St Patrick's Day 2022: six events taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai

Ireland is taking centre stage at the world fair on Thursday, as it celebrates its National Day alongside St Patrick's Day celebrations

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Expo 2020 Dubai is celebrating all things Irish this week with a line-up of events marking St Patrick’s Day.

Taking place on Thursday, March 17, the world's fair is highlighting everything from Irish businesses, music and sport with a programme of free-to-attend events taking place throughout the day.

Here are some of the events to look out for…

Irish Business Network Breakfast Meeting

Kick-start the day with a St Patrick’s Day breakfast networking event, which will bring together a number of Irish professionals, as well as businesses connected with the country. Hosted by the Ireland pavilion, in partnership with the Irish Business Network Dubai, the event will feature "elevator pitches" from emerging Irish businesses, as well as a number of talks and a chance to mingle. Pre-registration is required via the IBN website.

Thursday, March 17; 7.30am-9.30am; Ireland Pavilion

Official National Day Ceremony

Irish dignitaries including Ireland’s Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, will represent the Irish Government at Al Wasl Plaza to officially open the day’s celebrations. Alongside representatives from Expo 2020 Dubai, O’Brien will raise the Irish flag to be flown alongside the UAE’s to mark the day.

Thursday, March 17; 10am-11am; Al Wasl Plaza

Animation Screenings with Cartoon Saloon

Cartoon Saloon has created a special edit of some major, Oscar-nominated Irish films from Screen Ireland, Animation Ireland and Galway Film that will be projected inside Al Wasl Plaza’s 360 dome throughout the day from Tuesday in the build-up to St Patrick’s Day on Thursday. Films chosen include Wolfwalkers, The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.

Tuesday to Thursday, March 15 - March 17; various timings; Al Wasl Plaza

Sporting Family Fun

The local Irish sporting community will come together at the Sports Arena and main stage of Festival Plaza for a special family-fun day, with Irish sporting figures Natalya Coyle, Keith Higgins and Treasa Norrby on hand to help out. There will also be a series of fun and interactive sporting activities across soccer and GAA for people to try their hand at throughout the afternoon.

Thursday, March 17; 3.30pm-6pm; Sports Arena and Main Stage, Festival Garden

Fitness Class with Maeve Madden

Fitness influencer Maeve Madden will lead a free fitness class at the Sports Arena, Festival Garden on Thursday afternoon. The event aims to include as many different nationalities as possible, and will also be live-streamed through Madden’s online platform to reach a global audience. The class is open to people of all ages and abilities, and pre-registration is needed via the Glofox app.

Thursday, March 17; 5.30pm-6.15pm; Sports Arena, Festival Garden

Gala Concert with Martin Hayes and Daithi

World-renowned Irish instrumentalist Martin Hayes and DJ Daithi round-off the day with a joint performance at Al Wasl Plaza. The duo, alongside some special guests, will perform a special fusion of traditional Irish music and electronic sounds, set against a backdrop of special visual effects inside Al Wasl Dome. The concert will be recorded and live-streamed on Expo 2020 Dubai and Ireland at Expo.

Thursday, March 17; 7pm-8pm; Al Wasl Plaza

Updated: March 17, 2022, 7:45 AM