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Expo 2020 Dubai: This young 'train' driver takes schoolkids on a free tour around the site

nandini@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 10, 2021


(Nandini Sircar)


(Nandini Sircar)


(Nandini Sircar)

The Expo Explorer isn't just an ordinary train; it runs on compressed air, making it pollution-free

Emna Malouche, a 29-year-old Tunisian expat, takes children on an extraordinary voyage around the World Fair.

Malouche is a tour guide on the 'Expo Explorer', the yellow-coloured train that has become a favourite amongst school children.

But the Expo Explorer isn't just an ordinary train; it's a train with a difference. Unlike classic trains, the Explorer runs on compressed air, making it pollution-free. Malouche calls it 'the best thing' at the Expo.

"Children can't walk such a long distance, especially in the sun, to visit one pavilion or another," she said. "This area is massive. It's four times the size of Dubai Mall and 600 times the size of a football stadium. Children would be exhausted if they were to walk so much. Besides, it's completely free of cost."

Malouche added that she tries to take kids to as many pavilions as she can, especially the ones the would interest and educate them.

"Through this journey, I try to give them a taste of different things, show them the varied offerings here, which are all so fascinating. I love to see the 'wow' expression on their faces, some of them look so amazed. I love this job," she said.

The Expo Explorer has five bogies, where school children can comfortably spread out while maintaining social distance.

As children and teachers take their seats, Malouche is dutifully ready to play her part with a lavalier (neck) mic attached to her clothing.

"I came to the UAE from my home country Tunisia in the year 2013. I used to work as a customer service agent earlier," she said. "I always wanted to be a part of Expo 2020. We come here at the site much before the gates open at 10am. I have six years of work experience prior to this one."

The train, which is also accessible for wheelchair users, allows kids to experience the future of ecological transport.

"The train also offers kids many opportunities to discover what makes this an exceptional event by travelling through its three stations — Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity — and giving them a sneak peek of different world pavilions. Children love being on this train and I, too, love being on this train," Malouche said.

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She added that the Expo might be introducing even more Explorer trains.

"I have seen at least two of these Expo Explorer trains here. I think they are getting more such trains. My colleague and I do these tours in shifts. There are several drivers for these trains as well, who belong to different nationalities. Most of them are from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India," she said.

Nandini Sircar





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