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On October 1, Expo 2020 Dubai kicked off in the futuristic city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The latest iteration of the World’s Fair, Expo 2020 Dubai is a demonstration of technology, culture, and innovation from countries around the world. It has pavilions from 190 countries and daily shows and exhibitions. It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting events happening in the world and offers a great excuse for travellers to get back out there and see the world.
Moira Smith, our VP of Africa and Asia, recently visited Dubai to attend Expo 2020 Dubai and experience the excitement first-hand. We caught up with Moira to get the lowdown about the Expo and learn five key things travel agents should know to help them plan a trip for their clients.
It sounds so cliché, but Expo 2020 Dubai is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had such a sensory overload when visiting—in a good way, I assure you. The tagline for the Expo itself says it best: “connecting minds, creating the future.” Visiting the Expo gave me a glimpse into our interconnected, global tomorrow. It’s like peering into a looking glass and seeing what’s to come, which isn’t something that you exactly say of most vacations.
Despite the fact that we’re still in a pandemic, it was remarkably seamless to travel to Dubai and attend Expo 2020 Dubai. On arrival in Dubai, you need to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure. And that’s really it as far as entry protocols go. Everything else is business as usual. While in Dubai and at the Expo, masks are mandatory and social distancing is enforced. The vaccination rate in Dubai is among the highest in the world, so even given the masks, it felt like pre-COVID travel with people enjoying everything that Dubai and the Expo had to offer.
Expo 2020 Dubai is big! It’s too large to do it justice in just one visit. You’ll want several days (at least) to see all the pavilions and take in the great performances and exhibitions. A multi-day pass (valid for up to 30 days) is a must. The Dubai Metro stop means that travellers can easily visit the Expo multiple times during their stay, whether it’s to check out a new pavilion, see one of the daily scheduled musical performances, or enjoy a great meal.
Everyone should know by now that the innovative, experiential pavilions are the big draw of Expo 2020 Dubai, but many people may not realize what a great foodie experience the Expo is. There are more than 200 food outlets in the Expo, with all kinds of dishes and treats. You’ll find food trucks with quick eats and upscale dining experiences that match the fanciest restaurants around the world. You’ll also find live cooking demonstrations where individual countries can showcase their national dishes and spread a love of their culture. Every traveller will find something great to eat.
Dubai is a great destination in its own right and Expo 2020 Dubai is a trip in itself, but it also makes for a great stopover and complement to a beach stay or safari across Africa or Asia. At Goway, we’re currently running an exceptional promotion where travellers can enjoy a free two-night stopover in Dubai for the Expo (with Expo tickets) en route to the Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Thailand. Travellers can also pair the Expo with a safari, with two nights in Dubai en route to Kenya or South Africa. We also offer pairings of Dubai and Egypt for a wonderful combination of modern wonders and ancient treasures. These are all exceptional deals and a great way to see Expo 2020 Dubai as well as other marvellous parts of the world. One final tip: make sure your clients add on extra nights in Dubai. They’ll be so glad they did, as there’s so much to see and do in Dubai in addition to Expo 2020 Dubai.
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