Celebrities at Expo 2020 Dubai: Coldplay, Prince William, Cristiano Ronaldo and more

From movie stars to sportsmen, many famous faces passed through the gates of the world's fair

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Expo 2020 Dubai has ended, and during its 182-day run, a number of celebrities made their way to the world’s greatest show.

From athletes to actors and singers to royalty, here are some of the famous faces that were spotted at the world's fair since its opening ceremony on September 30:

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera performs during the Expo 2020 Dubai closing ceremony on March 31, 2022. Reuters

Singer Christina Aguilera performed on the closing day of Expo 2020.

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

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

Norah Jones

Norah Jones plays the piano during the Expo 2020 Dubai closing ceremony on March 31, 2022. EPA

Singer Norah Jones was also part of the closing ceremony's musical line-up.

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

Tiesto

Tiesto performs at Jubilee Stage at Expo 2020 Dubai on March 31, 2022. Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai

Dutch DJ Tiesto performed a midnight set on the Jubilee Stage on closing night. His set was described as the "perfect way to say goodbye to Expo 2020 Dubai".

Coldplay

The four-piece group Coldplay performed in Al Wasl Dome on February 15, as part of Expo 2020's Infinite Nights series. They played a back catalogue of their most famous songs over the past 20 years including hits A Sky Full of Stars, My Universe and Fix You.

“Thank you for last night’s incredible #InfiniteNights show at #Expo2020,” they tweeted the next morning. “It was so inspiring to be with everyone, to visit the Sustainability pavilions and to see Dubai’s Reuse, Refill, Reimagine initiative in action.”

Ranbir Kapoor

The Bollywood star made his first trip to Expo 2020 Dubai recently. He made an appearance at the India Pavilion while also taking a photo in front of the giant water feature. “Mumbai is a lot like the Expo. There are so many different cultures and people who have come together in the city … I have been to India and the UAE Pavilions, it was awesome. It’s so incredible to be in a place like this,” he told the audience as part of a talk he was giving.

Amaal Mallik and Armaan Malik

The brothers are the sons of famed Bollywood composer Daboo Malik and performed at the DEC Arena at Expo 2020 on February 12. Armaan shared a video in which he performed a song live for the first time at Expo 2020 Dubai, writing that he “couldn’t have asked for a better audience than YOU, Dubai”. Afterwards, he called the experience “magical”.

Bamboo

Popular Filipino-American singer Bamboo performed his greatest hits on the Jubilee Stage at Expo 2020 Dubai on February 11. “Thank you everyone last night! Thank you Dubai/Dubai Expo2020. What a night! I can't wait to do this back home again (Hint hint)- we can do this safely. I've missed this,” he captioned an Instagram post.

Prince William

The future King of England made a stop at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of the UK’s country day on February 10. This was part of his first official to the UAE, during which he also met Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, as well as toured the Abu Dhabi mangroves. While at Expo, Prince William embarked on an impromptu walkabout, shook hands and met families who had been queuing for hours. He ended the night by attending a performance at the Expo Arena.

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium

The Belgium royals visited Expo as part of Belgium’s country day on February 5. The couple met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, at the Expo 2020 site, and the king gave a speech during their visit to the Belgium Pavilion. They also visited the UAE and Japan pavilions.

Arsenal FC

Members of the English Premier League football club Arsenal took time out from their winter break to visit Emirates Pavilion on February 2. More than 20 first-team players, including captain Alexandre Lacazette, visited the pavilion, enjoying a glimpse of the future of commercial aviation through the immersive experiences.

“It was an incredible experience to visit Expo 2020 during our visit to Dubai. We’ve enjoyed getting down to hard work during our warm-weather training sessions in first-class surroundings, and it was great to have a break to explore the Emirates Pavilion,” said Lacazette. “The boys found it very interesting to take a look into the future, and the gravity-defying waterfall was a particular highlight. On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank Emirates for making us feel so welcome."

Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the most famous footballers in the world made an appearance at the world fair on January 28. The Manchester United forward was part of a Q&A session for Expo’s Health and Wellness Week at Al Wasl Plaza, where thousands of fans turned up to see him. After the event, Ronaldo shared a photo from the stage, tweeting: “Thanks for everything @dubai” and using the hashtag #alwaystogether.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in

The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, made a visit to the UAE as part of his Middle East tour. He made his way to Expo 2020 as part of South Korea's country day on January 16. Moon praised the UAE's hosting of the world fair while sharing hopes that South Korea could do the same in 2030.

