World Expos passed the torch to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year. Expo 2020 will host the biggest international exposition featuring technological innovations, ideas, and contributions that can change the world.
If you plan to visit and make a quick tour around the world as a local or a tourist at Expo 2020, here’s a comprehensive guide that can help you make the most out of your stay.
Things to Know Before You Visit Expo 2020
Expo 2020 is a huge exposition welcoming countries, organizations, and businesses across the globe. It can be a little overwhelming for regular visitors, so here’s everything you need to know about the event and how it differs from other World Expos.
What is Expo 2020?
Expo 2020 is part of an annual global exposition event of the World Expo. It functions as the largest global meeting place of countries that aim to promote networking and international relationships through art, geography, culture, science, and innovation. The event also tackles and addresses the latest challenges faced by humanity on a large scale. Expo 2020, as a whole, is the first event of its kind in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.
The theme of Expo 2020 is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Through this theme, the country invites and features countries and companies that will contribute unique ideas, innovations, and solutions which can bring Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability in the future.
The event was initially scheduled for October 20 to April 10, 2021. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE and across the globe, it was postponed. The new dates are October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Who Can Participate in Expo 2020?
Dubai dared to invite all 195 countries globally, making the event one of the biggest international expositions in the world. The confirmed participants of the Expo 2020 at the time of writing are the 192 countries initially invited. Joining them are over a hundred multilateral organizations, private businesses, and educational institutions.
Individual guests and participants can enter the event. If you want to participate, you can buy tickets on the Expo 2020 website or authorized ticket resellers. Tickets will also be available at the gates during the event.
Expo 2020 Age Restrictions
There are no age restrictions for all participants who want to attend the event. In fact, children ages 5 and below can have free access. Senior citizens who are 65 years old and above also benefit from the cost-free entrance. Youth participants up to 17 years old, meanwhile, can get a discount of up to 50%.
Expo 2020 Health Restrictions
The event is a single-venue exposition featuring forums, exhibits, and entertainment. As such, everyone can attend the event, even pregnant women and people with disabilities or determination. Tickets to Expo 2020 are also free for people of determination. On top of that, a 50% discount is given for his or her companion. This is part of the Dubai government’s commitment to creating inclusive spaces for people of determination.
Is Expo 2020 Safe and Regulated
Expo 2020 is responsible and accountable for the safety of all staff, participants, and guests during the event. As such, organizers of Expo 2020 communicate with national and local authorities to have special safety precautions and protocols in place for all the programs and logistics in the event.
In terms of security, Expo 2020 partnered with Esharah Etisalat Security Solutions to provide state-of-the-art encrypted mobile communications technology during the event. This technology will ensure real-time connectivity of all handheld communications devices to promote seamless and safe operations across the event for six months.
Expo 2020, including all the participating countries, follows special health and safety measures to combat COVID-19. Organizers and participants are required by the World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities to ensure social distancing among guests, sanitize public locations, conduct temperature checks for staff and guests, and promote contactless payments. Some areas and venues in the event may limit the number of visitors a day to comply with local regulations.
Guests, too, are required to follow individual safety protocols. Guests should wear face masks during the event, avoid physical contact among staff and other visitors, and submit basic personal information for contact tracing purposes.
All these COVID-19 protocols in place are still subject to change. Expo 2020 could release more safety protocols in the future as the pandemic progresses and before the opening date on October 1, 2021.
When is the Best Time to Visit Expo 2020?
Expo 2020 offers plenty of time for visitors and participants to enjoy the event and make connections. The event will open its doors for six whole months. Within six months, you can visit various exhibitions and attend multiple programs.
In general and according to locals, the best time to visit Expo 2020 is during the peak winter months—from December to February. The government of Dubai hosts seasonal attractions and events in partnership with Expo 2020 during these months, such as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and the Global Village.
However, if you have personal preferences, you can opt to choose the date of your visit based on the programs, forums, activities, and entertainment you want to participate in. Expo 2020 tickets and the official website of the event itself feature the list of activities you can attend to.
How Many Hours Should You Spend in a Day at Expo 2020?
Expo 2020 will be open seven days a week. From 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM on weekdays and 10:00 AM to 02:00 AM on weekends and special holidays. You can spend at least four hours inside the expo in a day if you want to explore all the lined-up programs and activities. But again, your length of stay depends on the activities you want to participate in.
Where is Expo 2020 Located?
The main site for this year’s Expo is located between the southern borders of Dubai and Abu Dhabi—two of the biggest and richest cities in the UAE. In total, it covers 438 hectares (1083 acres). American firm HOK (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum) handled the master plan of the venue’s location, design, and structure. The idea is to have a central plaza, called Al Wasl, and three large Thematic districts.
Preparation Tips And Booking Procedures
Now that you know what Expo is and what to expect for its 2020 season, it’s time to start the countdown and prepare for the event. We have here everything you need to know about how you can play a part in one of the most significant expositions in the world.
How to Get to Expo 2020?
