Christina Aguilera to play at star-studded Expo 2020 Dubai closing ceremony

Curtain comes down on an incredible six months with fireworks, concerts and live music

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Global music stars including US artists Christina Aguilera and Norah Jones will perform at the closing ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday.

Organisers on Saturday revealed more about the eagerly anticipated event and said children will lead the way as the curtain comes down on the six-month event.

Aguilera, Jones and American cellist Yo-Yo Ma will lead the line-up, while hundreds of children will be in the audience beneath the Al Wasl dome.

The concerts are free to attend for anyone with an Expo ticket and entry is on a first come first served basis, organisers said.

The world's fair baton will also be passed from Dubai to Expo 2025 Osaka.

Performances from the stars

Aguilera, Jones and Ma will perform on the night and on 20-plus giant screens across the site, including the main stages, Festival Garden and country pavilions.

The evening will begin at 7pm with Mira Singh, the girl who stole the show during the opening ceremony, taking the audience on another journey.

Hundreds of children from across the UAE are to witness the wonders as the country looks to the next 50 years, having celebrated its Golden Jubilee during Expo 2020 Dubai.

Later in the evening, Grammy-winner Ma will play a concert at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre from 8.45pm. The celebrated Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and pianist Jones will entertain visitors with her own concert on the Jubilee Stage from 9pm, and singer Aguilera will present an extended performance on the Jubilee Stage from 10.45pm.

The show in statistics

The cast of the closing ceremony includes more than 400 professionals and volunteers from 56 countries, with 745 costumes created for the culmination of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Forty members of a UAE-based children’s choir will perform Ishy Bilady, the National Anthem of the UAE, joined by the all-women Firdaus Orchestra, conducted by Yasmina Sabbah.

The ceremony will be streamed live on Virtual Expo and Expo TV. It will remind audiences of some of Al Wasl Plaza’s great moments, including calligraphy poetry in the sky from Emirati poetess Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi; the falcon from immersive theatrical show Journey of the 50th, which was presented during the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, and the incredible horse from The Boy and The Horse – a tribute to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The show also looks to the future. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai will participate in a ceremony that hands the baton over to Osaka in Japan for the next Expo in 2025.

The celebrations will continue throughout the night, with fireworks displays at midnight and 3am.

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Updated: March 31, 2022, 12:13 PM
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