Queues grow at Expo 2020 Dubai's most popular pavilions

Tourists and residents come out in force during the long weekend

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There was no doubting the hottest ticket in town this weekend as thousands braved the heat to stand in line for entry to pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Tourists and UAE residents alike made the most of the long weekend by flocking to the Expo site to see what was on show.

Queues were a common sight as visitors waited patiently to be admitted into the pavilions.

Among the biggest queues on Thursday and Friday afternoon were those for the UAE, Saudi Arabia, US, Italy, India and Switzerland pavilions.

“This is actually my second visit to the UAE pavilion,” said Syed Mohammed, 39, a typist from India.

“I came back again because there’s so much to see and it’s all really beautiful.

“The light displays and the big screens are fantastic – it’s definitely worth queuing for.”

What queues were the longest at Expo at the long weekend?

What queues were the longest at Expo at the long weekend?

One of the most eye-catching queues took the form of a sea of people holding red and white umbrellas outside the Swiss pavilion.

Visitors were each given an umbrella to protect them from the sun as they waited in line.

“The umbrellas are great in this heat,” said Pakistani Kashif Khan, 28, who works in Dubai as a store supervisor.

“I am sad that I can’t keep it as I have to give it back, but it’s a big help.”

Indian students Dushyant Agola and Nishant Detroja, both 21, came on holiday to Dubai to attend the Expo and queued for more than half an hour to see the Saudi Arabia pavilion.

“We are more than happy to wait because it’s such an incredible opportunity to learn about how Saudi Arabia looks to the future, while not forgetting about its ancient history,” said Mr Agola.

His fellow engineering student was equally upbeat about the pavilion, despite having to wait for 30 minutes to get in.

“It was brilliant to see all the displays and how the country has grown,” said Mr Detroja.

Lawyer Amir Amiri, 35, from Iran, decided to queue for the US pavilion after noticing that it seemed popular with visitors.

“I wasn’t expecting to be interested in the US pavilion but when I saw the size of the queue, I wanted to see what the fuss was about,” said Mr Amiri, who was in Dubai on a work trip.

“I’m eager to see all the culture from the different countries here.”

Shamsheer Sharfudden, 27, from India, spent almost 40 minutes waiting to get inside the Indian pavilion.

“It was a big queue and I was waiting for ages – I am not going to lie – but it was worth it,” he said.

“I already know all about the heritage of my home country but it was good to see so many others soaking it up.”

Luz Ortega, 33, from Venezuela used her technical nous to avoid queuing in the heat outside the Italian pavilion.

“I logged on to the Smart Queue online which meant I was able to get inside straight away and avoid waiting outside,” she said.

The Smart Queue system is available to all ticket holders and can be useful for avoiding long queues.

Updated: October 24, 2021, 7:56 AM