Rove Expo 2020: what it’s like to stay at the only on-site in Dubai



While Expo 2020 Dubai is off to a good start, the only hotel in the World Expo is also booming. Rove Expo 2020 opened to the public on October 1, when visitors first entered Expo 2020.

Offering guests free access to 192 country pavilions for the duration of their stay, as well as front row access to the massive Al Wasl Dome amphitheater, Rove Expo 2020 is a hotel like no other.

The National had the opportunity to experience exactly what it is like to stay at the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai.


One of the main advantages of staying at Rove Expo 2020 is that you get a free ticket to visit the expo and it is valid for the duration of the stay. In addition to this, customers also benefit from stress-free entry into the “World’s Greatest Show” with “Rovers” able to park in a dedicated area in the parking lot closest to the Expo, to enjoy of a free escort in a golf buggy to the main entrance and cross a separate security lane to enter, meaning there is very little waiting even when the lines are long.

Once you have passed security, another golf cart will pick you up and take you to the hotel. Check-in takes place in the busy, open-plan lobby and is relatively quick and hassle-free. Within minutes, we had the keys to our wooden room in hand and headed for the elevator to our room on the fifth floor.

The neighborhood

The big draw to Rove Expo 2020 is obviously its location – it is the only hotel on site.

This makes it the perfect base for exploring all that the exhibition has to offer from morning to night. Guests can return to their rooms to rest, escape the midday heat, or cool off. Being inside the site means that when it opens in the morning, you can also be on the front line for all of the lodges on your must-see list.

The hotel is located right next to Al Wasl Plaza, the beating heart of the exhibition. And with many rooms featuring private balconies, guests can catch live performances in the square from the comfort of their room. It’s also very close to the pavilions of Peru, Senegal, and Moldova, while the popular UAE pavilion is right across the hotel plaza, and the Jubilee waterfall is just a short walk away as well.

Security measures

Anyone visiting Expo 2020 Dubai must be fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test within 72 hours, the same applies to guests checking in at the Rove Hotel. Inside the hotel, there are social distancing reminders, sanitized pens for filling out check-in forms, and contactless key cards for using the elevators and accessing your room.

Temperatures are checked before entering restaurants and face masks are mandatory in public areas, except for swimming, eating or drinking. At times of the day, the hotel gets quite crowded, and social distancing guidelines don’t always seem to be fully adhered to by guests, but staff are quick to remind people to put on their masks properly and follow the rules.


We stayed in a Rover Room which is standard class. Those on a budget can book a smaller Cozy room while those looking for more space can book a suite – Rove Expo 2020 is the first property of the Dubai hotel group to offer such a room category.

Our room had a gray, white, and yellow color scheme with sun-colored walls adorned with Expo 2020-inspired artwork produced by regional artists. There was a motivational saying on the wall and Arabic prints on the cushions and curtains. There was a desk, an open wardrobe and a bathroom which was a bit small, but had everything one could need. Families can take advantage of the children’s pull-out sofa bed. There is also a spacious balcony which gives the impression of being within touching distance of Al Wasl Plaza. There was a small table and chair on the balcony, so we dragged a chair from the room outside, so two people could enjoy the view.

Water was provided in environmentally friendly cans and there was a minibar, although it was empty due to Covid-19 regulations. Continuous tapping noise from the air conditioning was maddening in the middle of the night, but faded when there was entertainment in the square (more on that later).

The service

From buggy drivers to check-in staff or friendly housekeepers, everyone is very welcoming and ready to make your stay special. Our request for more water in the room was met very efficiently, and when we reported that the ice maker on our floor was broken, we were sent a large cup of ice to our room without asking. .

The breakfast servers are also friendly, but a bit slow to take orders from diners when they are seated – we heard the couple at the table behind us say they ran out of time to order as they were seated. had a meeting to go to and we too waited at least 10 minutes before someone approached our table.

