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. For the first time in World Expo history, every participating country will have its own pavilion – reflecting the inclusive spirit of the UAE.

The overarching theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, will set the scene for 182 days of visually striking and emotionally inspiring experiences at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“We have 45 hotels in Dubai today and 160 restaurants - from a host perspective, we are ready for the influx – and it is coming”
– Sandeep Walia, COO Middle East, Marriott International


With 192 Country Pavilions and more dedicated to special causes and partners as well as more than 200 food and beverage outlets, there is a lot to explore at Expo 2020 Dubai.

After the challenges of the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai will provide an opportunity to experience the world in one place, Sumathi Ramanathan, Vice-President, Market Strategy & Sales, Expo 2020 Dubai, tells TTN in an interview. It will be “an unmissable celebration of human ingenuity, unrivalled cultural experiences, the world’s best entertainment and once-in-a-lifetime experiences”.


To bring the world to visit the Expo physically, however, a promise of safety has to be made. “At Expo 2020 Dubai, the pandemic has put our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our staff, participants and visitors even more sharply into focus,” she says.

“We have acted quickly and responsibly to meet the challenges of Covid-19, developing a comprehensive strategy and robust operational plans, in line with the latest information and guidance from local and international authorities, including Dubai Health Authority, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and the World Health Organization.”

At the beginning of 2021, Expo 2020 launched an extensive Covid-19 vaccination drive for all Expo 2020 employees and their households. The offer of free vaccinations has also been extended to all Expo’s official participants and their staff by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

It has been mandated that during event time, all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers must be vaccinated.

“Booking pace grow exponentially after border opening announcements, not just in Dubai, but also for Abu Dhabi and Fujairah”
– Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, IMEA, IHG


“While vaccination is encouraged, visitors to Expo are not required to provide proof of immunisation. The pre-booking of tickets, online ticket purchases and cashless retail and F&B purchases will be highly encouraged to control capacity and visitor flow, and all visitors will be required to complete a health declaration as part of the booking process.”

Further on-site measures include the installation of sanitisation stations, with Dettol, Expo’s Official Hygiene Partner, providing no-touch hand-sanitiser stations at all entrance and departure gates, pavilions and restaurants. Face masks are mandatory and stringent social-distancing regulations are in place, as well as increased deep cleaning and specialised medical facilities, including provisions for rapid Covid-19 testing.  

Floor markings and signage will ensure social distancing; and designated staff will be responsible for monitoring and regulating social distancing in all venues.

“We have also brought to the fore the use of applied technology, including robots and wearable technology, to assist us with visitor-facing interactions such as ticketing, queue management, crowd flow and capacity monitoring, and health monitoring.

“Robust operational plans, risk assessments and contingency plans have been developed for all venues and spaces across the site, including both front and back of house. These cover key areas such as social-distancing regulations, capacity limits, staffing requirements, potential touchpoints and the nature of activity to be conducted in that space,” Ramanathan assures us. 



While the inclusive Expo 2020 Dubai will be safely available for everyone, there is a special ‘Jubilee Experience’, which celebrates the UAE’s 50 years, with a premium, limited-edition offering as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s expansive ticketing range.

A Jubilee Experience, priced at Dh10,000 ($2,723), includes two limited-edition Expo 2020 Jubilee lapel pins, inspired by the UAE pearl trade and plated in 24-carat gold. It comes with a member’s Season Pass Card, plus four additional Season Passes, 30 Multi-Day Passes and 10 one-Day Tickets.


“Six months ago, was I apprehensive? Yes. Now, finding a meeting room in the French Pavilion is difficult as they are 70 per cent booked for the six-month period”
– Mark Willis, CEO India, MEA & Turkey, Accor


Unlocking a host of additional benefits, members will have access to first-come-first-served dedicated VIP parking, with valet parking vouchers available as an alternative. Fast track entry ensures there are no queues when visiting, and priority entry to specific events allows access to some of the best programming Expo has to offer.

Members will be among the first owners of the Expo 2020 Passport to document their Expo journey through the 191 Country Pavilions, and will also have exclusive access to the Jubilee Lounge, a dedicated hospitality lounge at the heart of Expo, operated by Emaar Hospitality Group.

Guided tours, photography and access to an observation tower with incredible 360 degree views of Expo, as well as food and beverage discounts at select premium Expo outlets, will further enhance members’ experience.

The Jubilee Experience package is presented in beautifully designed box, inspired by a traditional mandoos, which means ‘wooden chest’ in Arabic. A symbol of Emirati heritage, the mandoos was used to keep the owner’s most valuable and treasured possessions.

Only a limited number of Jubilee Experiences will be available.  


A PIONEERING culinary experience inspired by space, microbiology, artificial intelligence and hyperintelligence will stir the senses of curious diners at Expo 2020 Dubai, in a new concept designed to challenge the future of dining.

The Future of Food: Epochal Banquet is a never-before-seen experience cooked up by UK-based multi-sensory experience design studio Bompas & Parr, in collaboration with Expo 2020. The ground-breaking foodie adventure will feature numerous world firsts, taking creativity, innovation and technology to a new level.

Diners will have the opportunity to taste super-light delicacies formed using the same technique that NASA uses to collect comet dust; edible creations that glow in the dark; flavour-changing desserts; ultra-rare ingredients, including new-to-the-plate plants; and much more.

The immersive experience is inspired by the ‘Novacene’, a new era hypothesised by eminent 102-year-old scientist and inventor James Lovelock. The new age, he prophesises, will take over the ‘Anthropocene’ era, in which humans have been able to make large-scale changes to the planetary environment, and introduce a future where robots and artificial intelligence will rule.