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Expo 2020 - Dubai by Foot

Updated: October 13, 2021
 By Pri

If you’ve visited Dubai Airport recently, you may have seen some signs – “Proud Hosts of Expo 2020”. This might lead people to wonder – what exactly is World Expo 2020? And why should I care about it? In this post, we’ll answer some of the common questions tourists might have about the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai, and tell you why you should get excited about this incredible event.

 What is Expo 2020?

Expo 2020 can be seen as a type of “World Fair,” showcasing the best innovations that mankind has to offer. It will consist of a series of pavilions connected by common themes that apply to all of humanity. The Expo provides a platform for the world’s best and brightest to display their most creative and ingenious ideas. For example, Expo 2015 included inventions like solar trees and energy-saving elevators.

When is Expo 2020?

World Expo 2020 is set to open on October 1, 2021 and close on March 30, 2022.

Where is Expo 2020 held?

Expo 2020 will be held in Dubai. Specifically, the Expo site is in Dubai South, which is close to Al Maktoum International Airport. The site itself will cover an area of almost 4.5 square kilometers.

How was Dubai chosen as the site for Expo 2020?

To get the privilege of hosting this event, Dubai was required to submit a bid. In this bid, the head of the Expo 2020 committee highlighted Dubai’s strong infrastructure, its residents’ support of the bid and the city’s commitment to making this expo an extraordinary one. Happily, Dubai was successful, receiving 116 out of 164 votes. The announcement of the win caused fireworks to go up by the Burj Khalifa and Sheikh Mohammed announced a holiday for educational institutions in the city.

How do I get to the Expo 2020 Dubai site?

If you’re a visitor, the best way of getting to the Expo 2020 site will be via the Dubai Metro. Currently, the Dubai Metro line is being extended to reach the Expo 2020 site. This extension is referred to as Route 2020, and it will link to the Dubai Metro Red Line. Furthermore, the Expo 2020 site metro station is set to be the biggest and most eco-friendly station in the Dubai Metro network, capable of handing an incredible 46,000 passengers per hour.

Nervous about potentially having to ride the metro? Don’t worry about it – the Dubai Metro is super easy to use. We’ve written a guide about it here.

 If you would prefer to drive, the government is set to build over 30,000 parking spaces at the fringe of the Expo 2020 site, making it accessible by car as well.

What is the theme for Expo 2020 Dubai?

Expo 2020 centers on the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” This links back to three main ideas – “Opportunity”, ”Mobility” and  “Sustainability”, which will drive the Exhibition displays.

What will people see at the Expo 2020 Dubai site?

The Expo 2020 site has a lot of really cool features. The plaza will be encased by a dome. At night, that dome will serve as a 360 degree screen, projecting a series of images both on the inside and the outside. Inside the dome, you’ll find the pavilions as well as features like fountains, parks and waterfalls. The dome is partially open at the top, so there’s no need to worry about the arena feeling stale.

Each participating country will have its own pavilion at the exhibition, with every pavilion featuring inventions and innovations hailing from that country. Even the UAE will have its own specialized pavilion, done up in an outline of a falcon. There will also be specialized pavilions focusing on the three main themes -  sustainability, mobility and opportunity,

I won’t be in Dubai when #Expo2020 is taking place! Can I still check out the site afterwards?

Fortunately, a good part of the Expo 2020 site will remain up even after the Expo has officially ended. For instance, the UAE pavilion, with its falcon design, will remain unchanged from what it was during the Expo, and the plaza dome will continue to grow a lush garden within its sphere. Other buildings will remain up, but will undergo a renovation inside.

For instance, the Sustainability Pavilion will be transformed into a center for child and scientific education. More than being a strictly business space, the District 2020 area will be more of a community hub more than a strictly business space, making it a welcome area for visitors.

Will Dubai by Foot be offering a tour of the #Expo2020 site?

 It’s a bit early to plan a tour of a site that hasn’t finished construction yet, but we have definite plans to add the exciting District 2020 area to our collection of Dubai tours.

Expo 2020 is a perfect fit for a city like Dubai, with its focus on building connections, encouraging innovation and promoting sustainability. Furthermore, we’re incredibly excited for the upcoming Expo, and feel that it will be an extraordinary experience for visitors. We’ve already started the countdown!

About The Author


Pri is a true believer in the Rule of Three - she lives between Dubai, Bombay and Washington DC, speaks three languages and has 3 kids under 3. She graduated from Connecticut College and has a Masters Degree from New York University. Pri is a licensed Dubai tour guide, travel blogger, art aficionado, foodie and curious to check out all things new in her city. Pri has been part of the Free Tours By Foot team since 2015 and loves to make customized itineraries for her guests.
Updated: October 13th, 2021
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