10 things to do at Expo 2020 Dubai this week: shows by Alicia Keys and Angeline Quinto

Also, watch chess grandmasters play and join the Expo World Choir's attempt to break a world record

Alicia Keys and Angeline Quinto are some of the big names performing at the Expo 2020 Dubai this week. Charles Crowell for The National and AFP

With 192 pavilions, myriad exhibitions, hundreds of restaurants and non-stop activities, there are experiences for every taste at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Follow the latest updates on Expo 2020 Dubai here.

Each week, we round up some of the key highlights not to be missed at the world's fair. Celebrating their country days this week are Gabon (December 6), Costa Rica (December 7), Poland (December 7), Uzbekistan (December 8), Fiji (December 8), Honduras (December 9), Palau (December 9), Iraq (December 10), San Marino (December 10) and Japan (December 11).

Here are our top picks:

1. Watch chess grandmasters at play

Organised by the International Chess Federation or FIDE, the postponed 2020 championship will feature reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, defend his title against the winner of the Candidates Tournament, the Russian Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi. The chess masters will play the best of 14 games, with a prize fund of €2 million at stake. This will be the fifth World Championship match for Carlsen, who first won the title in 2013, dethroning Indian star Viswanathan Anand.

The clash will take place until December 16 with commentary by the five-time world chess champion Anand, who will be present at the venue along with International Master Almira Skripchenko. There will also be a number of side events, including exhibition matches and appearances by former champions.

Tickets to this event, priced at Dh95, are sold separately on platinumlist.net

Where: Hall 2A South, DEC

When: Daily

Time: 3pm to 8pm

2. Jalsat Nights series: Mohammad Al Bakri and Mashael live

Ongoing series Jalsat@Expo, which introduces visitors to Arabic musical traditions, features weekly special guest artists from other countries in the region. This week, Bahraini musician Al Bakri and Saudi singer Mashael will take the stage.

Where: Jubilee Stage

When: December 6

Time: 8pm

3. Listen to the works of Frederic Chopin

Every day, the Poland Pavilion will come alive with the music of one of the country's biggest composers. A virtuoso pianist of the romantic period, Chopin is best known for his solo pieces and piano concerti. Listen to a piano recital of some of his best known works presented by the Chopin Institute.

Where: Poland Pavilion

When: Daily

Time: 4pm, 6.30pm and 9pm

4. Remembering the music of Astor Piazzolla

To mark the 100th birth anniversary of the famous Argentine tango composer and bandoneon player, Expo 2020 Dubai is bringing together three musicians for fans relive his works. Pianist Gloria Campaner, clarinet player Alessandro Carbonare and bandoneon player Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi will perform a show called Astor, as tribute.

Where: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, Al Forsan Zone

When: December 6

Time: 9.30pm

5. Angeline Quinto at Expo 2020

The Filipino singer and actress, with six platinum selling albums and countless awards behind her, will be performing live at expo. Quinto, who's currently performing a 10-show residency at the Manila Metropolitan Theatre to celebrate her decade in the music industry, is often dubbed "the Philippines' Power Diva" owing to her powerful vocals.

Where: Jubilee Stage

When: December 8

Time: 8pm

6. Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre Live

All the way from Montana, US, this training institute has taken its many original productions around the world. With artistic director and founder Charlene Campbell Carey, the troupe says it will bring a ballet show like no other called Manifest, with a "flavour of Montana". Two Native Americans dancers from the Salish-Kootenai tribe will also be participating in the various performances across the Expo 2020 site.

Where: Jubilee Stage

When: December 9

Time: 3pm and 5pm

7. Expo World Choir debut

Jubilee Park will host a one-off concert by the Expo World Choir, an ensemble comprising staff and volunteers from nearly all 192 countries featuring in the world's fair.

Organised by the Ireland Pavilion, the choir will be led by David Brophy, one of the country’s eminent conductors, having collaborated with the likes of rock giants U2 and classical music star Lang Lang.

If all goes according to the plan, Brophy says the show should break the Guinness World Record for most nationalities in a choir, a feat currently held by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness for their 2015 performance in India, featuring members from 105 countries.

Speaking to The National at Expo 2020 Dubai, Brophy says the choir aims to showcase the Irish practice of communal singing.

“The fact the show is held in December is particularly poignant,” he says. “It is the holiday season and it’s normally a time where Irish people return home from all four corners of the world to gather at homesteads, villages and churches. We would eat together and share stories and by the end of the evening, we will start a singalong and the atmosphere becomes even more beautiful and intimate.”

Those who wish to be part of the historic performance can still register here.

Where: Jubilee Stage

When: December 9

Time: to be announced

8. Iran's Diane Vocal Ensemble

Catch this unique performance that will take you through Iranian history, ancient tales, lullabies and folk songs, as the female group tell stories of their culture through song.

When: December 9

Time: 4pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm

9. Alicia Keys Live

The Empire State of Mind singer will be the first international artist to perform as part of the Expo 2020’s Infinite Nights series, which was launched by Iraqi star Kadim Al Sahir and followed by Lebanese superstars Nancy Ajram and Ragheb Alama.

The US singer will also debut her new album Keys. The show by the 15-time Grammy Award-winner will be live streamed globally from the world’s largest 360º projection dome.

“Performing in Expo 2020 Dubai’s Infinite Nights series is going to be such an incredible experience,” said Keys. “I’m so excited to share such a beautifully unique and special performance on the eve of the release of my new album Keys with the world. Keys is all about letting go of anything that holds you back and breaking through the invisible ceilings above us.

“It perfectly reflects Expo’s values. I cannot wait to unlock this new universe with you.”

Where: Al Wasl Stage

When: December 10

Time: 10pm

10. Learn about Aikido

To mark Japan's country day, a special demonstration of Aikido, the Japanese martial arts form, will be held by Cathy Darnell. The 4th Dan degree holder from Zanshinkan Aikido Dubai will perform as well as showcase some of the basic movements from the art form, used to redirect the force of an attack onto the assailant.

Where: Earth Plaza

When: December 11

Time: 9.30am, 10.30am and 11.30am

Updated: December 5th 2021, 1:20 PM