"Expo 2020 Dubai is a source of great inspiration for us, and we are hoping to host an Expo in Busan, Korea, in 2030, and our theme of ‘Transforming our world, navigating towards a better future’ is aligned with the goals pursued by Expo 2020 Dubai.

“People of the world, through Expo 2020 Dubai, have been connecting their minds, and I hope we will connect again in Korea in 2030.”

G V Prakash Kumar

The Indian composer and actor took a visit to the Expo 2020 on January 3. He uploaded a video to his Instagram account showing off the India Pavilion, and later posted some comments about it. In a Twitter video, he also praised the pavilion, saying: "I feel very happy to be present here at the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai which showcases India's strengths and achievements brilliantly."

Armin van Buuren

The popular Dutch DJ performed a special New Year's set at Expo. Performing as part of a 13-hour concert event, he took to the stage at 1.30am, helping usher in 2022. Ahead of the gig, he said he was excited for it and called it a "great way to end this year".

Dimitri Vegas

The Belgian DJ was the other big name who helped welcome 2022 at Expo. He uploaded a video showing him counting down with the crowd, before celebrating the New Year with streamers and pyrotechnics going off to a cheering crowd at Al Wasl Plaza.

Lea Salonga

The Filipino singing sensation performed at Expo on Christmas Day. Known as the voice of Princess Jasmine in A Whole New World from the Disney classic Aladdin, she shared the stage with singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe as well as the London Community Gospel Choir.

Tamer Hosny

The Egyptian singer took to the stage for a performance of his biggest hits on December 23. Afterwards, he shared a post of appreciation on Instagram, writing that he felt "immense pride" in the concert and thanking the audience as well as the Arab community that attended. He also praised the organisers and those responsible for putting on the show.

AR Rahman

No stranger to the UAE, the Oscar-winning composer returned to Expo for a performance with other Indian stars on December 23. The concert, which took place at Jubilee Park, was his first in almost two years and featured some of his most beloved compositions. Ahead of the event, he also took to Instagram on December 21 to share a video of himself at Expo, exploring the pavilions.

Lionel Messi

The Paris Saint-German star made a surprise visit to Expo Dubai 2020 on December 13. Messi, who recently clinched a record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or award, carried a football during the trip as he posed near Expo's popular waterfall attraction. He also met with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, during his tour.

Luis Figo

The former Barcelona star was at Expo for Mastercard's Priceless Surprises that took place at the Mastercard Cube on December 13. Now retired, he was briefly reunited with the UEFA Champions League Cup, which was on display at the event.

Alicia Keys

The Fallin’ hitmaker debuted her new album Keys during a concert for Expo’s Infinite Nights series on December 10. Taking to Al Wasl Plaza, her performance featured songs both old and new. After the gig, she wrote: “Launching it in Dubai was incredible!!!!! But better than everything is the LOVE!! The love is REAL!! We are LOCKED In!!!”

Atif Aslam

The Pakistani singer headlined a concert on November 17 at the Expo’s Jubilee Stage. He brought along a mix of his biggest hits from Pakistan, Bollywood as well as his Coke Studio performances. Ahead of the gig, he wrote that he was "super excited" to see everyone.

Nadine Labaki

The Bafta-nominated Lebanese actress and director was at Expo to give a talk at Women's Pavilion where she showed her short film Women of Wonder on November 17. Shown to visitors as they arrived at the pavilion, the film uses a child’s perspective to shed light on gender inequality.

Bryan Cranston

Actor Bryan Cranston at the Mexico Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Suneesh Sudhakaran / Expo 2020 Dubai

The actor was seen at Expo 2020 Dubai visiting the Mexican Pavilion on November 15. He has also been spotted at other hot spots in the emirate promoting his new beverage brand with his Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul.

Pep Guardiola

The Manchester City coach surprised football fans with a visit to the Expo on November 15. He made stops at the UAE Pavilion, where he learnt more about the traditions and culture of the country, and the UK Pavilion, before hosting a Q&A session with invited guests.

Usain Bolt

The world-famous athlete was at the world's fair as part of a partnership between Bolt, Gatorade and Expo 2020 Dubai's Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub. He led a 1.45-kilometre family run to raise funds for Al Noor Rehabilitation and Welfare Association for People of Determination on November 13.

Prince Albert of Monaco

Prince Albert visited Expo 2020 Dubai to mark Monaco’s country day by getting a tour around the site as well as giving a speech at the Monaco Pavilion on November 13.