The Expo 2020 venue is close to Al Maktoum International Airport and relatively near the Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals. The site is strategic, so it can easily welcome locals and tourists from any part of the UAE.
Locals or tourists with private or rented vehicles can easily reach the site from the city center or Downtown Dubai in approximately 40 minutes through E44 at Sheikh Zayed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street/D54.
You can also use the metro as public transportation. Expo 2020 will have its own dedicated metro station on the route 2020 line days before the event. The local government will provide multiple carriages to transport at least 40,000 passengers per hour to and from the site.
What are the Things Visitors Need to Prepare?
Expo 2020 is a huge event welcoming people from different countries and cultures. But regardless of where you’re from, it’s best to respect the local culture of the UAE and the protocols of the event when you enter the site. Here are some of the most important things you should and shouldn’t bring inside the Expo 2020.
There is actually no formal dress code for visitors, but it goes without saying that you should follow the UAE’s rule for public dressing and the actual weather on your date of visit. It’s best to prepare lightweight casual or smart clothing suitable for Dubai’s sunny climate. If you plan to visit during the winter months, add some layers of clothing.
Food and Drinks
You can bring light snacks and bottles of beverages that can fit inside your bag and eat them at the designated dining areas inside the Expo 2020. However, you shouldn’t miss the many local and international food selections during the event.
Equipment and Gadgets
If you want to cover the event or simply capture memories, you are allowed to bring cameras, video cameras, and other recording equipment. Although there’s no general rule publicly stated on the website regarding professional-grade recording equipment, we don’t recommend bringing them, especially if they are massive.
Documents and Tickets
Don’t forget to bring your purchased tickets and proof of identification. Event organizers will double-check them at the entrance. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some documents may be submitted in digital format.
Children, students, senior citizens, and people of determination should bring IDs stating their age, residences, and conditions to avail of the free and discounted passes.
Where to Buy or Pre-book Expo 2020 Tickets
You can pre-book Expo 2020 tickets to take advantage of discounts and other early-bird perks. The official website of the event and other authorized local and international ticket resellers offer discounted tickets months before the event. It is not, however, required to pre-book tickets. You can buy tickets at the entrance of the event during the opening.
Here’s a list of the ticket prices for single and multiple-entry:
One-day entry – 120 AED (32 USD) for adults aged 18 to 64
3-day entry – 260 AED (70 USD) for adults aged 18 to 64
Monthly package – 350 AED (94 USD) for adults aged 18 to 64
Seasonal pass – 595 AED (161 USD) for adults aged 18 to 64
Premium seasonal – 895 AED (242 USD) for adults aged 18 to 64
Ultimate seasonal pass – 1295 AED (350 USD) for adults aged 18 to 64
Students aged 17 and below can avail of the 50% discount. Toddlers aged 5 and below, senior citizens aged 65 and up, and people of determination are free to enter the site.
If you plan to buy from authorized resellers, here’s the current list of third-party companies selling Expo 2020 tickets:
Passes to Expo 2020 offers access to over 60 technology and architecture exhibitions, daily parades, live entertainment featuring world-renowned artists, and other special events. These programs are already a feast for the eyes, but you can also literally experience a feast from over 200 food and beverage outlets serving different types of cuisines at the expo.
Here are some of the best things you can do and see at Expo 2020:
Explore The Actual Site
The site of Expo 2020 was designed and constructed by some of the best architects and engineers around the world. While you’re in there, allot plenty of time to explore the state-of-the-art venue and facilities.
Drop by the Special Pavilions
Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo with dedicated pavilions for the participating countries, partners, and international organizations. Visit as many pavilions as you can to discover new cultures and innovations.
Try Out New Technological Innovations
World Expos feature new technological innovations from different countries and organizations. Some are simply displayed, while others are free to touch and try. For Expo 2020, it is reported that a lot of scientists and engineers will debut new modes of transportation, including the world’s first-ever ropeless elevator called MULTI.
Witness Local and International Performances
World Expo and the city government of Dubai will host various local and international performances throughout the duration of the event. Although the list of performances and talents has yet to be confirmed, Expo 2020 already announced the launch of the UAE’s first opera, which will feature multilingual performances in Arabic, English, and Russian.
Shop and Dine Around the World
Dubai will invite over 200 local and international sellers and food and beverage companies to the event, so you can shop and dine around the world. Don’t miss the chance to get a taste of traditional cuisines and buy souvenirs.
Final Tips for Expo 2020 Visitors
Visiting expos, especially ones as big as Expo 2020, requires careful planning and efficient time management. To get your money’s worth from single and multiple-entry passes, you need to make the most out of your stay.
We recommend you plan your daily or monthly schedule and activities. Allot plenty of time to explore the programs, attractions, and activities you’re actually interested in. Don’t miss the special activities planned during holidays and weekends.
What to Do After Attending Expo 2020
Expo 2020 is a one-time event, but the city has more to offer if you plan to see more of Dubai and the UAE. For city-wide events welcoming mass participation, add Dubai Shopping Festival, Art Dubai, or the Dubai International Film Festival to your calendar.