Dubai Expo 2020: The ultimate guide to everything you need to know


Dubai Expo 2020, Sheikh Mohammed, pavilion, theme, October 20, 2020, UAE, BIE, Emirati

Dubai - If you are from the UAE or traveling from abroad to attend Dubai Expo 2020, this is your definitive go-to guide.

By Shajar Khan

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 4 Feb 2020, 4:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Jul 2020, 3:51 PM

Expo 2020 is said to be the largest event taking place in the UAE. If you are from the UAE or traveling from abroad to attend Dubai Expo 2020, this is your definitive go-to guide. Expo 2020 was set to commence in Dubai in October 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the dates of Expo 2020 Dubai have officially changed to 1st October 2021 - 31st March 2022. The event will keep the name "Expo 2020 Dubai".

In a recent press release issued by the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions) it stated that the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) requested a change in dates of Expo 2020 Dubai following a meeting of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee in which participating countries expressed their need to postpone the Expo's opening to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Voting on the postponement commenced on April 24th and was carried out remotely by the government-appointed delegates of the BIE's 170 Member States. A majority of two-thirds was reached as early as May 4th, voting remained open in accordance with the Executive Committee's recommendation until May 29th.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), stated: "I welcome this resounding expression of support shown by the international community to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai". "While this situation is unprecedented, the response by the Government of the UAE and by our Member States demonstrates the strong bonds that tie us and the shared commitment we have to deliver a truly inclusive World Expo."

"The difficulties raised by the Covid-19 pandemic illustrate the importance of sharing solutions and coordinating our actions". "The time we spend apart leads us to reflect on the importance of being together, and reminds us that even in the digital age, shared experiences are the essence of our humanity."

What is Dubai Expo 2020?

Expo 2020 aims to increase awareness about the challenges faced by humanity on a global scale. It is the world's largest meeting place and offers many opportunities such as networking and promoting international relationships. Expo 2020 will consist of individual pavilions where countries will be displaying their national cultures and technological inventions.

Dubai is set to welcome 190 participating countries with an estimated 25 million visitors from across the globe. Dubai Expo 2020 will allow visitors to experience Emirati hospitality, as well as the UAE's values of inclusion, tolerance, and cooperation.

What is the purpose of an Expo?

The purpose of an Expo is to connect countries with innovative and collaborative partnership programs that accelerate and promote solutions that improve lives while protecting the planet. Expos are held every five years.

The BIE oversees four types of International Exhibitions:

> World Expos (officially known as International Registered Exhibitions)
> Specialized Expos, (officially known as International Recognized Exhibitions)
> Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.

Expos are global events centered around a theme addressing fundamental challenges faced by humanity. Gathering nations from around the world, they are a stage for innovations and solutions and an invitation to explore a theme through engaging and immersive discoveries.

What dates does the Dubai Expo run from and to?

BIE General Assembly officially approves Expo 2020 Dubai date change Expo 2020 Dubai to take place between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022. The General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has approved the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Why is the Dubai Expo 2020 being held?

Participating in an Expo allows countries the access to network with international business, contribute to economic growth, as well as share knowledge and expertise alike. Expos provide a unique and international stage to engage in cultural diplomacy and interact with the host country, participants, tourists, and investors.
Expo 2020 Dubai will strive to protect and preserve the environment for future generations by sharing sustainable solutions and practices that are accessible and can be adapted globally, thus promoting sustainability. Additionally, there is a long-term plan for the Expo site once Dubai Expo 2020 is complete.

Why is the Dubai Expo 2020 important?

Expo 2020 is important as the initiative promotes preserving the planet as well as sustainability, mobility, and opportunity. Expo 2020 Dubai will be a celebration of the UAE Vision 2021. Not only will it boost the growth of tourism, but it will also accelerate the development of innovative businesses in the UAE which will improve the country's international status as a location to do business.

Will the Dubai Expo 2020 be successful?

The public has been enthusiastic about Expo 2020, many Dubai residents are confident Expo 2020 will deliver a positive impact on the economy and society,
Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid visited the site in December 2019 and made the following statement.

"The event is one of the largest global gatherings that bring together the world's greatest minds to discuss how we can shape the future. The youth should play a key part in this mega event and get opportunities to observe, learn and contribute creative ideas so that they can develop innovative solutions for creating a better future for our region and the world."

How will Expo 2020 benefit Dubai?

Dubai Expo 2020 will bring an increase in tourism and economic growth overall, but the initiative will benefit Dubai in the long term, by creating opportunities for international business ventures. The theme is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Expo 2020 is organized around, Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability

Opportunity - focusing on the potential for individuals and communities to shape their future.
Mobility - to create a dynamic society physically and virtually.
Sustainability - respecting and living in balance with the world we inhabit.

