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Expo 2020 Dubai to Break the World Record for Most Nationalities in a Choir

The Ireland Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: WAM

Given the grand scale of Expo 2020 Dubai, it’s no surprise that breaking world records is one of its many offerings. From the largest ever passenger lift (Mobility Pavilion) to the longest interactive water interactive feature (Saudi Arabia Pavilion), the site is home to a list of global firsts. Adding to that very soon is Expo World Choir, the event’s attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for most nationalities in a choir.

David Brophy. Photo:

On December 9 at the Jubilee Park, the one-off concert, organized by the Ireland Pavilion and led by the country’s own renowned conductor David Brophy, will bring staff, volunteers, and guests from almost all 192 of the expo’s participating nations. Brophy has famously worked with Grammy-winning band U2, classical pianist Lang Lang, and conducted the orchestra in front of HM Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014, the conductor also formed the High Hopes Choir, Ireland’s first musical ensemble of people affected by homelessness.

In the weeks leading up to the event, the choir will be selected and trained by Brophy with up to five rehearsals. Since musical ensembles and communal singing are an important part of Irish culture, the choir will be supported by an entirely Irish band playing modern and traditional instruments. As for the choir’s setlist, tracks will range from festive songs to Irish hits, including ‘One’ by U2.


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Currently, the world record for the most nationalities in a choir is held by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Their performance in 2015 in India featured members from 105 countries. Another Irish cultural phenomenon to grace the Expo 2020 Dubai is Riverdance, the Grammy-winning music and dance performance. Throughout the month of November, the group will perform a specially curated, Middle East-influenced reinterpretation of their 25th Anniversary Show. The show is set to feature Middle Eastern musicians and instruments including the oud.

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