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The World Expo 2020 opens to visitors in Dubai today. It starts a year late due to the coronavirus epidemic and for the first time an Arab country is hosting it. Visitors will be able to enter the pavilions of 191 countries. Connecting the exhibitions are new ideas that can contribute to the creation of the future, sustainability, mobility and new opportunities. Not many tourists from the Czech Republic are heading to the exhibition yet.

The Czech Republic will present itself as a country of nature, science and innovation.

The main theme of the Czech stand is the Solar Air Water Earth Resource (S.A.W.E.R.) systém which uses solar energy to produce water from the air to irrigate the garden around the Czech pavilion.

Six months from now, on 31 March next year, the Expo gates will close and organisers hope that at least 25 million people will have passed through by then.

A one-day ticket will cost around 580 crowns, a 30-day ticket 1,200 crowns. The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of invited guests on Thursday evening.

A big show at the opening

The venue for the opening ceremony was Dubai's Vasl Plaza. Only invited guests were allowed to attend but the opening ceremony could be watched on streaming platforms.

The building at Vasl Plaza is the heart of the Expo 2020 site and includes a 130-metre wide and over 67-metre high dome that served as a screen for laser projection.

The programme was streamed to 430 locations in the UAE and screens were placed in airports, hotels and shopping malls.

Those further afield could watch the launch on YouTube.

Among the dozens of performers were Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, American singer and actress Andra Day, British singer Ellie Goulding and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

The spectacular show was opened by local singer Rashid Nuaimi who sang the national anthem inside the dome while fireworks lit up the outside. Another trio then sang the Expo's official song, This is Our Time. Expo 2020 was then officially opened from the microphone by Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Muhammad bin Rashid Maktoum.

Czechs are not interested in the exhibition yet

According to the travel agency (CK) BonTon, which is a direct partner of the Czech pavilion, there is not so much interest in tours to Expo 2020 in Dubai as it could be expected. People are more likely to make last-minute enquiries as they are still worried about changes in travel conditions due to the spread of coronavirus. This was stated by the managing director of CK BonTon Petr Kraus.

According to Kraus, the Expo will undoubtedly be an extraordinary event and he believes that the interest will be quite high. According to him, the CK has now adjusted its programme of tours and next month it will organise the first one to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 14 to 20 with a two-day visit to the Expo. "This group will include more than 50 customers from individual travellers and representatives of travel agencies and tour operators for whom we are preparing this tour as an information trip," Kraus said. He added that the CK is also preparing dates for December, January, February and March.

According to its spokeswoman Ilona Topolová, travel agency Blue Style has recently seen more interest in a stay in the United Arab Emirates. "The fact that flights for our clients to Dubai are operated by flydubai company which offers a free one-day entry to the Expo with the ticket, certainly plays a part in this," she said. According to Topolova Blue Style does not offer tours to the Expo but is able to arrange a day trip to the show on the spot, even from neighbouring emirates.

According to its website, flydubai will provide a free ticket with all bookings made between September 1 and March 31 with travel scheduled between October 1 and March 31. People can use the ticket on a day of their choice. Emirates airline is also offering a free day ticket to the Expo. In addition to these carriers, Smartwings will also start flying to Dubai once a day from 20 October, according to Václav Havel Airport Prague spokeswoman Klára Divíšková.

According to her, Air Arabia will return to the route from Prague to Sharjah in the UAE from 17 October with a frequency of up to three flights per week.

According to travel agency spokeswoman Andrea Řezníčková, Czechs in Dubai usually seek stays in hotels on the coast.

Now, according to her, the demand for accommodation in business hotels is also growing.

The exhibition is starting after a year-long postponement forced by the coronavirus epidemic.

Visitors will need to wear masks and keep a safe distance.

They must also have proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.


Velká show, korunní princ i Bocelli. Expo v Dubaji otevřelo brány po covidovém zpoždění -