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1 Year to go celebration Expo 2020 Dubai

Excitement for Expo 2020 Dubai is reaching new heights as the UAE prepares to celebrate One Year to Go across all seven emirates on Sunday, 20 October, with everyone invited to join in this jubilant moment with the nation.

Events around the country, including live performances in Dubai from global superstar Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 Ambassador Hussain Al Jassmi, will provide a taster of what visitors can expect when the World’s Greatest Show opens its doors on 20 October 2020.

Expo 2020 will bring the world together, including more than 200 international participants and millions of people, in a spirit of celebration, collaboration and optimism for the future. For six months, all eyes will be on the UAE as it delivers an exceptional Expo that entertains, enlightens and unites. It will be the ‘be there’ moment of our time.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As we mark One Year to Go until the UAE welcomes the world to Expo 2020, these spectacular nationwide celebrations will usher in the final leg of a historic journey and a major achievement not only for Dubai, but for the entire UAE.

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“So far, 2019 has been the year of delivery and the Expo 2020 site has been transformed by the completion of key construction milestones such as the Thematic Districts and the crowning of Al Wasl dome. The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo.

“Our One Year to Go festivities offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from 20 October 2020. They are an opportunity for us to look forward to this momentous occasion for our young, dynamic nation as we prepare to see our leadership’s vision burst into life at Expo 2020 Dubai.”

All the tickets to the One Year to Go event in Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, which will also feature a special appearance by leading Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor and an eye-catching countdown at 2020 (8.20pm) on Burj Khalifa, were snapped up within two hours by people from 76 nationalities. Organisers stress that anyone without a ticket should not seek admittance at Burj Park.

Thousands more people can still join the celebrations elsewhere in the UAE, however, with free festivities taking place simultaneously from 1700 to 2200 in the other six emirates at Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

One hundred performing artists from 26 nationalities will keep the whole family entertained, while also highlighting the universal language of art and the global appeal of the next World Expo.

Each event will feature a wealth of delicious cuisines to suit all tastes, a craft area for kids and the chance to meet the Expo 2020 Mascots for the first time, as well as more details about what to expect at Expo 2020.

A live broadcast of the headliners as they perform in Dubai and the countdown LED show on Burj Khalifa will be streamed to the festivities in the other six emirates.

In line with Expo 2020’s subtheme of Sustainability, single-use plastic water bottles will not be sold at any of the celebrations. Instead, Expo 2020 will provide free drinking water and 98 per cent biodegradable and compostable paper water bottles to all visitors, performers and staff. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their own reusable drinking bottles.

Organisers expect these measures will save more than 100,000 plastic water bottles across all events. This initiative is part of the wider ‘Be Water Wise’ campaign – a collaboration between Expo 2020 and the UAE Water Aid Foundation, Suqia UAE, to combat water shortages in the region, keep the sea plastic-free and invest in innovative, sustainable solutions to help preserve the planet.

Here’s what to expect at each event:


The bill will include pop singer Sandra Sahi, who has amassed more than six million YouTube views with her songs Coconut and Hala Bre7at Heli, soulful North Carolina native Stephon Lamar and award-winning singer-songwriter Layla Kardan, plus the classical stylings of Emirati Trio. Also present will be DJ Kaboo, Zambian speed painter Victor Sitali, art collective The Domino, painter Chinedu Eneogwe (aka Wisdom) and MCs Enjy Kiwan and Mo El Torky.


Performing live in Sharjah will be Indian band ROOH, who featured on the soundtrack to 2017 Hindi movie Julie 2, classically trained singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, the diverse and harmonious Benna Duo, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki, Pakistani poet Namal Siddiqui, artist and designer Ahd Hany and MC Hassan Alsheikh.


Visitors can enjoy the music of Syrian singer-songwriter Ghaliaa, who in 2018 released her first singles Why, Praying and Kel El 3alam, Emirati rock artist BAFOORY and India’s Aman Sheriff, who has performed hundreds of shows from the UAE to Los Angeles, including opening for veteran pop-rockers The Stereophonics. Also appearing will be spoken word performer Adel Awad, mural artist Sijin Gopinathan and MC Rania Younes.


Wowing visitors at the Ajman celebration will be an Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.


Umm Al Quwain’s One Year to Go festivities will include As Per Casper, whose debut album Hit the Ground topped the iTunes Middle East charts, singer and oud player Mohamed Hosny, poet Suhaib Alises, illustrator Dina Sami, an acoustic fusion band and MC Ibrahim Ustadi.


The brilliantly named Nutella Riot, comprising singer-songwriter Noush Like Sploosh and guitarist Matt BLK, will offer fresh takes on pop classics. The evening’s entertainment will also feature the emotive Souldier the Artist, qanoon musician Ahmed Jarour, Palestinian-American spoken word performer Yaz Makh, Emirati artist Jaber Alhaddad and MC Abdulla Al Muhairi.


As well as Mariah Carey, Hussain Al Jassmi and Shraddha Kapoor, those lucky enough to have secured tickets for the Dubai event will enjoy tunes from Khalifa Nasser, Shamma Hamdan, Abri & Funk Radius, and DJ Bliss. Visitors will also witness a special countdown show on the Burj Khalifa at 2020 (8.20pm) to mark one year until the next World Expo.

In the spirit of collaboration, five UAE-based musicians representing a mix of genres – from a qanoon player to a beatboxer – have been chosen to create a special track marking One Year to Go. The group will perform the song live for the Burj Park crowd and a short documentary titled Musical Encounters, detailing the story of how the track came together, will be released after the event.

For those who cannot make it to any of the seven celebrations, they can still be part of One Year to Go from home by tuning in to Dubai TV for live coverage of the Dubai event from 1900 on the day.

Related links:

Expo 2020 celebrations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, RAK, UAQ