The World Expo, also known as Expo 2020, is taking place in Dubai, UAE starting October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Specifically, this is the first World Expo to be held in the MENA region. More so, Dubai welcomes over 190 country representatives, along with millions of visitors for the Expo. 

Firstly, the event is running under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. In detail, Expo 2020 showcases various innovations from across the globe. For instance, the Dubai Expo features Al Wasl Plaza, the biggest 360-degree projection surface in the world, and the Expo’s centerpiece.

In line with health regulations, there are three COVID-19 testing facilities. Furthermore, they have thermal cameras, mask distribution, sanitation foggers, and social distancing measures. Therefore, Real Research conducted a survey on the public expectations of Expo 2020. Here are the results.


  • Expo 2020 will attract large-scale investment in Dubai and UAE as a whole.
  • The majority (35.76%) want to see more live performances and events.
  • 55.69% are mostly concerned about the local Covid-19 situation.
  • Dubai Expo 2020 is special as it is the first World Expo event to be held in the MENA region.

Expo 2020 Dubai: A Driving Force Towards UAE’s Economic Development

Expo 2020 offers a variety of experiences through country pavilions and exhibits. The UAE has invested $8.7 billion to reap $17.7 billion in gearing up for Expo 2020. This is to make sure that it is going to be a successful event, post-pandemic. Furthermore, Dubai Expo 2020 is projected to attract 25 million visitors over a period of six months. In particular, 70% of these are expected to come from outside the UAE.

Thus, Real Research conducted an Expo 2020 Dubai survey to learn about the public expectations regarding the event. To begin with, the Real Research online survey asked if respondents are aware of Expo 2020 Dubai? In response, 58.56% say they are aware of the event. Meanwhile, 41.35% are not aware. To add on, the Expo 2020 Dubai survey, conducted on Real Research, asked about the biggest impact of the event.

Firstly, 45.55% stated that the event ‘Attracts large-scale investment at national level’. Furthermore, 18.49% say it enhances the national image. Then, 13.54% say the event will establish itself as a financial and trade hub in the Middle East through Expo 2020.

Figure 1: Positive effects of Expo 2020 in UAE

Urgent Need for Solutions on Critical Environment Issues

Expo 2020 Dubai has attracted numerous delegates from across the globe. This demonstrates that Dubai is open for business and ready to welcome the world. Country pavilions at Expo 2020 are ready to display exceptional services and products for visitors. With the possibility of foreign dignitaries meeting, what is the most important topic to discuss?

The majority 36.75% say environmental issues (heatwaves, pollution, deforestation, desertification, etc.). Following after are agriculture (12.15%), Covid-19 global pandemic (8.16%). Also, children (child poverty, child labor, child abuse, child mortality, global education) 4.60%. Lastly, smart cities and innovation (2.34%). 

Figure 2: Foreign dignitaries need to discuss mostly environmental issues

Most importantly, Dubai world expo 2020 has theme weeks for the event. Real Research sought to hear which theme week attendees would be interested in. Likewise, the majority 36.85% are looking forward to climate change week. Following then, innovation (11.04%), global goals (8.04%), water (10.57%). Meanwhile, (23.95%) are for the idea that all themes are a priority.

Read Also: 63% of UAE Residents Prefers Cashless Payment Methods

High Interests in Live Performances and Events

There are so many things to see at Expo 2020 as people from across the world are looking forward to visiting the event site. Firstly, 60 live events are expected each day. Therefore, visitors can enjoy concerts, stand-up comedy, fashion shows, dance shows, pyrotechnic displays, and much more. As the ‘beating heart’ of the Expo, the Al Wasl Plaza will host the opening and closing ceremonies.

Results from the Real Research survey show that 35.76% would like to see live performances. Next are country pavilions and exhibitions (8.14%), innovation and technology (8.06%), and business and entrepreneurship (5.76%). With more than 190 participating countries, each pavilion showcases visitors a view of their own country’s culture and traditions.

Figure 3: More people would like to see live events and performances

The event also features high-end restaurants and food outlets. Real Research asked the type of food visitors would like to taste.

Burgers by American restaurateur David Myers (34.41%). American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors through three plant-based restaurant concepts by Matthew Kenney (9.63%). Bistro cuisine by Armenian-American chef Geoffrey Zakarian (8.12%). African meals by restaurateur Alexander Smalls (2.61%).

Figure 4: The majority want to taste Burgers by David Myers

Dubai Expo 2020 the First World Expo To Be Held in the MENA Region

Held every five years, London hosted the first World Expo in 1851. Furthermore, the most recent Expo took place in Milan, 2015. However, the Dubai Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East and North Africa region. More so, it is the largest event to ever take place in the UAE

The Dubai Expo 2020 is going to run for six months. Expo Dubai visitors will experience the celebration of a number of national and international celebrations. These include the UAE’s National Day. Other important celebrations include Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, and International Women’s Day, to name a few.

55.69% Are Mostly Concerned About the Local Covid-19 Situation at Expo 2020 Dubai

For visitors to keep safe during Expo 2020, Dubai has placed strict COVID-19 measures and testing programs starting from UAE’s world-class airports. Also, in preparation for the Dubai world expo 2020, the UAE has administered almost 19 million vaccination doses and fully immunized 80% of its population.

Respondents also shared their thoughts on the precautions and protective measures against Covid-19 during Expo 2020. All participants must wear masks and sanitizers should be available at all times (44.51%). Then, Dubai should continuously sanitize the city throughout the event (9.76%). Hotels should strictly follow Covid-19 regulations while accommodating all visitors (5.03%). Lastly, Dubai should request PCR tests and vaccination cards/passports from people participating in the event (3.64%).

Figure 5: Measures to curb the spread of Covid-19

The Real Research survey further asked respondents what their concerns are regarding the Expo. To begin with, 55.69% say ‘Local Covid-19 situation’, Accommodation (6.74%) while 6.28% say ‘Transportation’. Public security (9.18%), Climate and temperature (4.77%), and Culture and religion (3.06%)

The government authorities in Dubai have warned that people should not visit Expo 2020 if suffering from any health symptoms associated with Covid-19. Also, if one has been in close contact with an individual confirmed as Covid-19 positive. Lastly, if one is under any quarantine/self-quarantine orders. However, appropriate facilities and specialized staff are available to manage any potential medical issues on site.

To boost participation at Expo 2020 Dubai should reduce the PCR process steps (30.65%). Cut down on ticket prices (16.93%), and provide discounts on various tourist attractions for ticket holders (7.79%)

In conclusion, it should come as no surprise that the Dubai Expo 2020 will showcase superstars of the architect world. Various artists are gracing the event with live performances and events. During the Expo, visitors of age 18 and above must present proof of any vaccine recognized by their national government. They can also present a negative PCR test taken within the last 72 hours.


Survey TitlePublic Expectations on Expo 2020 Hosted by Dubai
DurationSeptember 14 – September 21, 2021
Number of Participants50,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating CountriesAfghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong-kong), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Ma, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zimbabwe.