The scene

From the moment you walk into the lobby, it’s obvious this is a social hotel with people flocking to the open plan dining and co-working spaces. Most of the people who check-in are there to explore all that Expo 2020 has to offer, but the Rove also provides a good hideaway when the going gets a little too tough.

The best view from the house is reserved at the rooftop infinity pool, which is lined with turquoise loungers and umbrellas and overlooks Al Wasl Dome. Unfortunately it was closed after dark when we went there to try and watch the evening show on the world’s largest 360º projection surface.

Elsewhere, the hotel has a popular lounging area with beanbags and a play station, a 24-hour gym, foosball tables, laundry facilities, and a locker room for storing luggage.

The food

The Rove Expo 2020 is the only on-site hotel at the Dubai Expo and has opened for reservations.  Photo: Rove Hotels

When it comes to dining at Rove Expo 2020, most of the action takes place in The Daily, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Social Hub in the lobby is a spot for coffees, teas, and juices, and around the corner is The Lounge, a cool bar and co-working space that serves mixed drinks. The Rove Cafe is great for take-out drinks, snacks, and bites for lunch, and there’s a room service menu as well.

We were only invited for breakfast at the Daily, so we didn’t get a chance to sample the rest of the dining options, but lunch and dinner are also held at this open-plan Scandi-cool restaurant. which has indoor and outdoor seating, open bookshelves, high ceilings and wooden tables, chairs and stools.

Breakfast (129 Dh per room) is served in two parts: a table buffet and an à la carte menu, from which customers can choose a dish. The buffet is plentiful and varied, including healthy options like spinach, keto, acai, and fresh fruit, along with plenty of pastries, muffins, and cakes. The menu offers a variety of egg dishes, full breakfasts, and sweet options such as pancakes and a cherry croissant. Drinks can be served self-service from the coffee machine and juice stations, and staff can take orders for any special requests like non-dairy milk.

Highs and lows

The best thing about the hotel is the fact that it is right in the middle of Expo 2020 Dubai. If your goal is to get the most out of the exhibit, you can’t go wrong – from the fast track entry to the fair at your doorstep and the ability to witness Al Wasl Plaza’s entertainment from your doorstep. balcony, the hotel really offers the best way to make the most of your time there.

On the other hand, the hotel’s main weak point is that sleep is a luxury that this hotel cannot guarantee – its proximity to the square means that when rehearsals and soundchecks take place in the dome after midnight or before sunrise, guests staying at the hotel are simply unable to escape the music, lights, and bass, even using the earplugs provided by the hotel for use during ‘down time. repetition”.

The insider tip

If you’re going for a night of action at Expo 2020, prepare for a hectic stay that offers non-stop entertainment from dusk to dawn, and plan a few extra coffees for the next morning. If you are spending more than a night or two here, ask for a room on the other side of the hotel, away from the plaza and you might get a little more sleep.

Bonus tip: There is a very handy and reasonably priced medical vending machine in the locker room at Rove Expo 2020 that contains a variety of essentials that you might find useful during your stay, from toothpaste to Panadol.

The verdict

If you don’t mind having to sacrifice a good night’s sleep for an evening of 100% immersion at Expo 2020 Dubai, then this hotel is for you. The rooms are comfortable, the staff are friendly, and the proximity to all the action is decidedly unmatched.

The bottom line

The Rove Expo 2020 is the only on-site hotel at the Dubai Expo and has opened for reservations.  Photo: Rove Hotels

Rates start from Dh 899 ($ ​​244) per night for the smallest Cozy Rover room, but guests can expect to pay over Dh 1,000 per night during holidays or when large events are on the way. calendar. This is exclusive of taxes and fees.

Check-in is from 4:00 p.m. but you can arrive earlier and leave your luggage while you explore the fair and you get a good start at 2:00 p.m. the next day so you can have more experiences.

Rove Expo 2020, Horizon Avenue, Expo 2020 Dubai;

This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects hotel standards over time, services may change in the future

Updated: December 6, 2021, 04:24

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