For six months, beginning Oct. 20, 2020, the United Arab Emirates will host Expo 2020, the first World Expo ever held on the African continent. Here’s what you need to know about Expo 2020 and why you should start making plans for your family to join the more than 25 million expected to attend.
What is Expo 2020?
Also known as World Fairs, World Expos are held every five years and last six months. The next one, Expo 2020, will run seven days a week through April 2021 and feature 192 country pavilions in one of three thematic districts: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Expect to see cutting-edge technologies, experience new cultures and taste the world’s cuisine at more than 200 restaurants.
Families can visit the countries they’re interested in or explore one of the expo’s themes using online educational materials that direct you to particularly kid-friendly pavilions. Check the expo calendar (when available) for special programs like the make-your-own-robot workshop, fireworks shows, parades, dance performances and more.
How many days do I need to see it?
Considering there are 192 country pavilions and more than 60 shows per day, it would be impossible to see and experience everything at the nearly 1,100-acre Expo 2020 in one day — or even three days. You can purchase a one-day ticket for $120 AED (about $33 USD) or a three-day pass for $260 AED. Monthly and seasonable passes will also be available when tickets go on sale in April 2020. Students get 50 percent off ticket prices, and children 5 and under are free.
Factor in time to discover the U.A.E. though, too. Expo 2020 is located in Dubai South, approximately halfway between downtown Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Both cities make an excellent base for the expo and offer family-friendly fun. In Dubai, visit Legoland Dubai, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Aquaventure Waterpark and the Dubai Mall. In Abu Dhabi, older kids will enjoy the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital and Grand Mosque, while family members of all ages will have a great time at Ferrari World.
Where should I stay?
Light rail will connect both cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, to Expo 2020, making it easy to stay in either location. Because the expo is about halfway between the two, it will take roughly the same amount of time to get there no matter which you choose. However, since Dubai is often mentioned in conjunction with Expo 2020, attendees will be more likely to stay in Dubai.
As a result, you may have an easier time finding rooms in Abu Dhabi. Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi is located on one of the U.A.E.’s best beaches and has a kids’ club and plenty of activities for all ages. For a budget-friendly option in Dubai, consider Aloft Palm Jumeirah.
Traveling with young children and, dare we say, toddlers, can often mean packing everything but the kitchen sink. You’ll need all the essentials, from food, clothing and baby hygiene products to travel gear and just-in-case accessories for every scenario under the sun. Sounds like a lot because it is, but companies like Totts can cut out a significant part of the packing process by shipping all the consumables you need for your trip, like wipes, diapers, body wash, detergent, hand sanitizer and more, to your destination. Travel a little lighter and have all the what-if necessities waiting for you at your Airbnb, hotel or campsite.
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