Afternoon tea at 2020 Club by Emaar at Expo

An afternoon tea at Expo that has flown largely under the radar

You can’t really say anything is unknown at Expo 2020 Dubai, given that it’s the world’s biggest – and greatest – show, but you could genuinely say the afternoon tea is. (We suspect Al Baik has something to do with it.) The daily tea has gone mostly under the radar save for guests who spot the 2020 Club by Emaar flag highlighting it.

Away from the busy pavilions, step into the airy and modern dining room on the third floor of the 2020 Club, which looks directly on to Al Wasl Plaza on one side and the grand Saudi pavilion on the other. Inside or out on the terrace, you get gorgeous views without the crowds.

If you want to make the most of a full day of Expo pavilions, reserve a place at the afternoon tea, which arrives in one swift motion, complete with finger sandwiches and desserts on a classic three-tier cake stand and warm mini plain scones on the side.

You might be able to get a cuppa (or coffee or juice) in before your afternoon tea, but staff have their timings down to cater to busy Expo guests who are eager to get back out there.

Tea and coffee pairings are classic: there’s no glittering dragon fruit green tea here, but there are core hot and cold options, and staff are always on hand to offer you another cup, or suggest trying something else.

Sandwiches feature cucumber and egg on white bread, with a cheese croissant thrown into the mix and a smoked salmon tartine that stands out over the traditional pairings.

Scones arrive served with pineapple and strawberry jam, but the absence of cream lets the serving down.

Desserts marry typical teatime treats with local flavours and a few international favourites: tiramisu, panna cotta and not one but two slices of blueberry cheesecake each. If you’ve had the 2020 Club by Emaar’s brunch you will recognise some of the options. After eyeing others diners’ cake stands, its clear the sweet selection can vary between visits.

If you’re looking for sustenance to conquer ten pavilions, the tea should see you through. And with unlimited drinks and the ability to mix it up, you should have enough of a caffeine boost to make it to the other side of the Sustainability District on foot. (The 2020 Club is licensed and a house beverage package is available, too.)

Overall, the 2020 Club’s afternoon tea doesn’t edge out any of the city’s most iconic offerings. But if all the pavilion queues and quest to fill up that Expo passport get too much, it’s another spot for a refuel.

Dhs160 (soft drinks), Dhs280 (house beverages). Daily 4pm-6pm. Licensed. Al Wasl Plaza, Expo 2020 Dubai, (04 248 8653).