UK National Day set to takeover Expo 2020 Dubai with a feast of all things British 

10 January 2022

Expo 2020 Dubai is preparing for a full-site takeover for UK National Day to celebrate extraordinary talents across the UK, from established musicians to emerging artists. 

On 10th February 2022, the Expo site will become an extension of the UK, with new and diverse music, theatre, arts, poetry, comedy, film, food and innovation that speaks to all ages and backgrounds, inviting the world to see things differently.

A marching band will herald the start of UK National Day in style, opening the Expo gates, which were constructed by UK Architect Asif Khan, before leading the way to the UK Pavilion to start the opening ceremony at the Al Wasl Dome, the beating heart of Expo 2020 Dubai. This will be followed by the UK National Day flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations under the Al Wasl Dome.

Music will be central to the UK’s takeover of Expo 2020 Dubai, with a UK music festival featuring a diverse line-up encapsulating a multitude of genres, including acoustic, rock, indie, grime, RnB, soul and afro beats. 

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will challenge traditional perceptions with a selection of modern scores and intriguing collaborations within the Al Wasl Dome, while other highlights include a DJ Jamz Supernova set and an array of world-class Scottish folk musicians from the Association of Exiled Scots. The UK Pavilion will host a national soundtrack, juxtaposing classic tracks from world renowned British artists with the very best of our new and emerging talent.

UK National Day pushes performance even further, providing a platform for artists of the spoken word, with Beatfreeks bringing a fresh perspective, by showcasing two spoken word artists. The winners of Debate Mate’s eXpo Factor competition take part in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to debate the global challenges of our time in Dubai and emerging artists will perform as part of the celebrations through the ‘Take the Stage’ competition run by Lowden Guitars, whose customers include UK icons Ed Sheeran and Eric Clapton.

In an exciting initiative, Scotland’s Spelfie has also partnered with UK National Day enabling those attending to take an aerial picture of themselves at the Expo site from space, an image they’ll have access to via the Spelfie app; the embodiment of a new perspective and a real opportunity to see things differently.

UK National Day will also celebrate British sport, with open spaces such as the Al Forsan Park set to be used for sports activities and entertainment. This will focus on the next stage of UK Sport, with an emphasis on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and the cutting-edge tech of the game changing British Cycling, with diverse, influential athletes and sports celebrities set to be in attendance. 

The UK National Day experience will be complemented by a taste of British food and drink, with innovative Michelin Star chef Vineet Bhatia co-curating a UK produce focused menu from the UK Pavilion’s 1851 Restaurant. UK food scientist, entrepreneur and founder of Little Venice Cake Company, Mich Turner MBE will also create a bespoke UK National Day cake taking centre stage in an ‘Extraordinary Showcase’ at the UK Pavilion.

Laura Faulkner OBE, UK Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai, says: “UK National Day will be the highlight of our participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, offering visitors from 191 countries the opportunity to see things differently and to celebrate our extraordinary talent from the UK and how we innovate all over the world. 

“From science and sport to film, music and food, UK National Day will provide a taste of the very best that the UK has to offer. With just a month to go until the celebrations kick off, I’m excited for visitors to enjoy the outstanding performances, acts and events we have in store.”

Join the conversation at @UKPavilion2020 #Expo2020 #UKNationalDay



For further information on UK at Expo 2020 Dubai or to request interviews please contact:
Oli Higgs at Speed Communications on +44 (0)798 0816 170 

The UK at Expo 2020 Dubai

The UK is participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, taking place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. More than 200 participants, including 190-plus countries, are taking part in what will be the Arab world’s largest event. The overarching theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Under the theme ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’, the UK’s participation will boost the country’s global reputation, drive future partnerships and provide long term economic benefit.

The UK’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai will be led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), with support from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Devolved Administrations. The UK’s presence will consist of a self-build country Pavilion, based in the ‘Opportunity’ District and an accompanying business, cultural, tourism and education events programme.