Where is the Dubai Expo 2020 being held?

The Expo 2020 site in Dubai covers 4.38 square kilometres and is in the Dubai South district, close to Al Maktoum International Airport and within proximity of the Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals.

How long will it take to plan and build the Dubai Expo 2020 site?

Site development at the physical Expo 2020 Dubai site began in March 2016 and will be completed before Expo 2020 commences in October 2020.

How to get around Dubai as well as to and from the Expo site?

There are many modes of transport to the Expo 2020 site. Taxis are easily accessible as well as the Dubai Metro. Expo 2020 will have its own dedicated Dubai Metro Station on the route 2020 line, which can hold a capacity of 40,000 passengers per hour to and from the site. Hiring a car is easy with a valid international driving licence.

Have Expos been held previously?

Yes, Innovations launched the first Expo in London which took place in 1851, and the last Expo took place in Milan in 2015.

Listed below are the previous Expos which took place over the past 169 years:

Expo 1851, 1862, - London
Expo 1855, 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900, 1937 - Paris
Expo 1873 - Vienne
Expo 1876 - Philadelphia
Expo 1880 - Melbourne
Expo 1888, 1929 - Barcelona
Expo 1893, 1933 - Chicago
Expo 1897, 1910, 1935, 1958 - Brussels
Expo 1904 - St. Louis
Expo 1905 - Liege
Expo 1906 - Milan
Expo 1913 - Ghent
Expo 1915 - San Francisco
Expo 1939 - New York
Expo 1949 - Port-Au-Prince
Expo 1962 - Seattle
Expo 1967 - Montreal
Expo 1970 - Osaka
Expo 1992 - Seville
Expo 2000 - Hannover
Expo 2005 - Aichi
Expo 2010 - Shanghai
Expo 2015 - Milan
Expo 2020 - Dubai

The next Expo after Dubai Expo 2020 will be in 2025 in Osaka, Japan.

How much are the tickets for Dubai Expo 2020?

Tickets vary in price, a single-day adult ticket (18 and over) will cost AED 120 or 33 USD, while a three-day pass, which can be used on any three days during the 173 days of the Expo will be priced at AED 260 or 71 USD. Please note that the pass can be used to start with on any day, however it should be consumed within a 2-week window.

Tickets purchased before 30 March 2020 will be reissued to maintain validity for the new Expo 2020 Dubai dates (1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022). Holders of new tickets will be able to enter the site when Expo opens. 1-day Tickets are valid for a single use; 3-day Tickets are valid for 14 days from the date of first use; Monthly Passes are valid for 30 days from the date of first use; Season Passes are valid for the full duration of the event.

Are there discounts for children and senior citizens?

Children below the age of 5 and senior citizens are given free entry. Proof of age is required.

Will there be student discounts for the Dubai Expo 2020?

Students are given a discount for every pass available, below are the listed ticket passes with discounts offered.

One-day entry

Adult (18-64) - AED 120 or 32 USD
· Senior (+65) proof of age required - Free Entry
· Youth (6-17) proof of age required - AED 60 or 16 USD
· Child (5 and below) proof of age required - Free Entry
· Students of any age. Student ID is required - AED 60 or 16 USD
· Person of determination proof of eligibility is required - Free

3-day entry

· Adult (18-64) - AED 260 or 70 USD
· Senior (+65) proof of age required - Free entry
· Youth (6-17) proof of age required - AED 130 or 35 USD
· Child (5 and below) proof of age required - Free entry
· Students of any age. Student ID is required - AED 130 or 35 USD
· Person of determination proof of eligibility is required - Free

Monthly Ticket Packages

· Adult (18-64) - AED 350 or 94 USD
· Senior (+65) proof of age required - Free entry
· Youth (6-17) proof of age required - AED 175 or 47 USD
· Child (5 and below) proof of age required - Free entry
· Students of any age. Student ID is required - AED 175 or 47 USD
· Person of determination proof of eligibility is required - Free

Season pass for the entire period of Expo 2020

· Adult (18-64) - AED 595 or 161 USD
· Senior (+65) proof of age required - Free entry
· Youth (6-17) proof of age required - AED 297 or 80 USD
· Child (5 and below) proof of age required - Free entry
· Students of any age. Student ID is required - AED 297 or 80 USD
· Person of determination proof of eligibility is required - Free

Season pass - Premium

· Adult (18-64) - AED 895 or 242 USD
· Senior (+65) proof of age required - AED 300 or 81 USD
· Youth (6-17) proof of age required - AED 597 or 161 USD
· Students of any age. Student ID is required - AED 597 or 161 USD
· Person of determination proof of eligibility is required - AED 300 or 81 USD

Season pass - Ultimate

· Adult (18-64) - AED 1295 or 350 USD
· Senior (+65) proof of age required - AED 700 or 198
· Youth (6-17) proof of age required - AED 997 or 269 USD
· Students of any age. Student ID is required - AED 997 or 269 USD
· Person of determination proof of eligibility is required - AED 700 or 189 USD

How can I access Expo 2020?

