Busy weekend ahead at Expo 2020 Dubai with Amr Diab concert among highlights

Switzerland celebrates its country day on Friday

Read the latest updates on Expo 2020 Dubai

With cooler weather forecast and balmy weekends fast becoming the norm, Expo 2020 Dubai is getting busier.

This weekend promises to be busy as word has spread about the array of attractions at the world's fair.

Most events are free, including concerts in Jubilee Park, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre and Al Wasl Plaza. However, for popular events, visitors are recommended to arrive early, as entry is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Several restaurants have had their soft openings this week and are ready to receive visitors, so be sure to look up which eateries are close to the pavilions you are planning to visit.

New favourites include a pop-up of Baron, the popular Beirut restaurant, and an outpost of Adrift Burger Bar – where Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, was pictured last week.

Deciding on a game plan before you go is a good idea, as the site is vast. Make sure to check the Expo calendar for a list of everything that is scheduled. Doors open at 10am and close at 2am on Friday and midnight on Saturday.

What to do at Expo on Friday, October 29

Celebrate Switzerland's National Day with a flag-raising ceremony at 10.15am at Al Wasl Plaza. Countries frequently lay on a cultural display of musicians and dancers, but you never know quite what to expect.

The Swiss will also have the honour of leading the Colours of the World parade on Ghaf Avenue starting at 12.45pm, when dancers and the Expo mascots, Latifa and Rashid take their daily tour through the world's fair.

As the heat of the sun goes down, stop by the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre in the Al Forsan zone between 4pm and 6pm for some early Diwali celebrations.

The festival of lights celebrates the victory of good over evil and is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists.

In celebration of this, and with the theme "Unity in Diversity", the Indian Pavilion will present dance performances from each of the country's states.

But India is not the only country offering entertainment on Friday, as the Irish are also putting on a show between 6.15pm and 7.30pm at Jubilee Park.

The Ireland Expo Players are the Irish pavilion's house ensemble, who perform traditional music through every day of Expo. Listen out for the musicians' own interpretations of famous songs, and you may spot a future Bono or Hozier.

Cheese and Handles from Harlem Globetrotters present their ABCs of Bullying program at Dubai International Academy. 
The programme uses the team’s signature ball handling skills and humour for an interactive presentation that informs and entertains.
Photo: Reem Mohammed (Reporter: Nadim Hanif / Section: NA) Job ID 50090 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20161003_HARLEM_017.JPG

Meanwhile, sports fans will not want to miss the Harlem Globetrotters. This hugely entertaining exhibition basketball team combine athleticism, theatre and comedy in their unique style of play.

They’ve played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 124 countries, and they will be performing several times at Expo 2020 on Friday, including 3.45pm at the Multi-Purpose Sports Court, 5pm at Al Wasl Plaza, when they will help launch the Dubai Fitness Challenge, and at 8pm at Expo’s Sports, Fitness, and Wellbeing Hub, Mobility District.

If you are planning on staying late, flamenco dancer Olga Pericet will take to the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre from 7.30pm to 9.30pm for a virtuoso performance of Spanish classical dance.

A superstar in the dance world, Ms Pericet is known for her astounding technical ability and versatility.

Meanwhile, October’s fourth and final Late Nights @ Expo promises an eclectic line-up of alfresco live music, welcoming performers from across the planet to Expo 2020 Dubai.

This Friday, listen out for everything from hip-hop and scratch DJing, to traditional Lesotho ‘mangae’ and socially conscious Egyptian songs.

Organisers have promised good vibes, as Canadian DJ, Starting from Scratch; Canadian rapper, Kardinal Offishall; Dubai-based DJ, Sonya; and US DJ, Babey Drew take to the Jubilee Stage from 10.30pm till 1am, giving you just enough time to grab a snack before 2am, when the world's fair closes for the night.

What to do at Expo on Saturday, October 30

Saturday is another busy day at Expo, culminating with Amr Diab in concert on the Jubilee Stage, from 8pm until 11pm.

The chart-topping singer, who was named the most regionally streamed artist on platforms Anghami and Deezer in April, has set a Guinness World Record for most World Music Awards won by a Middle Eastern artist.

Spaces for the event are limited and open to Expo 2020 Dubai ticket holders only. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis, so fans are advised to start queuing early in the day.

Amr Diab's performance will cap off a day of Egyptian celebrations, as Saturday is the country's honour day at Expo.

Fans of Egyptian folk dance are in for a treat as The National Folklore Ensemble will perform at the flag-raising ceremony at 10.15 in Al Wasl, and also between 5pm and 7pm at the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre.

But Expo is not just all about Egypt on Saturday, there is also Hungarian jazz music, Serbian ballet and a Malaysian butterfly kite display for younger visitors.

The kite display starts at 6pm and runs until 7.30pm in Al Forsan Park. It will be held on the last weekend of each month during Expo 2020 Dubai and has capacity for up to 50 participants. So be sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The same applies for the Harlem Globetrotters. If you miss them on Friday, they will showcase their skills again at 6.45pm on the Multi-Purpose Sports Court in the Mobility District.

Music enthusiasts looking to listen to something a bit different should head down to the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre at 7pm to see Esszenica, a folk, jazz and classical band from Hungary.

Then, as soon as their performance finishes, stay seated for the Seven Deadly Sins ballet, as Serbian dancers will take to the stage at 8pm.

Once the curtain has fallen on their last pirouette, remember there is still plenty more to explore - 192 pavilions to be exact, plus more than 200 eateries, before the gates close at midnight.

And then it all starts again on Sunday, October 31, with a bit of a spooky theme.

Watch: Meet the Expo super fan collecting pavilion pin badges in Dubai

Updated: October 28th 2021, 5:37 PM