Expo 2020 Dubai – the provider of culture, activities, events, new restaurants, but also lots of fun new bars to try…

In many cities and for certain kinds of folks, bar hopping offers a window into a country or city’s culture, serving as something of a (wobbly) guided tour while letting you sample local wares, graze on bar food, meet locals, and fully immerse yourself into the scene. As such, we’re on the hunt for the best bars at Expo 2020 Dubai.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a growing list of watering holes that we’ve tried, tasted and enjoyed.

Here’s a look at our favourite bars at Expo 2020 so far…


The Local – Australia Pavilion

So far our favourite party spot at Expo, The Local at the Australia Pavilion (close to the Mobility parking entrance) whips up top Aussie tucker (order the chips with chicken salt, and the vegemite cheese toastie) and a huge drinks menu offering everything from Aussie wines and ales to ‘dark and stormy’ cocktails. The outdoor courtyard is cradled by the Australian Pavilion offering welcome shade during the hotter hours, too.
Location: Near entrance of Mobility Parking


BeHappy – Belgium Pavilion

Aside from the ridiculously good Belgian waffles and fries available on the ground level of the Belgian Pavilion (located in the Mobility District), you should also head to the rooftop and check out Be Lounge Rooftop Terrace and Brasserie for a range of Belgian classic bites (hello, cheesy croquettes and mussel pots), plus a range of cocktails and Belgian ales. Mondays are ladies’ night, which includes three drinks (based on a Dhs100 minimum spend) from 6pm.
Location: Inside Mobility District


Tiaki – New Zealand Pavilion

Tiaki has been one of big f&b names on everyone’s radar since the opening of Expo 2020, and for good reason. Much thought has gone into the food menu at the New Zealand Pavilion’s restaurant and bar, where you’ll find everything from sustainably sourced New Zealand hoki fillet and fries, New Zealand pasture-raised venison, and Marlborough greenshell mussels. But the drinks, served in the restaurant and in the cosy bar/lounge area, are just as exciting, with a range of New Zealand white wines and ales on offer.



Jiko and Bar Cane at Alkebulan Dining Hall

Alkebulan boldly claims to be the world’s first African food hall. And there is certainly a sense of uncharted waters here, as the impressive two-story site at Expo 2020 houses 10 chef-led concepts and two additional bars. Both bars are located on the first floor flanking the food hall. The first is Jiko – a cocktail concept whipped up by the team from luxury Nairobi boutique hotel Tribe. The second is Bar Cane, curated by Chef Coco, which utilises African spices to make exclusive cocktails.
Location: Jubilee Park


Iris Lounge

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The recent What’s On Nightlife Award-nominees have bagged a huge pop-up space featuring a large wraparound terrace. You’ll find a range of cocktails on offer, including many Iris classics. Look out for the Tuesday Ladies’ Day deal from 4pm, which includes two Iris signature starters and two hours of free-flowing drinks for Dhs140. There’s also a happy hour deal from 3pm to 5pm every Saturday to Thursday where selected drinks cost Dhs35.
Location: Al Forsan Park

The Irish Village

Located in Jubilee Park, and naturally next to the Ireland Pavilion, The Irish Village brings a recreation of its iconic Garhoud branch, complete with live music and award-winning pub grub to Expo at this fully-outdoor space.
Location: Jubilee Park, next to Ireland Pavilion

Garden on 1

A spin-off from Media One Hotel’s popular sports lounge Garden on 8, this What’s On favourite hangout screens live sport while serving the usual array of thirst quenchers. There’s a daily happy hour from 4pm to 7pm.
Location: Mobility district, behind Barbados Pavilion

If you’ve visited, and loved, a Country Pavilion bar or lounge, please let us know in the comments on Facebook, or send us a DM via Instagram.

Images: Instagram, What’s On, Supplied