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Published: 16.02.2022
Nicola Lee Head of UAE and Middle East
The Fred Hollows Foundation

2030 IN SIGHT LIVE is only weeks away! For those attending the meeting in Dubai, we hope you enjoy all the city has to offer.


Expo2020 is a universal exhibition held in Dubai till 31st March 2022. It is the first of its kind to be held in Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. I remember exactly where I was when it was announced Dubai had won the bid in 2013 – I had no idea what an Expo was! 7 years of hype, a year delayed because of Covid-19 and Expo2020 is finally open – and has definitely lived up to the expectation!

There are 192 country pavilions, the largest gathering of countries at any World Expo! Each country pavilion has a visitor experience, showcasing their countries uniqueness, creativity, culture and their endless opportunities. It’s an occasion for conversations, collaboration and a platform for countries to come together and share ideas.

You can travel to multi countries in the same day, experience some delicious food and drink and see some fantastic performances (plus get a great step count in!).

The theme of Expo2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’ with 3 sub-themes; opportunity, mobility and sustainability that are the districts of the Expo2020 site.

My highlights are Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the water feature that combines water, light and fire together. It is unlike anything I have seen before (the sound track is composed by the Game of Thrones composer!)

I would recommend packing your comfy shoes and taking the Dubai Metro out to Expo2020. It is a unique one in a lifetime experience not to be missed!

Burj Khalifa

You will likely have seen this from the plane as you landed in Dubai, it is hard to miss! A defining feature of our skyline, the Burj Khalifa sits at 828 meters high! At the bottom is the Dubai Foundations (no longer the biggest water foundation in the world – this title now goes to Palm Fountain at The Pointe in Palm Jumeirah. These foundations spread over 1,335 square metres of seawater!)

Near the top, Level 123 is a bar/restaurant Atmosphere that offers stunning views all across Dubai. My favourite time is sunset, watching Dubai change from day to night is magical.

Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya is one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai. It is a fantastic area to explore the old style architecture of the UAE. It is vastly different from the tall, shiny, skyscrapers you will be used to seeing. Near the Dubai Creek (another must see area!) the narrow streets and wind towers provide a great opportunity for exploration, shopping and to experience local cuisine.

Desert Safari

You can’t come to the “desert” and not go out into the desert. Lots of different tour companies offer unique experiences to explore the desert including dune bashing in 4X4’s, dinner under the stars, quad biking and camel rides!

If you have the time…

Take a day trip to Abu Dhabi and visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Taken from “Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founder of the UAE, had a very specific vision for this mosque: to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilisations and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly welcoming and inspirational in its foundation. The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, with design ideas borrowed from parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan and Egypt, among other Islamic countries. The end result is a breath-taking, gleaming architectural marvel.” And I couldn’t agree more, it absolutely is stunning!

Join us for 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE, online or in Dubai from 2-3 March, 2022. Register today.

Image on top: photo credit Saud Al-Olayan