'Packed schedule' at Expo 2020 Dubai for public holiday weekend

Sami Yusuf and A R Rahman’s all-female Firdaus Orchestra among the musical highlights

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Organisers say there is a “packed schedule” for visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai over the holiday weekend.

Highlights of the three days include British singer-songwriter Sami Yusuf, who is playing on Friday and Saturday at Al Wasl Plaza and A R Rahman’s all-female Firdaus Orchestra, who will close Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week on Saturday.

The scores of pavilions across the vast Expo site will have plenty of events and activities to keep all the family entertained.

There are also plenty of outdoor activities, such as cricket and football, taking place at the Sports, Fitness and Well-being hub next to the Alif Mobility pavilion.

The National has put together a guide on how you can make the most of your time at the world fair during the next three days.


The Al Fursan aerobatics demonstration team perform on the first day of Expo 2020 in Dubai.

On Thursday morning there is a special event focusing on how women from the Arabic and Islamic worlds helped shape space exploration through the ages.

This takes place at the Women’s Pavilion from 11am to 1pm on October 21.

Later in the day, you will want to look up to the sky between 4pm and 4.30pm to catch a display from Al Fursan, the UAE military’s aerobatic display team.

This is followed by a performance from the Saudi Falcons, the Saudi Arabia equivalent, from 4.30pm to 5pm. Both these displays are best viewed from Jubilee Park.

From 5pm to 9pm, visitors will get the chance to interact with “five silly birds” that will come to life in Al Wasl Zone of the Expo site.

Water will come to life in the form of female performers at the Mobility Pavilion for the Moving Water show from 5.30pm to 8pm.

Fans of fables will not want to miss the Saudi Signature Performance Group, who will be presenting a dance routine to highlight the folklore from their country. There are daily shows at the Saudi Arabian pavilion at 7pm, 7.40pm, 9pm and 9.40pm.

Fans of live music are going to want to get themselves down to the Jubilee Stage at 8.30pm for a concert by singer Ali Azmat and his band Junoon that celebrates 50 years of Pakistan-UAE brotherhood.

Latin Grammy-winning ska-rock-fusion band Los Rabanes take to the stage at 10.30pm for a Panama Music Performance, supported by Panamanian artists Idania Dowman and Margarita Henriquez.


Expo mascots Rashid and Latifa on stage at Al Wasl Plaza for their Mr Scrap Returns show. Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai

Friday has an equally busy schedule.

If you fancy something a bit different there is an electronic fantasy opera to mark Lithuania’s National Day from 1.30pm on Friday, at the Sun Stage in the Opportunity Zone.

There is bound to be plenty of buzz about the Bloom Bees show at 2.30pm in Al Wasl Zone, as beekeepers keep us informed about the vital role the insects play in keeping our planet healthy.

The Saudi Falcons and Al Fursan will take to the skies for another aerobatic display at 4pm.

The Jubilee Stage will be at the centre of the action when Hosny’s Band perform at 6.15pm, the group will be playing Arabic melodies mixed with western chords to create new twists on old favourites.

The Family Show is at 6.30pm with a specially commissioned performance of music, puppetry and audience participation courtesy of Saudi Arabia at the Earth Stage in the Sustainability Zone.

Poetry fans will be delighted to hear there is a special event starting at 7.30pm in the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre. Emerging poets from the Arabic-speaking world will be on stage for a two-hour poetry slam mixed with music from the KSA house band.

Visitors can also check out the Gala Concert on Friday evening from 8pm on the Jubilee Stage for a mixture of classic and contemporary opera and electronic music.

Sami Yusuf will take to the stage at Al Wasl Plaza for an hour-long musical extravaganza called Beyond the Stars at 8.30pm. He will be joined by musicians from around the world for what promises to be a memorable show.


Saturday is the European Union's honour day, with opera performances taking place at various times during the day at the Sea, Sun and Earth stages. The gala show of classical music at the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre at 6pm features the work of Vivaldi, Bach, Paganini, Schubert and Beethoven.

Moroccan dance is the heart of the country's culture and society and you can experience a captivating display at Wadi Circle (2pm).

For the younger visitors, there's an episode of Expo mascots Rashid and Latifa's adventures on the big screen at Jubilee Park, with some surprise guest appearances planned.

The all-female Firdaus Orchestra will take to the Jubilee Stage at 7pm for their highly-anticipated show, following their performance at the opening ceremony.

The Earth Stage is hosting a Malaysia Truly Asia Cultural Showcase that will include traditional music, dance and cuisine at 7.30pm.

Sami Yusuf will again take to the stage at Al Wasl Plaza at 8.30pm for his spectacular show under the dome.

Fans of musicals will want to go see the medley of show numbers at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre from 9.30pm to 10.30pm.

Updated: November 17, 2021, 11:51 AM