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Expo 2020 Dubai Has Opened: AD Picks 10 Unmissable Highlights

As this highly anticipated event welcomes visitors from around the world, here are many of its most vibrant and inspiring moments.

By House & Garden South Africa | October 21, 2021 | Travel Leisure

Expo 2020’s Inspiring Districts

Image: Dany Eid

Connecting minds, creating the future; after making us wait for another year, Expo 2020 Dubai is finally here. Celebrating the best of the human spirit – from an unprecedented cultural programme and pioneering feats of innovation, to inspiring immersive experiences, the Expo offers a vibrant glimpse of our interconnected tomorrow.

From faster-than-light connectivity and green initiatives that promise of a better future, three themed districts and an impressive public plaza are the focal point of the global event.

Cutting-Edge Country Pavilions

Image: Calatrava Architects/Barbara Burg + Oliver Schuh

From UAE, the host country’s kinetic pavilion and Saudi Arabia’s futuristic building, to India’s shape-shifting pavilion, Pakistan’s vibrant structure and New Zealand’s pulsating showcase, Expo 2020 Dubai is host to some of the most exciting country pavilions that bring exploratory architecture together with interactive storytelling and inspiring cultural programming.

Experience Virgin Hyperloop

There has been so much talk about the Hyperloop coming to the UAE, and yet, much of the project itself has been shrouded in mystery – till now.

Walk Around A Mysterious Water Feature

Image: Mahmoud Khaled

Situated between Al Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park, the Expo 2020 Water Feature combines the elements of water, earth and fire in a way that both surprises and delights.

Take A Break At The Flying Park

Offering 360-degree views of the Expo 2020 Dubai site, Garden in the Sky might just be your best bet to soak in the energy and vibrancy of the wondrous event.

Discover Equinox, Terra Sustainability Pavilion’s Captivating Installation

Image: Dany Eid

Envisioned by celebrated British artist Matt Collishaw, the 3D zoetrope at Expo’s Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion is a clarion call to renew our commitment to environmental conservation.

Going Green Made Fun

The Dutch Pavilion’s monumental vertical farm, Latvia’s immersive ‘Sounding Forest’, Singapore’s solar powered hanging gardens, Malaysia’s Rainforest Canopy and Switzerland’s virtual hike through a foggy landscape… Expo 2020 Dubai tackles environmental issues in accessible, informative and fun ways that promise to positively impact our appreciation, understanding and advocacy of our planet’s most pressing matters.

Discover A New Generation of Regional Design


Telling stories of the UAE through exclusive design collections developed for Expo 2020 Dubai, the Expo’s MENASA – Emirati Design Platform presents more than 40 local and international designers.

The Feather-Light Expo Portals

Woven entirely from strands of carbon-fibre composite, the portals that took architect Asif Khan three years to develop are the first thing that visitors will see as they set foot in the site that is larger than 600 football fields and features some of the most exciting innovations in architecture, design and art.

The Kaleidoscope Lighting Festival

Image: Osama Z Al ZUbaidi

A stunning outdoor night-time light festival will bring Expo 2020 Dubai’s site to life for the mega-event’s entire six months. Visually striking and emotionally resonating, Kaleidoscope will harness the beauty of photography, light and visual arts, connecting Expo 2020’s impactful initiatives, global entertainment, and international festivals such as Diwali and Christmas, to tell powerful stories of the human experience. Plus, Expo Beats, a unique monthly festival will take visitors on a journey around the globe through music, dance, creativity and Expo’s collaborative music series, Late Nights @ Expo.

Before you head out to Expo 2020 Dubai, here is everything you need to plan your visit. People visiting Dubai for the global event may be eligible for complementary tickets. Purchase tickets here.

All images courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai. This was originally published on Architectural Digest Middle East.