Cop28 explained: How to book tickets, what to do and how to get there

Dozens of eco activities are open to the public in the Green Zone during the major global climate gathering in Dubai

The Cop28 Green Zone will be open to the public. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The future of the planet will be at the top of the agenda when the crucial Cop28 climate conference gets under way in Dubai next week.

Tens of thousands of world leaders, ministers, negotiators, eco activists and captains of industry will be converging on the emirate for two weeks of crunch talks aimed at developing an urgent action plan to address the climate crisis.

But the landmark gathering will be anything but a closed shop for government discussions, with members of the public being invited to help steer the climate change conversation at a series of events at the Expo City Dubai host site and at grass roots initiatives planned across the Emirates.

Cop28 will begin on Thursday, November 30, with the first three days of the summit open only to delegates. This will include a major leader's summit on December 1 and 2 that will set the tone for the days to come.

What are the blue and green zones?

The Cop28 site will be divided into blue and green zones.

The Blue Zone at Cop28 will be open from November 30 to heads of state, accredited government officials and media, and is managed by the UN.

The Blue Zone covers Rove Hotel and the Dubai Exhibition Centre, and it will also include Al Wasl Plaza, the 360-degree projection dome, until December 3.

Several Mobility and Opportunity district buildings are part of the Blue Zone.

The Cop28 Green Zone, located in Expo City Dubai’s Sustainability District, will be open to the public for much of the conference.

It will offer a platform for the public to engage with the climate change debate as the key talks take place.

How to get Green Zone passes

A wide variety of events and workshops will be free to the public in the Green Zone from December 3 to December 12.

It will feature interactive exhibits, art installations, film screenings, and more than 300 talks and discussions about climate change and sustainability.

Visitors will require a pass which provides one-time access on a given day, from 10am to 10pm.

Booking for the free Green Zone Day Pass is now available on the Cop28 website, which has a detailed map of the site. Each ticket is valid only for the day it's booked for and cannot be used for several entries.

What is on offer in the Green Zone?

The Green Zone will include the Sustainability District, Alif – The Mobility Pavilion, the Vision and Women’s pavilions, the Surreal water feature, Al Forsan Park and some sections of the Mobility District that feature a youth and green hub.

The public can enter the site from the Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility arrival plazas.

Several days will have dedicated themes – including health, youth, education, transport and food and agriculture – which will provide a focus to the activities.

Daily programmes on food security, reusing waste and composting will be hosted at the Terra Sustainability Pavilion, which resembles a massive sunshade covered with solar panels.

Discussions by climate change innovators and entrepreneurs will be organised at a new Expo City Dubai pavilion.

An organic farm will be among the attractions, as will a farm-to-table cafe, and registration will be open for cooking masterclasses with regional and global chefs. The farm will continue to operate after Cop28 ends.

A 45-minute musical, Alya in Terraland, running on December 7, 11 and 12, encourages families to make a difference.

Climate action hubs

The Green Zone will feature hubs dedicated to different areas of the climate change fight.

Energy Transition Hub

This is a platform for leaders and innovators to showcase sustainability plans and forge partnerships to accelerate progress towards net zero goals.

Knowledge Hub

Ministries, government departments and non-government organisations will come together to address pressing issues.

The area will also feature a relaxed networking area for climate champions to exchange ideas.

What is Cop28?

What is Cop28?

Climate Finance Hub

The hub will be the focal point of discussions from financial sector players on major topics such as carbon markets, green capital, global finance and efforts to support developing economies on the path to a greener future.

Technology and Innovation Hub

The role of advanced technology and ingenuity in tackling climate change and keeping temperature rises in check will be addressed at the hub.

Startup Village

The Startup Village – based within the technology and innovation hub – will welcome more than 100 climate tech start-ups.

This village will be open to the public, allowing visitors to engage with the start-ups and learn about the latest climate technologies.

Humanitarian Hub

Visitors will be told of the stark humanitarian consequences of the climate crisis.

The hub will be operated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on behalf of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee.

It will have a keen focus on smaller and local organisations, civil society groups, and representatives of affected communities.

Youth Hub

The hub will enable young people to host events, share and debate ideas and explore climate change solutions.

It will be curated and managed by Youth Climate Champions in partnership with the Federal Youth Authority.

Greening Education Hub

The pavilion – also known as Erth, Legacy for the Land of Zayed – is being set up with the support of the Ministry of Education.

It will bring together government officials, policymakers, experts, students, teachers, schools, universities, and public and private entities.

Participants will have the chance to learn about climate education and the role it will play in developing eco-conscious mindsets.

Getting to Cop28

Visitors are being urged to use public transport throughout the two-week conference to reduce travel times and boost the environment.

Organisers said some roads near Expo City will be closed for the first three days of Cop28 due to heightened security protocols.

Further closures could be announced as the event unfolds.

Dubai Metro's Red Line, which has direct access to Expo City, connects Dubai International Airport and some of the city's major hotels.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority said the metro's operational hours will be extended by one hour, from 5am to 1am.

The first train will arrive at the wheelchair-friendly Expo Metro station at 5.19am and the final one will leave at midnight every day of the event.

Biofuel-powered and electric shuttle buses will take visitors from the metro station to Green Zone arrival plazas, from 8am until midnight.

Travelling to and from Abu Dhabi

During the conference, a shuttle bus service from Abu Dhabi airport to Cop28 will run from 6am to 10am every 30 minutes and then from 10am to 11pm every 60 minutes.

Buses will run from the Cop28 venue to the airport every 60 minutes from 8.30am to 4.30pm, and from 9.30pm to 1.30am. They will run every 30 minutes between 4.30pm and 9.30pm.

Updated: December 01, 2023, 5:55 AM