Dubai Expo 2020 will be open from Saturday to Wednesday: 10:00 - 01:00 | Thursday & Friday: 10:00 - 02:00 and entry can be accessed via ticket purchases. Ticket purchases can be made through the Expo 2020 website, via authorized ticket resellers who are contracted with Expo 2020, and at the Expo 2020 gates. The opening dates have changed therefore, tickets are not yet available for the new dates. Expo 2020 will notify the public as soon as tickets go on sale. Visitors will be able to buy monthly and season passes directly from Expo. For more information visit:

Can I buy family tickets?

Tickets are sold separately; all packages are listed above.

Are tour operators offering package tours with tickets?

Many travel agencies and tour operators are offering packaged tours with tickets for Expo 2020, companies are listed on the Expo 2020 Dubai website in the ticket tab.

What sort of food will be available at the Dubai Expo 2020?

With over 100 countries participating in the global event, Expo 2020 will have many delicacies to offer, a diverse array of dishes from many of the countries participating will be available. As the sub-theme is sustainability, there will also be locally sourced produce that promotes wellness and sustainably.

What time will prayers be at Dubai Expo 2020?

Prayers will commence as per normal during Expo 2020, even though prayer timings change daily by a few minutes. Prayers are mandatory for Muslims and provisions will be made so that prayers can be performed on time.

Where should I stay when visiting the Dubai Expo 2020?

Staying near Dubai South which is located near Al Maktoum Airport will be beneficial for tourists who are visiting the UAE and would like to avoid congestion when visiting the Expo 2020 site. Alternatively, tourists can stay in areas like Dubai Marina and have the option to use the metro to travel as it will take less than 16 minutes to Metro Route 2020.

How long will I need to see the entire site of the Dubai Expo 2020?

Dubai Expo 2020 will host 192 pavilions, a 1-day pass may be enough should you wish to view each pavilion briefly. However, more time will be needed to experience and engage with the different cultures, live shows, cuisines, and technologic aspects.

What about the legacy of Dubai Expo 2020?

The legacy of Dubai Expo 2020 will remain after Expo closes in March 2022, the site will be transformed into District 2020 as well as a global centre for youth.
According to the official Expo 2020 website, the legacy plans are "wide-ranging and ambitious".

"We hope to stimulate the development of a knowledge economy here in Dubai, anchored to the Expo site itself, which will continue, after the event, to be a destination that attracts visitors, students, and companies and is home to a combination of organizations including strategic industries, specialized technology companies, social entities, and education facilities," Marjan Faraidooni, senior vice president of legacy development and impact at Expo 2020 Dubai.

What will happen to the site once the Expo is closed?

Following the Dubai Expo 2020 sub-theme of sustainability, 80 per cent of the Expo buildings and structure will be a part of District 2020. This is an integral part of leaving a meaningful legacy. District 2020 will be a connected global centre for youth and future generations of innovators, original thinkers, and pioneers.
The Sustainability Pavilion will be turned into a science Exploratorium; the conference and exhibition campus will become an event and exhibition space; the mobility pavilion will be transformed into luxurious office spaces.
The above will form part of District 2020 which has an aim of contributing towards a knowledge-based economy. District 2020 will be the city of the future, a home for innovators, families, artists, and pioneers. The handover date of District 2020 will be October 2021.

What is the Dubai Expo 2020 master plan?

There are long-term plans and strategies behind Expo 2020, 80 per cent of the building structures will remain after Expo, this will be a part of District 2020. Additionally, a conference and exhibition centre will be an integral building in the Expo plan, this will be an event venue that will be operated by Dubai World Trade Centre. Once the site is fully developed, it is expected to be home to about 1 million residents and create over 500,000 jobs within various sectors.

Who were the architects of this plan?

The BIE is the intergovernmental organisation that is responsible for overseeing and regulating all international exhibitions that are non-commercial and take place for more than three weeks.
The theme for Expo 2020 is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The sub-themes are Opportunity which will be designed by Cox Architecture, Mobility by Foster and Partner and Sustainability by Grimshaw Architects.

