Live updates: Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony
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Video: Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony

Video: Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony

Expo 2020 Dubai officially opens on October 1, 2021

Gulf Business


9.30pm: The opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai has now concluded.

The 90-minute long opening ceremony featured a mix of music, colour and special effects, while officials highlighted the importance of holding the event under the current circumstances, as the world struggles to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

You can watch the entire video below. Do follow for all the news and views from the six-month long event. The world’s ‘greatest show’ is now open!

9.25pm: And performances continue…

9.15pm: Andra Day enthrals the audience with her stunning vocals

9.10pm: Ellie Goulding’s mesmerizing performance is currently underway

8.55pm: Stunning visuals continue to be unveiled at the opening ceremony…

8.4opm: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai said: ” We reveal Expo 2020 Dubai to you.”

8.35pm: Speaking next is Dimitri S Kerkentzes, secretary general of the BIE – the governing body of World Expos.

He says Expo 2020 Dubai gathers at a time of unprecedented change due to the pandemic.

8.30pm: The anthem ends with fireworks. Next up is a speech from the commissioner general of Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan.

8.25pm: “This is our Time” – Expo 2020 Dubai’s official anthem is underway


8.20pm: The ceremony is underway with performances.

8.10pm: Fireworks at the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony.


8pm: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and other UAE dignitaries grace the ceremony.

7.30pm: And….the opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai has officially begun…


7.21pm: Less than 10 minutes away from the start of the ceremony. More than 30,000 lights have adorned the Al Wasl Plaza and Al Wasl Dome.

7.05: We’re only a couple of minutes away from the start of the opening ceremony which begins at 7.30pm.

Among those slated to perform are world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli; Grammy-nominated, Golden-Globe-winning actress, singer and songwriter Andra Day; platinum-selling British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding; mega-star pianist Lang Lang; and four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

A 1,000-strong cast and crew are involved in presenting the 90-minute opening ceremony that will showcase the Expo site’s Al Wasl Plaza’s dome – the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface. Scenes on the 130-metre-wide surface can be seen from both inside and outside the dome.

Read: All you need to know about the opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai

7pm: Dubai government employees are being granted a special allowance of six additional days of paid leave to attend the Expo 2020 Dubai. The leave can be used at anytime during the period of Expo 2020.

Read: Six days of paid leave for Dubai government employees to attend Expo 2020 Dubai


6.38pm: Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “We promised that Expo 2020 Dubai will be the best Expo in the world.”


6.30pm: All school students in the UAE will have the opportunity to attend Expo. Students across private and public institutions will be offered the chance to partake in one of four curated programmes to explore Expo 2020 Dubai. Entry for these students is free.

The four programmes – Legacy of the UAE, World of Opportunities, Sustainable Planet and Universe in Motion – will take place across the Expo’s three Thematic Districts (Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability), as well as across various pavilions showcasing the legacy and future of the UAE.

Read: Expo 2020 Dubai to offer curated programmes with free entry to all UAE school students

6.20pm: Ever wondered how the sprawling site looks from space? UAE’s satellite KhalifaSat earlier this mont released a photo taken from space that shows the site of the event.

6pm: All Covid-19 precautions are being observed at the Expo. All visitors must present either proof of a Covid-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result to gain entry to the site.

Visitors aged 18 and above must present proof of any vaccine recognised by their national government or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.

Non-vaccinated ticket-holders who have not been tested within this period can test at the PCR testing facility adjacent to the Expo 2020 site.

A five-lane drive-through PCR testing facility and a PCR screening centre with a capacity of 10,000 tests per day have been set up at the Expo site

A network of testing centres across the city can be found on the Expo 2020 website. On presentation of any valid Expo 2020 ticket, alongside an Expo 1-Day or Multi-Day Pass, the PCR test will be free of charge.

Read: Expo 2020 Dubai: Visitors to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative PCR test

5.30pm: Getting to the Expo using public transport is easy. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said that it has deployed 126 public ‘Expo Rider’ buses to provide free shuttle services to the Expo 2020 Dubai site for visitors from nine locations across Dubai. To know where you can board one of these buses from, read the link below.

Read: Free Expo 2020 bus shuttle services from nine locations in Dubai

However, one of the most efficient modes of transport to get to the Expo site is via Dubai Metro. Dubai Metro’s new 15-km long Route 2020 opened to the public in September, and was built at a cost of Dhs11bn. There will be a total of 50 trains servicing the new route, and they are expected to carry over 125,000 passengers daily.

Take a look at the video below to see the Dubai Metro in action along Route 2020:


5pm: Dubai is among the safest cities in the world. Helping secure the Expo 2020 is the Dubai Police who will utilise all ‘available artificial intelligence’ techniques to secure Expo 2020 – from visitors’ arrival into the country until they reach the exhibition site, stated Lieutenant general Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police recently.

Read: Dubai Police uses AI to secure Expo 2020 site

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also visited the operations centre of the Expo 2020 venue in Dubai on Sunday.

He reviewed the processes followed by the main operations centre, which is the base for 134 units of government and private entities in charge of operations, safety and security of the mega event.

Read also: Expo 2020: Sheikh Mohammed tours main operations centre ahead of opening this week

4.30pm: Planning to be one of the first to visit? Expo 2020 Dubai has launched the October Pass, priced at Dhs95 for the entire month. Equivalent to the price of a day ticket, the October Pass gives visitors access to 31 days of experiences. But you’ll need to move soon. This promotion is available to book only until October 15.

Read: Expo 2020 Dubai launches October Pass priced at Dhs95

Tickets are available online, at the Expo site and via its app too.

Children and youth under 18, seniors above the age of 60, and people of determination can enter for free.

For a VIP experience, book the Jubilee Experience which gives you and your guests access to a special lounge, valet parking, discounts on food and drink, and other perks. It costs Dh10,000, and includes four season passes, 30 multi-day Passes and 10 one-day passes.

Entrepreneurs and busines executives looking to leverage the World Fair for networking can buy the Premium Experience season pass for Dh1,750.

4pm: Have you heard the official Expo anthem? Titled This Is Our Time, it features Hussain Al Jassmi, Expo 2020 Ambassador; Lebanese-American Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mayssa Karaa, who is also an artistic director of Expo’s all-female Firdaus Orchestra; and Emirati singer-songwriter Almas.

3.30pm: Expo will open its doors to the public from tomorrow and run for six months until March 31, 2022. It is being held under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

There are 192 countries which are participating in the Expo. The Expo has traditionally been a fertile breeding ground for some of the world’s greatest inventions, has been around for over 170 years and takes place every five to six years.

The three main sub-themes at this year’s event are mobility, sustainability and opportunity.

Read: All you need to know about Expo 2020 Dubai

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