Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday said it was the hype of the event that had attracted them.
The National spoke to visitors from countries including Germany and India.
“It’s the biggest hype in town and we wanted to see what it was all about,” said student Himanshi Mehtani, 18, from India, who was visiting the world’s fair with a group of friends.
“We really want to get to every single pavilion so we can get all the stamps in our special passports.
“This is our first day but we’ll definitely be back.”
The Dubai resident, who is studying international business, said everyone was excited about the event.
Atefeh Wieckhorst, 48, a German doctor in Dubai on holiday with her family, said there was no way she could miss the world's fair when she realised it would coincide with her holiday.
“We are only here for a short while but I am determined to visit as many county pavilions as I can,” she said.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn about new countries and I hope to be back before we leave.”
An Emirati, who works as a museum tour guide, said the event would provide the opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures, without having to leave the UAE.
“This is a once-in-a lifetime experience and I am excited to explore the different countries and cultures,” said Asma Al Romaithi, 28.
“The country I am excited the most about is Egypt because of its rich history and culture.”
The project was delayed by a year due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. One Dubai resident said that helped to build the expectation.
“We’ve all been hearing about it so long and everyone’s curious to see what all the excitement is about,” said public relations manager Georgia Adderley, 27, from England.
“So far I think the most impressive aspect has been the range of interactive options at each pavilion.”
Emma McCulley, a Dubai resident from Scotland, said: “There’s a great vibe and everyone’s so friendly.”
Ms McCulley, 27, who works a deputy head at a school in the emirate, added: “I like that you are seeing so many people from so many different cultures together.”
Filipina Evajoy Inigo, 24, visited on Sunday afternoon.
“People are so excited about it that I wanted to see for myself,” said the Dubai office worker.
“I am curious to explore all the various countries and pavilions and want to see South Korea in particular because I’m interested in the culture there.”
Jingya Wang and Huaefi Wu have both moved from their native China to live in Dubai for the duration of Expo.
They were taking time out from their jobs as engineers for Terminus, which is providing 150 robots to interact with visitors at the site.
“We are very proud to be working here as the pavilions are so impressive,” said Ms Wang.
“It’s amazing at night when it all lights up and everything is so vivid.”