Most people visiting the Expo site think it’s only the countries. You will be delighted to know there are so many other extra eventful pavilions and experiences to uncover. See if you can fit all of these mentioned below in your itinerary.
The Main Entry
The huge 21 meter high structures at the three main entrances were designed by acclaimed British-Pakistani architect Asif Khan, using the most technologically advanced material: carbon fibre, which is three times stronger than steel itself. The structures are representative of the mashrabiya screen designs which is typically used in the UAE.
Al Wasl Plaza
The main dome which you cannot miss. Al Wasl means “the connection” and the whole idea here is how cultures from East and West meet here in Dubai. Some of the shows here are truly amazing as light projections do their wonders on the massive dome- which by the way is the largest projection surface in the world. The opening ceremony was held here.
You can walk inside the dome, but they won’t let you go to the center as that’s cordoned off.
The Opportunity District
The distinct colour orange represents the rising sun and all countries featured in this district are all here to “dismantle the barriers hatstand in the way of achieving a truly suitable future in which Mobility and Sustainability are achievable.”
In this district do make sure to visit the Mission Possible pavilion which “represents the collective mission to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.” The exhibit is split into three separate areas, so essentially, you can visit this pavilion three times to capture three brilliant stories of men and women beating the odds to create a change in their countries.
The Sustainability District
This district serves as a platform to “share solutions designed to drive change and encourage us to act collectively to protect our planet.”
The Terra pavilion is something that the younger children will enjoy a lot as it features lots of interactive and immersive exhibits. I enjoyed walking on the Empathy Forest pathway. I also enjoyed the part on how much we are wasting in modern culture, and what we can do to reduce waste. You can literally spend hours just in this pavilion.
You can either go Under the Forest or you can go Under the Ocean. Each journey has a lot to experience.
The Mobility District
The whole idea here is: when we facilitate the smarter movement of people, ideas, and things, we unlock vital new frontiers for human growth. The themes explored here explore the large number of ways that moved is creating the shared future.
The Alif pavilion here was my favourite of all three. The world’s largest elevator, in terms of holding a maximum number of people, takes you up to the top floor and you walk your way down through some amazing exhibits. It covers the whole spectrum of human movement and progress through the ages, right up to the space age era. Don’t forget to get your selfie taken inside the spacesuit belonging to an Emirati astronaut.
The Water Feature
This was one of my favourite places to hang out. They even let you walk up into the waterfall. The design of this place is brilliant– the water is thrown from atop and by the time the water flows down, it disappears into the floor. There’s no water body or pool at the bottom. Watch out for the show as well where the water is coordinated to the music. Evening times are a treat for our senses.
Garden in the Sky
The perfect time to go up in the sky is during sunset. Don’t forget to take your camera. Tickets are 30 dirhams and you have the choice to stay on the upper outdoors deck, or stay indoors on the lower deck for an awesome all round view of the Expo site. I do wish this were placed more closer to the middle of the entire Expo complex though.
The Good Place
Do check this out to see how social entrepreneurs are playing their role in identifying grassroots solutions to global climate challenges across five themes: Women Igniting Change, Power of Determination, Next Gen Humans, Tech for Good and Man and Nature. I would highly recommend you to spend some time in here to draw some inspiration to see how a single person can make a world wide difference.
A must watch. I was a little sad to see how few people were visiting this pavilion. It’s a brilliantly set up exhibit on how women from around the world have played throughout history, illustrating that when women thrive, humanity thrives!
This is also a must see…and be impressed with a larger than life sculpture of a horse. This exhibit shows us all what vision can do for us. We are taken on a journey on how Dubai was born and how a vision from Sheikh Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, led him to completely transform the city. The valuable lessons he learned along the way, the challenges, the values as an Emirati are all shared here.
This was fun to experience as you can see and get all the latest info about Cargospeed, the hyper-loop based transport system of tomorrow. You can also sit inside a replica model of the hyperloop shuttle.
Don’t forget to watch the spectacular waterfall show at the end.
This was a short and fun experience as a few people stand inside this mini opera house to be immersed inside a full blown opera experience.
And The Rest….
I haven’t even begun to talk about the restaurants, the parks, the art exhibitions, the robots, the live shows, the national day celebrations, the talks and seminars, the performances, and so much more.
I have missed out on some of the things I really wanted to see, but for that I needed more time. The Expo is operational till March 31st 2022, so you never know, I may end up back there again!
This is clearly the greatest show on earth, and since it’s being held in the Middle East for the first time ever, it gives us a perfect opportunity to experience and absorb so much of what the world has to offer.