Expo 2020 Recommendations

November 17, 2021

After visiting Expo in Milan in 2015, I was intrigued to visit Expo in Dubai which is running between October 2021 and March 2022 and loved it. After two years of a global pandemic, it’s great to see such a fascinating global exhibition. Read on for my recommendations to get the most of your visit.

1. Don’t expect to see everything in one visit

The site is enormous, spanning an area greater than 600 football fields with more than 191 country stands and specific themed pavilions. I’d strongly recommend a bike tour, which you can book via the Expo 2020 website and run twice a day. These tours are a great way to appreciate the scale of the site and then allow you to go and visit specific pavilions based on your interests. If walking is too much, there is the option of hiring an e-bike (Careem), e-taxi or also taking the branded bus shuttle to get around the site as well.

2. Do buy the Expo Passport

Expo 2020 bikes tours using Careem bikes.
Expo Passport

I think Expo passport was designed for kids, but I saw plenty of adults using this passport. I have to admit, it is very satisfying to get a stamp after each visit to a pavilion especially after the past 2 years of the pandemic.

You can buy the passport from shops before you go, i.e. in Zoom grocery shops or on site at the visitors’ shop. It’s definitely worth the 29 AED (£5 to £6) but it was very satisfying to get the stamps!

3. Do use the Expo App and smart queue facility for the more popular pavilions.

Once you link your Expo ticket number via the Expo 2020 app, you can book up to 10 smart queues daily. At the more popular stands e.g. UAE, KSA, Germany and Italy it is definitely worth booking smart queue facilities. This cuts the queue time by more than half and means you can make the most of your visit.

Smart Queue Booking Confirmation

4. Dont forget about the food and souvenirs

Each country pavilion not only displays each country’s vision but also has opportunities to taste country specific food and souvenirs. I bought sandwiches from Monaco, cups from Brazil and Sweden and postcards from Korea. It’s a great opportunity for present buying.

Expo 2020 is host to the Alkebulan is the world’s first African dining hall which has a huge array of options to eat and drink, I can highly recommend the South African coffee and cake. There are a number of different offers each evening as well as first floor bar.

South African Coffee and Cake
Alkebulan Food Hall offers

5. What to see?

My highlights were:

  • Sustainability pavilion – Thought provoking with lots of interactive games
  • Korea – This uses augmented reality with each attendee given Iphone for the tour of the stand. The view over the wider Expo site makes this site well worth a visit.
View from Korean Stand
Korean augmented reality app.I chose a K-Pop avatar
  • Brazil – A paddling pool and a great café along with a space exhibition make this a stand worth visiting.
  • Lebanon – Worth it for the selfie opportunities from the swings within the stand with pictures of Lebanon in the background.
  • Philippines – This stand is tucked away in the corner but I really enjoyed the artwork and rooftop garden to enjoy the views
  • Peru – I loved learning about Peru’s history and the pisco bar at the end means this is a good place to stop.
  • Sweden – A wooden forest with a focus on sustainability, it is best visited at night to see the lighting.
  • Estonia – A small but compact stand which highlights the remarkable digitisation of Estonia and Estonia is classed as the easiest country in the world to set up a business in.
  • Chile – Recycled flowers and a wine bar make this a must-see stand in my eyes.
Recycled flowers at Chilean stand

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