Expo 2020: Grand Finale of the World’s greatest show


March 4, 2022 | By Zubina Ahmed

Expo 2020 lived up to its theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”

As Expo 2020 Dubai draws to a close this month, visitors from across the world have joined the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture. Through thoughtfully designed visual arts, sound effects, music, food, avant- grande architecture, heritage, culture and modern technologies visitors at the Expo 2020 Dubai experienced the best in the last five months. As hosts, the UAE offered the very essence of Arab hospitality, first by dedicating a pavilion to every participating nation, each with it’s own story —past, present and future.

As a huge world trade fair it was home to more than 200 pavilions, including 192 belonging to participating countries despite an economic downturn the world has seen in the last two years. Dubai has made a powerful statement in its own right. And the time has come, as this global stage will close its doors on March 31 after an impressive six-month run of activations, crowd-pleasing concerts, guest appearances and memorable daily performances, all of which will expect to have high visitation. With less than 30 days to go, scores of people have realised it’s now or never until it’s gone forever, with domestic visits surging 128 per cent in the past six weeks, and international visitation up 19 per cent, primarily thanks to the popularity of the new AED 50 Season Finale Pass.

Here is what you can look forward to in March!

With so much of star-studded line-ups last month, the celebration shall continue this month too. Canadian jazz legend Diana Krall is set to enthral crowds at Al Wasl Plaza on 19 March, while across the site, Country Pavilions from the Arab world continue to be big visitor draws, including the likes of Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Expo 2020 Dubai’s virtual visitation numbers have also reached 145 million, driven by the diverse entertainment available via [email protected], as well as extensive coverage of Expo 2020 Dubai. Programme for People and Planet and the live-streaming of Coldplay.

Batman fans will be able to immerse themselves into the shadowy world of Batman and save Gotham by solving a series of riddles at The Gotham City Pavilion. Inspired by the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film The Batman, the pavilion is located within the Opportunity District of Expo 2020 Dubai will be open until Monday March 21. Echoing the dimly lit Batcave, the pavilion is set to transport visitors into the heart of the eagerly anticipated Matt Reeves’ The Batman movie. Guests will be whisked into the Batcave and invited to crack the encrypted messages and claim a prize from Batman’s private collection, with collectable posters, official movie merchandise and special edition comics up for grabs. Advance tickets for The Batman, releasing in cinemas on March 3, will be available for purchase on site through VOX Cinemas. Visitors can also buy tickets on the VOX Cinemas’ website and app.

For all foodies, Expo 2020 has teamed up with Time Out Dubai to launch its very own Expo Eats Awards and your taste buds are the ones in control.  The Expo Eats Awards form part of Expo 2020’s Expo 2020 Dubai Food Festival, which runs until Sunday March 31, featuring a restaurant week, barbecue festival and much more. The BBQ Festival will run from 18 February to 6 March. Part of the Expo Food Festival, you will find stands from world-class chefs, international brands and regional favourites, along with live bands all weekend long and kids activities: guaranteed fun for the whole family! At 7 am on 26 March, there will be the final run of the Expo run trilogy, so people can get ready to take part in a 3, 5 or 10km fun run. It’s open for all ages and abilities. It’s AED 39 only AED 25 and participants get 3 free 1-Day Tickets, a race t-shirt, medal and other goodies! As the clock is ticking and Expo is reaching its finale, given the multitude of activities lined- up, visitors shouldn’t give it a miss.  And if you’re not one of the 15 million people that have visited Expo 2020 Dubai yet, what are you waiting for?

What next for the Expo 2020 site ?

Expo 2020 site will soon be transformed and repurposed into District 2020, a sustainable residential and office community over different phases.  In a transition process that vary from six to nine months, District 2020 is an innovation hub where residents will live and work in the UAE’s first 15-minute city. District 2020, a future legacy of Expo 2020, is planned to have more than 200,000 square metres of grade A, LEED-certified, commercial and residential space, plus 45,000 square metres of green space. Everything they need from offices, parks, groceries, retail shops, restaurants and coffee shops will be accessible by simply cycling, walking or riding e-scooters – accessible in under 15 minutes. Three of the five tall buildings surrounding Al Wasl Plaza will be transitioned into office spaces within around three months.

Work on the thematic districts will then start, lastly followed by residential units, which are set to be ready by end of the year. The major attractions of the site such as the waterfall and Garden in the sky will remain open to visitors throughout the nine-month reconstruction. By utilising 80 per cent of the Expo’s infrastructure for District 2020, Dubai is setting an unprecedented example for future world fairs. This move is not only going to impact the real estate industry but the overall economy, since it will give a boost to the commercial activities in the areas closer to the Expo site. Termed as the future of Expo 2020, District 2020 will open its doors for District 2020 will open its doors for residents, tenants and workers from October 2022, six months after the culmination of the global fair. It will feature an innovation-driven business ecosystem that supports digital innovation and the overall wellbeing, while promoting a more balanced way of life.

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