10 things to do at Expo 2020 Dubai this week: from Nancy Ajram to Usain Bolt

Enjoy concerts by top Arab stars or join the Olympian on a run around the world's fair

With 192 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's fair. Celebrating their country days this week are Venezuela on Sunday and the Comoros on Monday. Burundi and Mexico will mark their country days the same day, on Wednesday, Jordan on Friday, and Monaco will celebrate on Saturday.

Here are our top picks:

1. Celebrate 50 years of the UAE

Throughout this month and until Saturday, December 4, Expo 2020 will host a number of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the UAE. This week, catch Al Adiyat, the story of a young boy becoming a man and his visionary character, in a tribute to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. The theatrical show will be staged at Al Wasl Plaza on Tuesday from from 9.45pm.

Visitors can also step into Menasa, the Emirati design platform. Curated by Samer Yamani, the founder of Creative Dialogue, a consultancy and creative agency out of Barcelona, traditional Emirati crafts and stories are explored through a contemporary lens. Expect to see design collaborations between local and international artisans and designers under the title of Craft Stories as well as Designer of the Week, which includes a showcase of 24 designers and organisations from the UAE, highlighting the country's vibrant contemporary design scene.

Where: Various

When: Daily, until Saturday, December 4

Time: Various

2. Try new restaurant Kojaki

A social dining concept, Kojaki opened last week at the Opportunity District. Fusing Korean and Japanese flavours, the licensed restaurant promises one-of-a-kind dishes in a zen atmosphere. They also have a K-Time Happy Hour every Thursday, as well as Ladies Day every Tuesday filled with offers.

For reservations call 05 250 09299.

Where: Opportunity District

When: Daily

Time: Various

3. Check out France's history in tableware

This immersive exhibition French Art de Vivre, A Dream to Share, focuses on the country's rich traditions in tableware, told through the history of three renowned houses: Baccarat, Bernardaud and Christofle. Put together in partnership with the Chalhoub Group, the exhibition showcases prestigious creations to take visitors through the process of French creation and know-how, while exploring how modernity is redefining the French tradition of tableware.

Where: France Pavilion

When: Daily, until Monday, December 6

Time: 10am to 9pm

4. Catch a performance by an indigenous dance troupe

Dancers of Damelahamid are a Canadian indigenous performing arts company with strong cultural traditions from their Gitxsan and Cree cultural backgrounds. The company was formed in the 1960s out of an urgency to ensure that the artistic practices were not lost.

These masked dancers have produced several theatre-based productions including their most recent, Minowin – a dance work that integrates narrative, movement, song, performance and multimedia – which premiered at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Where: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Al Forsan Zone

When: Thursday

Time: 4pm

5. Dance with K-pop stars

Korean boy band Highlight and singer Punch will headline a K-pop concert to mark the UAE's Golden Jubilee. The artists will also be joined virtually by the boy band BTOB, girl group Laboum and rookie boys' band Luminous.

Called Kite, or K-pop in the Emirates, the event has been brought together by the Korean Cultural Centre in the UAE and the Korea Creative Content Agency.

Where: Jubilee Stage, Jubilee Zone

When: Friday

Time: 5pm

6. Watch Ragheb Alama and Nancy Ajram live

Arab superstars Ragheb Alama and Nancy Ajram will perform live from Al Wasl Plaza, which also has the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface. Their shows, part of Expo 2020's Infinite Nights series, will be streamed live to millions of their fans around the world.

Arab superstar Alama is celebrating 30 years of his music career and will perform his biggest hits, while Ajram, the queen of Arabic pop, will bring her repertoire of well-loved songs as well as new tunes.

Expo ticket holders are advised to arrive early as placements will be on first-come-first-served basis.

Where: Al Wasl Plaza

When: Friday

Time: 10pm

7. Swing with La Sonora Santanera

With Mexico celebrating it's country day this week, catch this hugely entertaining orchestra with more than 60 years of history playing Latin music. Founded in 1955 by Carlos Colorado in the state of Tabasco, the group consists of trumpets, bass, piano, percussion players and four principle voices. It performs musical styles such as mambo, cha-cha-cha, bolero and merengue.

Where: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Al Forsan Zone

When: Friday

Time: 3pm

8. Run with Usain Bolt

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist will be running at the Expo 2020 site to help raise finds for Al Noor Rehabilitation & Welfare Association for People of Determination. The run is open to people of all ages and abilities. It’s free to join, although participants are encouraged to donate to the cause. You also need to register in advance online to save a space at the starting line.

The Jamaican runner, who holds numerous world records and is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time, will also meet some of his biggest fans after the event at the Gatorade The Bolt pavilion, located in the Mobility District. Fans are invited to learn more about a competition to meet Bolt in person through Gatorade Arabia’s Instagram page.

Emirati athlete Hamda Hosani, who has 17 Special Olympics medals under her belt, will also be running with Bolt.

Where: Mobility District

When: Saturday

Time: 9.30am

9. Enjoy China Pavilion's light show

Every night, China's pavilion lights up with a dazzling LED and drone light show. The 10-minute spectacle takes red frames as the pixel point, the exterior wall as the canvas and creates a performance that's bound to mesmerise every one.

Modelled on a traditional lantern, the China Pavilion is one of the largest at Expo 2020 Dubai, at 4,636 square metres.

Where: China Pavilion

When: Daily

Time: 9pm

10. Show by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

The renowned ballet company, established in 1985 by the Princess of Hanover, will bring a show called Core Meu to the Expo 2020. The ballet features live music by Antonio Castrignano, while the performance will hark back to the origins of dance.

Where: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Al Forsan Zone

When: Saturday and Sunday, November 14

Time: 7pm

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

Updated: November 8th 2021, 8:38 AM