Only hotel at Expo 2020 Dubai is now taking bookings – for Dh1,000 a night

Room rates include Expo 2020 tickets for the duration of guests' stay

The only hotel at the Expo 2020 Dubai site has opened for bookings.

The Rove Expo 2020 was pitched as having the best seats in the house given its commanding view of Al Wasl Plaza, one of the main attractions at the event.

The plaza's enormous trellis dome will host the opening ceremony on October 1, during which images will be beamed on to the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface.

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People have been unable to travel for over 12 months. They are locking in dates for the future.

The hotel's rooftop swimming pool and most of the 300-plus rooms overlook the dome.

Rooms cost from Dh1,000 ($272) a night and include Expo 2020 tickets for the duration of stay.

Paul Bridger, chief operating officer at Rove Hotels, said staff were dealing with enquiries from more than 1,500 people even before it opened for bookings.

"We will have amazing views of the action and the event. We have had a huge response and a number of bookings already," Mr Bridger told The National.

"We had 1,500 email enquiries from people asking when can they book. There is so much anticipation for the Expo event itself and the hotel is part of that. There is a lot of pent-up demand.

“A lot of people have been unable to travel for over 12 months. They are really looking forward to the next time they can travel and are locking in their dates for the future."

With fewer than 100 days to go, tourists from the GCC, Expo support staff, artists and performers have already made reservations.

"We have seen a lot of demand from the local region and some are people connected to the event," he said.

"There is a lot of anticipation in the UAE but also overseas.”

Being the only place to stay on the 438-hectare site, the hotel has an advantage.

The UAE pavilion with Al Wasl Plaza in the background seen from above at the Dubai Expo 2020 site. Courtesy: Dubai Expo 2020

Other hotels are a 15-minute drive away in the surrounding Dubai South and Dubai Investments Park areas. The Dubai Marina neighbourhood is about 20 minutes away.

Visitors are planning an Expo stay as part of their trip to Dubai and the UAE.

“They want to do one or two days at the Expo and explore other areas in the city," Mr Bridger said.

“So we see a lot of people asking to spend one or two nights at the Rove Expo 2020 and then stay at a different hotel, maybe in Downtown or Marina, as part of their trip."

Mr Bridger thinks demand will continue to grow from the 5 per cent occupancy recorded in the past four days since bookings opened.

"People believe and trust that Dubai will put on such a great show that they are really looking forward to get their place," Mr Bridger said.

"We are expecting demand to be very high."

The hotel opens on October 1, the same day as the Expo. Staff are getting ready for a soft opening in September, with guests being limited to those working at the site.

Reservations for dates before October 1 will not be available  to the general public.

The hotel – which has a cafe, dining outlets, co-working spaces and a 24-hour gym – is among the structures that will remain after the Expo finishes in March next year.

Those taking part in events at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, a hub for international trade shows and conferences, will continue to drive demand.

Expo organisers have also laid out plans for a residential and commercial neighbourhood called District 2020 as part of a legacy master plan to build a thriving community.

Marjan Faraidooni, chief experience officer at Expo 2020, said the hotel supported the goals of the futuristic city and would add “huge value to world-class facilities”.

“Rove 2020 Dubai will provide remarkable hospitality and fulfil the needs of visitors during and after Expo 2020 Dubai,” she said.

The World Fair in Dubai will be the first global event to be held in-person with international visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the first time the fair will take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.

Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions: in pictures

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