Visitors descend on Expo 2020 Dubai for packed weekend

The biggest crowds so far are predicted for Friday and Saturday

Visitors are set to flock to Expo 2020 Dubai in droves on Friday and Saturday for the long weekend holiday.

There were long queues in parts of the site on Thursday, with the India, Italy, the United States and Lebanon pavilions - plus Saudi Arabia's Al Baik chicken restaurant - among the most visibly popular.

“It’s like nothing I have ever seen before,” said Abu Dhabi resident Russell High, 53, who spent the previous night on-site at the Expo’s Rove Hotel.

“The light show in the evening at Al Wasl was utterly mesmerising as well. This is my first time here but I will definitely be back, it’s seriously impressive.”

The chartered quantity surveyor said the option to stay at a hotel on the Expo site had prompted both him and his wife, Helene, to make the journey from the capital.

Danish tourist Marcus Tarp was at the event with his sons Benjamin, 12, and William, 16.

“When I found out the Expo was going to be taking place in Dubai, at the same time as our holiday, I couldn’t believe my luck,” said the 50-year-old software manager.

“It’s a great opportunity that you don’t often get the chance to do.”

The highlights for Mr Tarp and his sons were the Russian and Turkish pavilions.

“I was really impressed by what I saw and it’s really made me want to learn more about those countries,” he said.

Malaysian Tah-Kok Fofo, 43, was also making the most of his time with his family by spending the day at the Expo.

“It’s been awesome so far,” he said.

“We’re here because it’s the long weekend and while we've just arrived, everything we’ve seen has been really cool.

“It’s a great platform to learn more about countries and their cultures.”

The Kumar family, from India, were early visitors on Thursday morning to beat the crowds.

“This is our first day here and we are really looking forward to it,” said Dubai resident Sreeram Santhosh Kumar, 15, who was with his parents Santhosh and Sreedevi.

“We are excited to see if the show is actually as good as everyone is claiming.

“We have high expectations and I’m eager to see if the show will meet them.”

Engineer Ashish Nair, 34, wanted to explore a specific pavilion at the event.

“I am here with my friends to see the Netherlands Pavilion,” said the Dubai resident from India.

“The reason for this is because they have demonstrations on how to harvest water and energy that I am eager to see.

“Of course, we want to see everything else that’s happening at all the other pavilions as well.”

Filipina Grace Sebastian, 41, was making the most of her long weekend by making the drive from Abu Dhabi with her sister Gelcy.

“We got a taxi because we heard so much about the expo and we thought the long weekend was a good chance to check it out,” she said.

“The atmosphere is absolutely brilliant.”

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Updated: October 22nd 2021, 3:37 AM