Christina Aguilera and Norah Jones keep it high and low at Expo 2020 Dubai

Both US artists performed on the final night of the world fair

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Christina Aguilera and Norah Jones were a study of contrasts when it came to their Expo 2020 Dubai performances as they gave the world a send-off to remember during their closing concerts.

Both delivered crowd-pleasing sets showcasing why both are viewed as the finest voices of their generation in their respective genres.

In what was her first major public concert of 2022, Aguilera was raring to go with a series of greatest hits.

Flanked by dancers, backup singers and a live band, Aguilera delivered the kind of spectacle fit for the occasion.

Taking the Jubilee Stage with a pyrotechnic show, she marauded across the stage and tore into 2002 hit Dirrty followed by signature 1999 anthem Genie in a Bottle.

But it was in the slower numbers that she shined, particularly in the exquisite power ballad The Voice With In.

Jones channelled those intimate vibes throughout her earlier set at the Jubilee Stage.

Performing solo on the piano, the Grammy Award-winner delivered a lovelorn set of tunes, including It Hurts to Be Alone and I’ve Got to See You Again.

Aided by the surprisingly cool breeze that wafted throughout her 9pm show, Jones provided a much-needed respite in what for many was a long and thrilling day.

Ugandan visitor Kevin Lyto, right, at Expo 2020 Dubai. Saeed Saeed/The National

Admiring the performances was Kevin Lyto.

The Ugandan tells The National this was his first visit to Expo 2020 Dubai and, like for many others, it was an opportunity to mix business with pleasure.

“Well, for one thing, I wanted to see Christina Aguilera because she is legendary and really the soundtrack to many of us growing up,” he said.

“At the same time I am also an event promoter back in Uganda so I came to Expo to see some of the artists performing and generally understanding how things work here.”

And what is the verdict?

“Oh man, it is great,” he says. “The cool thing about the Expo for me is that there is a lot of things to experience and learn from. So I've been checking out the different pavilions and seeing how they are organised. I will definitely come back home with some sense of inspiration.”

Stefan and Innes Vlad with eight-month-old baby Nour. Saeed Saeed / The National

As for couple Stefan and Innes Vlad and eight-month-old Nour, seeing the triple-header of Aguilera, jazz singer Jones and the midnight set by Dutch DJ Tiesto was a great to finish to their Expo 2020 Dubai holiday.

“We came here on March 13 and we already visited the Expo five times,” Stefan said.

“We really explored everything from the big and small pavilions and tried all the different food.

“This is really a great family holiday because when you go with a young child, you want everything to be clear and organised and this is exactly what happened.”

With Nour only two months older than the Expo itself, Innes recalled the decision to use the event as the family’s first international trip.

“I was a little bit afraid how she would handle all the activities and people around her. But she took it on like an absolute pro,” she said.

Stefan hopes the Expo’s immersive cultural experience will rub off on his daughter creatively in the future.

“Maybe she will see Tiesto tonight and that will be the memory that makes her decide that she wants to be superstar DJ,” he said. “If that happens, then she already has the perfect name: DJ Vlad.”

Expo 2020 Dubai on the final day — in pictures:

Updated: April 01, 2022, 1:57 AM