Following a yearlong delay due to COVID-19 concerns, Expo 2020 is officially on. The world’s fair opened in Dubai at the start of this month, making the United Arab Emirates the first Middle Eastern country to host the event in its 170-year history. In honor of the occasion, the nation’s flag carriers, Emirates and Etihad, are giving away free Expo tickets with select bookings.
Flying Emirates was already a dream for many travelers. The airline is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best, owing to its stellar service and famously luxurious premium cabins. (Hello, lie-flat seats and three-course meals.) The current offer of complimentary Expo passes only sweetens the deal. From now to March 31, 2022, Emirates passengers traveling to Dubai in first or business class, or who’ve booked a Special, Saver, Flex, or Flex Plus economy ticket, can claim a one-day Expo pass to be redeemed on the day of their choosing. Even travelers with a layover in Dubai lasting six or more hours are eligible for a day pass.
Etihad is running a similar promotion. All passengers flying into or connecting via Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital, will be offered a free ticket to Expo 2020 Dubai until the event ends next March. An easy commute on the ground, Abu Dhabi is only 45 minutes from Dubai by car.
There’s also another way travelers can score Expo tickets, along with a free trip there. The radio show AfroZons has partnered with Dubai’s tourism board to create a giveaway for fans of the Afrobeat genre. Seventy lucky winners will have their flights, accommodations, airport transfers, tours, and visas covered for a weeklong trip to Dubai next March. They’ll be joined by famous on-air personalities from across Africa and the United States.
Whether or not Dubai was on your bucket list before, Expo 2020 is a once-in-a-lifetime reason to visit now. Just remember to choose your airline carefully. After all, if you’re going to shell out for a long flight to the United Arab Emirates, you might as well get your Expo passes for free.