Expo City Dubai opening hours and how to get tickets: your questions answered

Partial access will be allowed from this Thursday before a full relaunch from October 1

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Latest: Expo City promises unrivalled 'campus town feel' as it reopens to the public

Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Expo City Dubai from today, Thursday September 1.

The date of the partial opening — which came earlier than expected — caused a flurry of excitement when it was announced on Monday.

Expo City Dubai is expected to be home to residents, major companies and their headquarters, as well as a global destination for events and exhibitions.

For now, some of the unique features of Expo 2020 Dubai are being reopened to the public.

Visitors will be able to reach the site directly by Metro, bus, car and taxi for the first time since the Expo ended on March 31. You can wander the main site for free, but need a Dh50 ticket to enter the pavilions.

Here is what we know so far:

Which parts of Expo site will be open from this week?

Main pavilions

Two of the anchor pavilions will open this week. They are Alif – the Mobility Pavilion and Terra – the Sustainability Pavilion.

Terra, which hosts science experiments and a climate change-themed exhibition, was a key stop in Expo's school programme, during which every school in the country visited, free of charge, during the world's fair.

Mobility is home to nine-metre-tall models of Arabian explorers Ahmad ibn Majid, Ibn Battuta and Al-Bakri.

The structure itself, designed by Foster + Partners, contains a huge lift that moves dozens of visitors through the impressive structure.

For Dh50 ($14) per pavilion, adult visitors can gain access to these sites. Children under 12 and people with disabilities will enjoy free access.

Garden in the Sky

Garden in the Sky, with its 360-degree views, is also set to open on Thursday, with adult tickets priced at Dh30 each. Children can enter free of charge.

Expo Metro station

The Metro has remained open since the close of the world's fair, but visitors were unable to go any further than the station and its main plaza.

With single-journey tickets from only Dh3 for one zone, it remains the cheapest way to visit the Expo site and travel around town in general. Car parks that surround the site will also reopen.

What are the opening times?

Alif and Terra will be open daily from 10am to 6pm while Garden in the Sky will open from 3pm to 6pm, with the times changing to 10am to 6pm from Friday, September 16, onwards.

It is expected that the district, which opened until midnight or later during Expo, will keep its gates open later once fully open.

Why isn't the whole site open yet?

Expo favourites such as Al Wasl Plaza, the water feature renamed Surreal, the Women’s Pavilion, the Vision Pavilion and children’s playgrounds will open from October 1.

Almost all of the country pavilions that were run by each nation during the six-month event have been packed up and shipped home.

A handful remain, including the UAE and Saudi pavilions. Egypt and Morocco will also reopen at some stage.

How much of the Expo site can I see this week and do I need a ticket to wander around?

Organisers say “much of Expo City Dubai’s public realm will be open and is free to visit”.

So, even those without a ticket will have the chance to relive the Expo magic.

Guests can walk from the Metro station to the open venues, so there should be a chance to stretch your legs and take in the district before the big opening on October 1.

Where to buy tickets

Tickets are available at https://tickets.expocitydubai.com/ticket-office. They can also be purchased at four box offices at Expo City Dubai from Thursday.

Will there be restaurants and other places to eat?

A host of food and beverage outlets are expected to reopen in October. However, there is no word yet on what exactly will be open for the September 1 launch, but visitors can expect organisers to have options on hand.

There is also no word yet on whether people see a return of Al Baik — the popular Saudi chicken outlet — and other staples, including the Irish Village.

So, watch this space.

Updated: June 22, 2023, 12:02 PM