Expo 2020 opening: Epic start to the weekend for UAE residents

Expo 2020 opening: Epic start to the weekend for UAE residents
Expo 2020 opening: Epic start to the weekend for UAE residents
Expo 2020 opening: Epic start to the weekend for UAE residents

Dubai - Many City Walk shoppers, diners were surprised to see the big screen light up.


Saman Haziq

Published: Fri 1 Oct 2021, 12:11 AM

Last updated: Fri 1 Oct 2021, 9:55 AM

UAE residents started their weekend with a bang as they watched the spectacular opening ceremony of the most awaited event of the year at City Walk.

The star-studded Expo 2020 gala on Thursday was streamed live at more than 430 locations across the UAE, giving everyone the chance to participate in the mind-blowing spectacle —wherever they might be. And UAE expats came out in good numbers to watch the show with their family and friends.

ALSO READ: Cinema fully booked as families, friends come together for live stream

While the outdoor retail complex of City Walk was one of the venues that streamed the event on a huge screen, not many knew about it and were surprised when it lit up at 7.30pm.

Dubai resident Vishal came to City Walk to tour his visiting mother and friend around the shopping area, but then they suddenly saw the Expo screen.

DON'T MISS: Expo opening gala, as it happened

“It was a pleasant surprise for all of us to see the live broadcast, especially since we were unaware of this. Coincidentally, my mother and friend have come all the way from Mumbai, India, to visit Expo 2020, and I have already bought the tickets for it. Getting to see this show on the big screen got us more excited to see the site in person,” the Indian expat told Khaleej Times.

Dubai resident Kartik K went to City Walk with his friends, all the way from IMPZ area. “We have waited for this event for a long time and I heard that a lot of celebrations will take place across the city — like a mini New Year celebration — and I didn’t want to miss it. Also, since it was being shown on outdoor screens, I felt safe here, with Covid protocols in place.”


>> Your ultimate guide to the mega event

>> Meet the robots that will guide you at Expo

Restaurants around the big screen got busier after 7.30pm as diners poured in to catch the Expo ceremony. While some chose to sit on the ground under the screen for a better view, many of those inside the restaurants were also able to watch while having dinner.

German tourists and friends Felix, Ron, Jan, Falko and Fabian said they were all excited to watch the grand opening ceremony on the giant screen. “We came to Dubai in September and will be working at the German pavilion at the Expo site. Today was a special evening, and we wanted to watch this spectacular event with the residents of Dubai, so we came to this City Walk arena. We are looking forward to participating in the Expo and finding a solution to a lot of global problems by connecting our minds and working on our future together,” said Falko.

Work colleagues and friends Stacey, Shalima and Gemma said they left work earlier than usual to watch the event. “We were super-excited about the opening ceremony as we have seen how hard Dubai has worked to put up this amazing show. The ceremony has left us absolutely speechless. We have never seen such outstanding performances. It was absolutely mind-blowing and we can’t wait to now visit the Expo 2020 site.”


More news from Expo 2020