From Lionel Messi to Alicia Keys: 13 celebrities who've visited Expo 2020 Dubai

From film stars, sports personalities, singers, artists, musicians, and royalty, Expo 2020 has seen no dearth of VIPs



DUBAI, 10 December 2021. Infinite Nights: Alicia Keys at Al Wasl, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh Sudhakaran/Expo 2020 Dubai)
DUBAI, 10 December 2021. Infinite Nights: Alicia Keys at Al Wasl, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh Sudhakaran/Expo 2020 Dubai)

Published: Tue 28 Dec 2021, 8:00 PM

Expo 2020 has delivered on its theme, 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', by connecting some of the best, most influential minds from around the globe to celebrate humanity, culture, and the dynamic future of the world. Indeed, it is no surprise that Expo 2020 has become the 'World's Greatest Show'.

From film stars, sports personalities, singers, artists, musicians, and royalty, Expo 2020 has seen no dearth of celebrities, and its success ensures it will continue to do so until March 31, 2022.

Following are some of the greatest celebrities to have visited the Expo:

Lionel Messi

Argentine football legend Lionel Messi is the Expo 2020 Dubai Ambassador, who recently visited the mega event and toured the UAE pavilion along with a few others. Speaking about the Expo, the 7-time Ballon d'Or winner said, "It shows you its culture, its country, it makes you see and learn from each one of them. It’s all very big, very impressive."

Photo: Neeraj Murali
Photo: Neeraj Murali

AR Rahman

After nearly two years, the Academy and Grammy award-winning Indian composer AR Rahman took to the stage to perform live at the Expo's Jubilee Park. The composer was joined by his versatile team of veteran singer Hariharan, music director Ranjit Barot, Indian actor and musician Andrea Jeremiah, and popular playback singers/rappers Benny Dayal, Jonita Gandhi, Haricharan, Javed Ali, Shweta Mohan, Rakshita Suresh, Blaaze and Shivang.

Usain Bolt

The 11-time world champion and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, famed for his 100m world record, visited the Expo in November. The retired Jamaican sprinter teamed up with Gatorade and the Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub at Expo for the 1.45-kilometre charity run, which would benefit the Al Noor Rehabilitation & Welfare Association for People of Determination.

Pep Guardiola

The Spanish coach of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, made a surprise visit to the Expo 2020 in November. He visited the UAE and UK pavilions. He later headed over to the City Football School's training sessions at the Expo’s Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub, and met some of the young players.

Ludovico Einaudi

The Italian pianist and maverick composer Ludovico Einaudi, known for a highly experimental approach to music, which involves incorporating multiple genres into his classical music, performed his latest album, 'Seven Days Walking', at the Expo in October.

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston, an actor known primarily for his portrayal of Walter White/Heisenberg in AMC's Breaking Bad (on Netflix), visited the Mexican pavilion.

Deepika Padukone

The Indian actor Deepika Padukone, known for her work in Bollywood and for being the first woman to enter the Top 5 of Forbes India's list of richest Indians (2018), visited the Expo in November. The actor visited a number of pavilions, including the Indian and the UAE pavilion.

Eva Longoria

The Hollywood actress and L'Oreal Paris Ambassador Eva Longoria delivered a powerful speech at the Club By Emaar in December, as part of a Stand Up Against Street Harassment training session. “It’s amazing that we have the power to come together with this initiative and tell women every day that they are worth it. No matter what your nationality, the fact that we’ve all experienced this connects us in a sisterhood.” said Eva.

Hend Sabri

Tunisian actor Hend Sabri visited Expo 2020 in the opening week in October 2021. As an actor, she has made some stunning contributions to the Arab film industry, which also won her awards at the Carthage Film Festival.

Alicia Keys

The 15-time Grammy winner and musical powerhouse Alicia Keys performed at the Expo on December 10 unveiling her newest double album, Keys, to thunderous applause from everyone present at the Al Wasl Plaza, Dubai. The show was live-streamed globally with a 360-degree projection dome, which made for a dynamic viewing experience for those watching online.

Nadine Labaki

Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese actor, director, producer and activist, who received an Oscar nomination for her brilliant performance in Capernaum. The actor proved to be a powerful addition to the Expo's Women's Pavilion created by Cartier, a grand structure celebrating the legacies of dynamic women around the world. Two of her short films, Women of Wonder and New Perspectives, will be displayed here.

Kumar Sangakkara & Mahela Jayawardene

Two legendary Sri Lankan cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, visited the Expo as the Sri Lanka Pavilion’s brand ambassadors.

Ragheb Alama & Nancy Ajram

Lebanese superstar Ragheb Alama and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Arabic pop sensation Nancy Ajram co-headlined the second performance of the Infinite Night series in early November.


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