Dubai World Expo 2020 will open up a whole new, immersive world for families: a magical place that fuses the fantasy of a vivid imagination with the reality of a world that needs everyone's help, where children will encounter groundbreaking new discoveries, explore the world's ecosystems and learn important lessons about our planet and humanity.
Magical mascot shows, featuring siblings Rashid and Latifa, will welcome families to join in songs, dances and theatrical productions that share a special message of coming together to overcome adversity and the role each of us can play in making it happen.
Instrumental life lessons will be taught in a unique and entertaining way, from the Mascot Immersive Show at Al-Wasl Plaza that invites children to help Rashid and Latifa fight their evil archenemy Mr Scrap; the Mascot Interactive Experience which propels visitors into a new dimension, with interactive booths to create their own avatar and project it onto the Al-Wasl canvas; and Mister Scrap's Scrapyard Idol at Dubai's Millennium Amphitheatre, a daily show of music, dance and storytelling, with Mr Scrap trying to defeat our heroes.
Rashid's Playground at Jubilee Park is an ocean-themed adventure inspired by Rashid's imagination and underwater exploits. Highlights include sharks in springs, whale slides, ocean liners and an interactive 3D maze inspired by one of the most amazing inhabitants of our local waters - the humpback whale.
For more green space, families can head to the vast lawns of Al-Forsan Park. With its network of intertwining pathways, the park offers a rich mosaic of opportunities for cultural interaction and recreation, including Latifa's Space City adventures, where kids can jump over nets in the 'zero gravity' chamber, leap into orbit around the swings and hop aboard a replica of the UAE's Hope Probe.
Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, highlighted the family-friendly side of the world's fair: "Expo 2020 is a captivating place for families to connect while discovering new cultures, technologies and life-changing innovations. With inspiring exploratory exhibits where children will want to explore, play is encouraged, and learning becomes a product of their experiences. The Expo will open up a world of exciting, entertaining and educational experiences for millions of children, and is also a great value, as children under the age of 18 are admitted free of charge".
Climb aboard the Expo Explorer, a train with a difference that takes passengers on a sightseeing journey while experiencing the sustainable future of transport. The Explorer may look like a classic locomotive, but it runs on compressed air, making it pollution-free.
Visit one of the 192 national pavilions with a family-friendly focus, such as the Luxembourg Pavilion, which has a 21-metre-high slide to take visitors into a green, wooded space that evokes the country's beautiful forests. At the Ethiopia Pavilion, try traditional board games and playground games, and see folktales come to life at the Guinea Pavilion. Experience an innovative playground that converts children's kinetic energy into light in the Bulgaria Pavilion, encouraging imagination and creative play, and stop by the Tonga Pavilion, where Lafi and his best friend Kaho the whale accompany visitors through an incredible enchanted forest.
Children of all ages will love Terra - the Sustainability Pavilion, a playful experience that brings to life the UAE and Expo 2020's commitment to sustainability, acting as a catalyst for change. Taking visitors through the wonders of the natural world, Terra is designed to change mindsets and encourage people to break the cycle of consumerism and will live on as a Science Centre after the Expo closes its doors, inspiring sustainable choices for generations to come.
Families won't go hungry, with more than 200 food and beverage outlets at the Expo. Food truck parks in all districts cater especially well for families, serving delicious takeaways from pizza, hot dogs and Lebanese sandwiches to ice cream, waffles, mini pancakes and more, in casual outdoor venues.
One day at the Expo will not be enough to experience all that is on offer. A family package, priced at 950 Emirati dirhams ($258), is valid for unlimited entry for the full six months of Expo 2020, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. It includes unlimited access for two parents and a babysitter (under 18s free) with additional food and beverage benefits, a 25 per cent discount on five additional tickets and an advance purchase photo voucher worth 125 dirhams to eternalise magical memories.
Text, photos and video: Expo Dubai 2020.