Expo 2020 Dubai souvenirs up for grabs at last-chance sale

Everything from Expo passports and pins to spare sets of shoes for staff, wheelchairs and buggies will be on offer as two-week sale gets under way

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Expo 2020 Dubai fans can bring a part of the world's fair home with them — two months after the global event drew to a close.

A sale of left-over merchandise from the six-month-long spectacle got under way in Dubai on Friday, with prices slashed for many items.

Everything from stars on the facade of the US pavilion and mannequins used to display clothes, as well as a host of cherished souvenirs, are up for grabs, organisers said.

The National was given a tour of the depot in Dubai Investment Park before the sale, which is due to last for two weeks.

The warehouse is run by TVG, the company that looked after the official stores on-site at the world’s fair. TVG deputy manager Ashraf Mirghani said: “We’re selling all the official Expo 2020 Dubai merchandise from passports, pens, souvenir coins to more luxury items.

“We’ve been open for the last few days but only for staff who worked at Expo 2020 Dubai to be the first to get the chance to buy items at a reduced rate.

Most of the items on sale in the warehouse have been reduced in cost by 25 to 75 percent from their sale price during Expo.

Expo pins and passports on offer

The most in-demand items are expected to be event passports, expo-logo pins and limited edition coins, Mr Mirghani said.

He said the sale would be the last opportunity to pick up merchandise at the same price it cost during the event, or even less in some instances.

Mr Mirghani highlighted the booming online sales of expo-related merchandise as proof of its popularity.

The National revealed last month how official expo passports were selling for up to Dh1,750 ($476) on sites such as Dubizzle.

A mountain of memorabilia from Expo 2020 Dubai is on sale at the 
TVG Warehouse in Dubai Investment Park. Antonie Robertson / The National

One explorer map with 200 country pavilion stamps was advertised for Dh5,000.

It is not only merchandise that expo fans can get their hands on during the course of the two-week sale.

Visitors to the depot will be able to purchase unique mementos such as wheelchairs that were used during the event, spare sets of shoes that were part of the staff uniform — that were not worn — and buggies used to transport visitors around the site.

“We’ve already sold one of the six-seater buggies that was used by the US pavilion for about Dh28,000,” said Mr Mirghani.

“You can buy everything from the cutlery and plates staff used, to the New Balance shoes they wore as part of their uniform.”

Follow in footsteps of Expo staff

If you want to pick up a pair of Expo 2020 Dubai staff shoes in the merchandise store, it will set you back Dh125.

Prices for the stars from the side of the US pavilion start at Dh999 and rise to Dh4,999, depending on size.

Mr Mirghani explained that many items from the US pavilion are on sale as it was also managed by TVG during the event.

Replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument are up for grabs, with their prices not being determined until the sale starts.

Other items include mannequins used in the merchandise stores during expo to show the range of official T-shirts and other clothes you could buy, all of which are also on sale at the warehouse.

The mannequins cost between Dh350 and Dh500, depending on size.

The staff working at the sale also worked at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mr Mirghani, from Sudan, was himself working as e-commerce manager for the official site store during the event.

Another person working at the warehouse who also served her time as part of the expo workforce was Abigail Padayhag, from the Philippines, who was part of the team at the US pavilion.

“I am already getting requests from people who are looking for items they can’t get any more,” she said.

“The most popular is Opti, the robot mascot from the expo. People are looking hard for anything Opti-designed, from the toys to the plushes.

“They are crazy for it.”

Updated: May 29, 2022, 10:56 AM