Highlight and Punch

The K-pop band boy band took to the Jubilee Stage to perform live as part of the Kite: K-pop in the Emirates 2021 concert on November 12. Joining them virtually were fellow groups BTOB, Luminous and Laboum. Punch, known as the "K-drama soundtrack queen" in the UAE, also performed live.

Nancy Ajram

The Lebanese singer performed at Expo 2020 as part of the Infinite Nights concert series on November 12. The show took place live from Al Wasl Plaza but was streamed to a global audience. “Dubai… you’ve been #Magical, can’t wait to see you again!” she tweeted.

Ragheb Alama

Alama performed along with Ajram. He shared photos from the event on his Instagram and wrote that the crowd left him speechless. “A magical evening. Thank you all for being there and a special thank you to everyone that took part in organising such a breathtaking event,” he wrote.

Deepika Padukone

The Bollywood actress was spotted at a number of pavilions during her visit on November 11. The official Expo 2020 Dubai account shared photos of the star inside the UAE Pavilion, where she was also given a tour of the site.

Amr Diab

The Egyptian superstar took to the stage at Expo 2020 Dubai on October 30 as part of Egypt’s country day. “What a night, it was good to see you all for Egypt's Expo 2020 National Day celebrations,” he posted on Instagram.

Vanessa Kirby

The Crown actress stopped by Expo 2020 Dubai for the opening of the Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, on October 27. The Bafta-winning star wore a sleek black lace-trimmed suit for the occasion, sharing a photo with her 1.7 million Instagram followers.

Ali Zafar

The Pakistani singer-songwriter was at Expo 2020 on October 24, to perform as part of The Land of Melodies with Ali Zafar, a celebration of the friendship between Pakistan and the UAE.

He also took to Instagram to share a photo of himself outside the Pakistan Pavilion. “Felt proud of Pakistan’s highly professional and visually sublime representation at the Dubai Expo 2021,” he wrote in the caption.

Kadim Al Sahir

The Iraqi star headlined the first Infinite Nights concert on October 15. Nicknamed “the Caesar of Arabic songs” and "Iraq's ambassador to the world", Al Sahir also shared a photo from backstage rehearsals ahead of his gig.

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta took a trip to the Emirates airline pavilion on October 11. His visit also included stops at the Spanish and Argentinian pavilions, the Sustainability Pavilion, Al Wasl Dome and the popular Garden in the Sky observation tower for a 360-degree view of the site.

Nomzamo Mbatha and Zozibini Tunzi

South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha made an appearance at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of Celebrating SA's Global Icons: Women Category, alongside former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, on October 7.

“Our pavilion here in Dubai was great because it’s about knowing that we have an equal footing and that we earned our place to be in the international market," Mbatha told The National. "I came here to meet my international peers and it is through those conversations that our industry will grow."

Andrea Bocelli

The Italian tenor shared a photo of himself taken with his fellow performers from the September 30 opening ceremony on Instagram, as part of a gallery that also showcased Al Wasl Plaza.

Lang Lang

Chinese pianist Lang Lang posted a behind-the-scenes photo of himself standing in a circle with all his fellow performers from the opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai. It was shared by Hussain Al Jassmi, Angelique Kidjo and Mayssa Karaa, who also took to the stage on the evening.

Lang called it “a beautiful event” while also sharing photos of the opening ceremony itself.

Khaled Alkhaledi

Emirati social media personality Khaled Alkhaledi posted to his Instagram where he is seen in a video with Dubai TV host Abdullah Ismail on September 30.

"I have waited so long to come here. Where are we?" he asks Ismail.

"We are the Expo 2020 opening ceremony, the exclusive launch for media, social media influencers, and celebrities," says Ismail. "Your presence, Khaled, has brightened the UAE and Expo altogether."

"The UAE has been working on Expo for seven years, day and night. This is our Emirates, a nation that contains kindness, and warmth," says Alkhaledi.

Noha Nabil

Kuwait influencer Noha Nabil shared a photo of herself at the opening ceremony on September 30, writing that "Dubai dazzled the world today with the launch of the #Expo2020, which exceeded all expectations".

Expo 2020 Dubai runs until Thursday, March 31. With 192 country pavilions, as well as themed exhibitions at the Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability Pavilions, 200 dining venues and up to 60 shows a day, the event is expected to attract more than 25 million visitors.

Day tickets, multi-day passes and season passes for those aged 18 to 59 can all be bought from the Expo 2020 Dubai online ticket office.

Scroll through our gallery below to see more from Expo 2020 Dubai's opening day:

Updated: April 02, 2022, 6:41 AM
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