The number of visits to the Dubai World Expo 2020 has increased significantly to a total of 7,167,591 visits in the period to 20 December, as organisers continue to maintain robust COVID-19 measures, ensuring a safe and exceptional event for all attendees.
In the largest global event held since the start of the pandemic, the latest COVID-19 measures include the expansion of the number of on-site PCR testing facilities to four, and free testing for all National Pavilion staff. While all frontline workers and performers continue to be tested on a regular basis, some close contact events, such as parades and touring performers, have been temporarily suspended as a short-term precautionary measure.
With more than 90% of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has mandated mandatory vaccinations and boosters for all staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers of international and Expo participants. Visitors 18 years of age and older must present proof of any vaccinations or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains on-site disinfection stations and mandatory face masks both indoors and outdoors.
Expo 2020 Dubai was honoured to welcome His Holiness Sultan Al-Bohra and members of the Bohra community, while other recent high-profile events included an appearance by football great and Expo ambassador Lionel Messi; a concert by multi-faceted Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan; the electrifying Brainiac Live science show and much more live entertainment, driven by the enthusiastic uptake of the Expo 2020 Holiday Pass.
Knowledge and Learning Week, the latest exciting Thematic Week of the Expo's People and Planet Programme, featured a three-day global education summit, several World Majlis events, an interactive workshop-style event on experiential learning and a Business Forum on harnessing and challenging today's knowledge to better prepare for the future.
The seasonal spirit has been felt throughout the Expo site ahead of 25 December, with the unmissable Christmas tree in Al-Wasl Plaza illuminated in a special ceremony on 18 December, and all manner of events, activities and Christmas shopping underway, plus a full menu of festive food and drink options, to delight visitors.
The Expo's live concert programme over the next seven days shines with a truly international line-up, including Dina Stars and Apo & The Apostles (23 December, Jubilee Park), Egyptian entertainer Tamer Hosny (23 December, Jubilee Park), Grigoryan Chant and Naia Izumi (24 December, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre), London Community Gospel Choir (24 and 25 December. Jubilee Park and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre respectively), Lea Salonga (25 December, Jubilee Park) and Kazakhstan National Ballet (23 December, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre).
The festive fun continues, too, with International Expo Participants presenting their nations' holiday traditions and their own unique twists on seasonal cheer: from 3D printed snowflakes at the Czech Republic Pavilion, to the 400-year-old tradition of Lucia at the Sweden Pavilion. On 27 December. With the Expo Holiday Pass unlocking unlimited access to winter wonderland for just AED 95, on sale now until the end of December, visitor numbers are expected to continue to rise.
Virtual visits to Expo 2020 increased to 31.6 million during the same period, mainly driven by the uptake of Live @ Expo, which allows visitors to take a personalised live virtual tour through the site. Expo 2020 Dubai runs until 31 March 2022 and invites the world to join in a global celebration that will help shape a better and brighter future for all.
Text, photos and videos: Expo Dubai 2020.