10 things to do at Expo 2020 Dubai this week: from Amr Diab to Harlem Globetrotters

From entertainment shows to workshops and exhibitions, here's our top pick of experiences at the world fair

Egyptian pop star Amr Diab and the Harlem Globetrotters will be at Expo 2020 this week. Reem Mohammed and Sarah Dea / The National
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With more than 190 pavilions, myriad exhibitions, hundreds of restaurants and non-stop activities, there are experiences for every taste at Expo 2020 Dubai.

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Each week, we give you a round-up of some of the coolest happenings not to miss at the world fair. Here are our top picks:

1. Try out the Notre-Dame de Paris experience

The French Pavilion, in partnership with L'Oreal, is hosting the Notre-Dame de Paris, the Experience, that combines physical scenography and augmented reality to immerse visitors in the history of the famed cathedral.

"The story told allows visitors to understand the building – architecture, spiritual meaning and political context – and understand the challenges of reconstruction, from security, restoration, techniques and materials," French start-up Histovery, which is behind the exhibition, says on its website.

Visitors equipped with tablets using the HistoPad augmented reality technology developed by Histovery will be able to go back in time and see the cathedral being built in the Middle Ages. They will also be able to witness the coronation of Emperor Napoleon I, see the Viollet-le-Duc spire being erected and understand the work undertaken to safeguard the structure after the 2019 fire, prior to the start of reconstruction, the French Pavilion says.

Where: France Pavilion

When: Daily, until Monday, November 1

Time: Various

2. Dance with Hip Hop Mob

Experience the best of the best of Dubai’s hip-hop scene. Check out an electric dance show that celebrates the strength and power of the city's best break dancers, poppers and lockers, and hip-hop crews.

Where: Sea Stage, Mobility Zone

When: Monday, October 25

Time: 5.15pm

3. Go gaming with your friends

The German pavilion is hosting an e-games night where visitors can show off their gaming skills or challenge others in car racing or football match and win tournaments at the Culture Lab. In addition to interactive contests where visitors can compete using gaming consoles, there will be a competition with participants battling it out on stage.

Were: Germany Pavilion

When: Tuesday, October 26

Time: 8pm-9.30pm

4. Vietnamese food tasting

From fresh spring rolls to silky banh cuon or the classic pho, the Vietnam Pavilion's dining corner has everything to satiate the appetite of street food lovers. The takeaway menu features street food, traditional dishes and fusion fare such as a crunchy banh mi with a cup of ca phe sua da or iced milk coffee. There are also plenty of options for vegetarian and vegan visitors.

Where: Vietnam Pavilion

When: Daily

Time: Expo opening hours

5. Celebrate Diwali at the Expo

The festival of lights is coming to the Expo, with the India Pavilion hosting a night of performances based around its theme Unity in Diversity. Dances from each of India's 28 states and eight union territories will be presented at the festival.

Symbolising the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, Diwali usually falls in the early autumn, coinciding with the new moon, deemed the darkest night of the Hindu lunar calendar. This is why dates change every year.

Where: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Al Forsan Zone

When: Friday, October 29

Time: 4pm-6pm

6. Hang out with the Harlem Globetrotters

Cheese and Handles from Harlem Globetrotters present their ABCs of Bullying program at Dubai International Academy. 
The programme uses the team’s signature ball handling skills and humour for an interactive presentation that informs and entertains.
Photo: Reem Mohammed (Reporter: Nadim Hanif / Section: NA) Job ID 50090 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20161003_HARLEM_017.JPG

Ahead of their show at Abu Dhabi's Etihad Arena on Sunday, October 31, the world-famous exhibition basketball team will show off their skills at the Expo. Known for their ankle-breaking moves, jaw-dropping swag and slam-dunks, the team have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 124 countries and territories, and will combine athleticism, theatre and comedy in their unique style of play.

There will also be player walkarounds and autograph sessions; a Music in the Gardens performance; a tricks and demonstration session, and activities with junior players and people of determination.

Where: Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Area

When: Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30

Time: 4.40pm-9.30pm

7. Get fit with Dubai Fitness Challenge

The annual 30-day fitness month returns across Dubai and will also feature a packed programme of activities at the Expo 2020 site. At the Fitness Village, runners can lace up and train at the Expo Running Club for all 182 days of Expo 2020 Dubai, with up to four 30-minute classes taking place daily, aimed at all levels of experience.

There’s also a Run the World Family Run, taking place every Saturday morning, while runners can register for the Expo Run, taking place on Monday, November 15 with a 3-kilometre, 5km, 10km and half marathon. Registrations for the Expo Run is Dh50 per person. Visitors can also join the daily bicycle tours available at various times, with English and Arabic commentaries.

Where: Various locations

When: From Friday, October 29

Time: Various

8. Meet an Emirati urban farmer

For many years, Emirati agricultural engineer Mariam Al Juneibi has been promoting sustainable farming and healthy eating practices while encouraging people to grow their own vegetables. She's also part of Expo's Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion, an interactive exhibition that addresses the most fundamental global challenges of our time.

This is your chance to learn more about her experience and inspiring life story, which set her on the path to becoming an organic farm guru.

Where: Opportunity Pavilion

When: Saturday, October 30

Time: 4pm-5pm

9. Catch Arab pop superstar Amr Diab live

Handout of the arabic egyptian singer Amr Diab. (Courtesy du live)

The music star will light up Expo 2020 Dubai's Jubilee Park with his popular tunes to mark Egypt's country day at the attraction.

The chart-topping singer, who was named the most regionally streamed artist on platforms Anghami and Deezer in April, has been the reigning pop king in the Mena since his 1983 debut album Ya Tareea. He also made a mark beyond the Arabic-speaking world, with his 1996 hit Nour El Ein becoming one of the most popular pop songs to come out of the Middle East.

He's also raked in seven World Music Awards, setting a Guinness World Record for most World Music Awards won by a Middle Eastern artist.

Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where: Jubilee Park

When: Saturday, October 30

Time: 8pm

10. Watch a ballet show by National Theatre in Belgrade

When the National Theatre in Belgrade first performed Seven Deadly Sins in February, they received a seven-minute-long standing ovation. They are all set to bring the show – about a man who turns to the dark side to fulfil his ambitions – to Dubai.

Where: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Al Forsan Zone

When: Saturday, October 30

Time: 8pm

Entry to all events is included in the Expo 2020 Dubai ticket price unless specifically stated. Times are subject to change.

Updated: October 24, 2021, 12:37 PM