Travelers who love unique events that offer the chance to explore different parts of the world should look toward Dubai this fall, when the Middle Eastern nation hosts Expo 2020.
The universal exposition, also known as a world’s fair, serves as a showcase for innovation in the arts, food, culture, science and technology.
This year’s expo, which opens Oct. 20 and runs through April 10, 2021, is already groundbreaking. It’s the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. About 190 countries will take part, with the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”
Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, has grown from a fishing village in the 18th century to a bustling, modern metropolis and a center of international business. The city is known for dazzling architecture, like the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, as well as for luxury shopping and vibrant nightlife.
At Expo 2020, visitors will be able to browse through national pavilions that feature an exciting mix of old and new, from traditional culture to the latest in science and technology. For example, the pavilion for the Eastern European nation of Belarus will re-create the look and feel of the nation’s primeval forests, as well as demonstrate a printer capable of reproducing live cells. The circular U.S. pavilion will be designed to project the sensation that the building is in motion. Exhibits will provide a showcase for technology, as well as employ the arts, food and sports to explore diversity in American life.
Dubai likes to do things big, so it’s no surprise that the expo’s attractions will include the world’s tallest observation wheel, at 820 feet high, which will carry up to 1,900 passengers at a time and provide panoramic views. At the central Al Wasl Plaza, site of celebrations and cultural events from around the world, visitors will find the world’s biggest 360-degree projection surface.
Culture lovers will find a lot to keep them entertained, with a diverse lineup of exhibits, workshops and performances, from opera to theater and dance, fashion shows, acrobatics and poetry slams. At night, the expo will light up with the sights and sounds of fireworks and concerts.
Of course, food will play a major role at the expo, with more than 200 outlets serving up dishes from around the globe, including from the wider Arab world. There’ll be everything from street food to gourmet dining to family-friendly and vegan options. The emphasis will be on protecting the environment, including dishes made from organic produce, locally sourced ingredients and sustainable packaging.