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Dubai World Expo2020: spectacular journey into future sustainability and travel

Updated: Apr 23

Dubai is one of the main HUBs in the Middle East. It’s quite a spectacular city as it is built in the desert. It was our third visit here, but this time we came especially for the World Expo. The expo was planned originally in 2020 but due to the pandemic it was postponed to 2021. You can visit the expo as from 1st of October 2021 until 31st of March 2022.

I would recommend not to go before 1st of November because of the heat.

Travel tips for visiting the World Expo & Dubai:

- Check out the current Covid19 restrictions before departure. There are several differences depending on your nationality. I would also advise you to take a direct flight if possible. We had a transfer in Doha and needed a second PCR test upon arrival in Dubai. You can check the current rules here.

- Make sure to take only an official taxi at the airport, you will find many as soon as you leave the airport. There are unofficial taxi drivers inside the airport trying to convince you to take their taxi, you will pay more than double so please avoid this trap.

- If you are travelling to Dubai mainly to visit the World Expo, I would recommend you to stay in the hotel near the Expo (as it’s about one hour from downtown Dubai), The Marina & Jumeirah Beach area are closer. The only hotel on site of Expo is Rove Expo 2020 Hotel.

- Restaurants & bars: there are plenty of food facilities in different price ranges, from

streetfood to fine dining, perfect to discover the world’s cuisines. If you are a true foodie check out: ‘The future of Food: Epochal Banquet.’ Here you can enjoy a two-hour dining experience inspired by space travel, microbiology and artificial intelligence. Welcome in 2320!

- If you get tired from walking around (we did about 60.000 steps in 3 days), don’t forget to use the ‘people-mover’, these buses will take you from one district to another. Or use the Expo Explorer: you can experience two types of sustainable transportation on these electrical or compressed-air trains.

- Prices: tickets are available at following prices: Daypass or October PASS (you can use it every day in October): 95 AED (about 24 €), Multi-Day PASS: 195 AED (49€) for 30 days or a Season Pass (for the complete period) at 495 AED (124€) Check here for more details.

What’s not be missed at the World Expo?

At the heart of Expo2020 you will find Al Wasl Plaza, a 360-degree projection canvas, the beating heart of the Expo, around which all else flows. It’s of course also the symbol of the expo’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

There are 3 subthemes:

- Opportunity: unleashing human potential and showing how we can create change when we all work together to solve global challenges. We visited a few pavilions in this district:

The opportunity pavilion which focused on ‘Mission Possible’. Get inspired here by three individuals from different parts of the world who have implemented community change related to water, food and energy. Reminding people that small actions can have a big impact.

o The pavilion of Peru: where you get the story of a local farmer who discovered that you could gain water out of the fog. (Fog Catcher) Simply by catching water from woven nets that are placed everywhere on farmer lands in Peru.

- Mobility: serving as a bridge that ensures we all can move forward by creating smarter and better connections between people. Worth visiting here:

The mobility pavilion offers you an immersive, time-spanning journey through the spectrum of human movement and progress.

o Pavilion of Belgium with its beautiful architecture and throwback to the expo of 1958 in Brussels.

o Pavilion of Thailand: you can take a journey through the past, present and future of Thailand and truly understand why it is called the ‘Land of Smiles’. Tip: the restaurant is warmly recommended too, it represents little Bangkok streetfood.

- Sustainability: ensuring to keep our world in balance. Focusing on humanity’s relationship with nature and the world-leading efforts underway designed to harmonize our interactions with the environment.

The sustainability Pavilion: Terra. This pavilion is completely self-sustaining, it generates 100% of its water and energy needs. Once inside Terra you can choose between two immersive paths: The Forest or The Ocean. (we did both)

  1. In the forest you take an interactive journey through the ‘wood-wide-web’. It’s like the internet of the forest were trees and fungi communicate and share resources.

  2. Under the Ocean you will encounter fragile corals and bioluminescent creatures. Did you know you can hear the heartbeat of the oysters?

o Pavilion of Spain offers a multisensory experience about how Spanish companies and organizations are creating solutions for ecological challenges. For example, the Island of El Hierro will be completely self-sustainable within a few year’s time.

o Pavilion of Singapore: were you can walk through the rainforest while robots make sure all plants get the necessary water supply.

Apart from these 3 subthemes you also have:

- Al Forsan: the HUB for arts and culture. Here you can experience all the UAE has to offer, from world-class opera to cultural performances to idyllic walks filled with art installations.

Highlights in Al Forsan are:

o Pavilion of UAE: designed by the renowned Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava.

o Pavilion of Emirates: the pavilion is built in a gigantic screw shape and shows us how commercial aviation could develop by 2071. The airline will choose for the more climate friendly hydrogen fuel. It will be possible to have more passengers on board and speed can be tripled. By 2071 a flight from Europe to America might only take 2 hours’ time.

o Pavilion of Japan: here you can experience a walk of about 45 minutes including an audio guide. The theme ‘Where ideas meet’ is shown in a 360-degree theater where advanced data technology integrates with real-time generated graphics. In 2025 Japan will host the next world expo in Osaka. The Japanese restaurant next to the pavilion is also warmly recommended, it serves authentic sushi on a conveyor belt.

- Jubilee: it is the park named in honor of the UAE’s 50th anniversary. It is a place of fun and exploration.

  1. Spectacular water feature: step inside the 14-meter-high walls and be mesmerized by the 360-degree immersive water, light and fire show that is set to music curated by Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djwadi.

  2. Garden in the Sky: take a ride up to the top of the 55-meter-high observation tower for a panoramic view of Expo 2020.

Rashid’s Playground: an ocean- themed adventure. From sharks on springs and whale slides to paper boats and ocean liners, there’s something here for kids of all ages

As you can read it’s quite an amazing opportunity to visit the World Expo. I would recommend spending at least 5 days there. If you need any more information about the World Expo 2020 don’t hesitate to send me a message.

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