The Theme Park Guy

Feb 20

A Guide To Dubai Expo 2020

Feb 20, 2022

To my friends and partners who haven't visited Dubai Expo 2020 yet, do it! It's fantastic. Doubtlessly the world's best temporary theme park! Congratulations to all the geniuses involved in this magnetic masterpiece.

It took me 8 days to visit all the pavilions, so if you have only a day or two, here are my recommendations. I sorted them not by the size of their budget, but by the size of their spirit:

  • Syria
  • Israel
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Terra Pavilion
  • USA
  • Spain
  • Pakistan
  • Japan
  • El Salvador
  • Mexico
  • Gabon
  • Portugal
  • Brazil
  • South Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Holy See
  • Muslim World League
  • African Union
  • Iraq
  • Turkmenistan
  • Suriname
  • Ethiopia
  • Cambodia
  • Jamaica
  • Bahrain (for the food)

You need to book Japan in advance through the expo app, and you only have about 3 minutes between 9am and 9:03am to do so, or else the slots are gone for that day. With Japan's borders closed since March 2020, the adjacent sushi restaurant is the world's only accessible truly authentic outlet — come between 10am-11am and you won't face a queue. Food in the Bahrain and Denmark pavilions is excellent, too. The worst exhibit is Libya's, even the staff wants to get out of that space. Come early, at around 9:30am, and avoid Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at all costs.

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