Ahmed Al Khatib is the chief development and delivery officer at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The official premier partners of Expo 2020 are:

DP World
Emirates NBD

Official partners of Expo 2020 are:

Dubai Chamber
Emaar Hospitality

The official providers of Expo 2020 are:

Al Ain Farms
DarkMatter Group
Jacobs Mace
More than 15 million people visit Dubai each year, however visiting a new country may be daunting, here is your "what you need to know" guide if you are new to Dubai.

Why is Dubai so popular?

Dubai is famous for its many attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa, which is the world's tallest building, as well as the Burj al Arab, the only 7-star hotel in the world. Dubai also offers luxurious beaches, an amazing nightlife, and dining options, many expats choose Dubai for the well-paying jobs and unmatched lifestyle, while tourists enjoy the world's biggest shopping malls such as Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates as well as a manmade island called The Palm.

What are the dos and don'ts in Dubai?

It is important to dress respectfully. Be respectful of Emirati women and culture, do not take photographs without permission. Drunk and disorderly behaviour is not tolerated. Drugs are illegal, and so is driving under the influence of alcohol.
Public displays of affection are not permitted. Wearing swimwear when not in a pool or beach is not permitted. During the holy month of Ramadan, eating and drinking in public areas before sundown is not permitted. Some restaurants and cafes do cater to those who are not observing the fast.

What is the dress code in Dubai?

According to the official website of the UAE government, visitors are expected to dress modestly in public areas. When visiting a place of worship females are expected to wear a head covering or an abaya, which is a simple, loose fitted over-garment or robe-like dress. Men are also expected to dress appropriately when visiting a place of worship and ensure that clothing is not averse to cultural sensitivities.

Do I need to worry about mosquitos?

Mosquitoes are likely to be found near the desert streams and around date groves. However, there is no risk of malaria in the UAE.

Name something famous you can buy in Dubai?

Filled with culture and rich heritage there are so many souvenirs that visitors can take back home, from gold and diamond jewellery to oud and bakhoor (oud is a fragrance oil and bakhoor is chips of agarwood that are burnt to produce a pleasant aroma). Pashmina shawls and rugs are popular items for many tourists visiting Dubai. Dates are a must-have when traveling to Dubai. The quality and variety make for a much-loved snack amongst residents and visitors.

Do you need a visa for Dubai?

A visa is required depending on your citizenship and length of stay. The countries listed below do not require any advance visa arrangements and visitors holding the following passports will be able to proceed to immigration and have their passport stamped with a 30-day visit visa free of charge.
Andorra, Japan, San Marino, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine, Brunei, Mauritius, United Kingdom and South Ireland, Canada, Monaco, United States of America, New Zeeland, Vatican City, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, and Macau.
Regarding the 90-day visa, if you are a passport holder of one of the below countries or region, your passport will be stamped with a multiple entries 90-day visit visa that's valid for 6 months from the date of issue, and a stay of 90 days in total.
Argentina, Honduras, Romania, Austria, Hungary, Russian Federation, Bahamas Islands, Iceland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Italy, San Marino, Belgium, Kiribati, Serbia, Brazil, Latvia Seychelles, Bulgaria, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Chile Lithuania, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Luxemburg, Solomon Islands, Croatia, Maldives, South Korea, Cyprus, Malta, Spain, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Sweden, Denmark, Nauru, Switzerland, El Salvador, Netherlands, Uruguay, Estonia, Norway Finland, Paraguay, France, Poland, Germany, Portugal, and Greece.

For citizens of countries and territories not listed above, there is a pre-arranged visa option:

Visa type:

· 48 Hour which costs $10 and is not extendable
· 96 Hour which is 4 days from the arrival date and costs $30, this visa type is not extendable
· Tourist - short term (single entry) 30 days from arrival date, costing $90 and a fee of $230 to extend
· Tourist - short term (multiple entry) 30 days from the first entry $175 and a fee of $230 to extend
· Tourist - long term (single entry) 90 days from arrival date $190 and a fee of $230 to extend
· Tourist - long term (multiple entry) 90 days from arrival date $460 and a fee of $230 to extend

If you are a citizen of a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), you do not need a visa or sponsor to visit the UAE. However, anyone accompanying GCC nationals or GCC residents from a non GCC country must have a valid visa before entering the UAE. The Ministry of Interior provides an online visa system for ex-pat residents in GCC countries who wish to visit the UAE.

Can I drink tap water in Dubai?

Tap water in Dubai is generally safe to drink. However, many residents and expats choose to drink bottled and filtered water.

Why is Dubai called DXB?

Dubai is called DXB because DXB is the IATA code of its main international airport and people often use IATA airport codes as identifiers for major cities. Although Dubai starts with D-U-B, the code for Dubai is not DUB because it is already taken by Dublin airport.

More news from