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Chapter Thirty Three: Expo 2020 Dubai records over 5.6 million visit

Visitor numbers to Expo 2020 Dubai has reached more than 5.66 million (up to December 5) since it first opened on October 1.

The UAE’s Golden Jubilee festivities, as well as a raft of spectacular sport, music and cultural performances contributed much to this figure.

During October and November 5,383 government leaders, including ministers, presidents, prime ministers and heads of state, graced the site to speak at official events or celebrate their nation’s Expo National Day, with Expo hosting up to 10,461 events in just the first two months. Six out of 10 visitors (57 per cent) now hold an Expo Season Pass, with the number of repeat visitors in the first two months reaching 1.2 million.

The Minister for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, Ms. Reem Al Hashimy expressed how delighted UAE is about the figure and the many people that chose to celebrate such a momentous occasion with UAE. She added that two months in; the numbers are a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in Expo. This is clearly witnessed from the hosting of spectacular events that make people want to visit again and again, to the bringing together of global change-makers on a powerful platform for action and collaboration, and – crucially – to the robust COVID-19 measures, which allow us to accommodate such large numbers in a safe, reassuring manner.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of November visitors came from outside the UAE, with the top international visitor countries including India, France, Germany, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

The Expo School program only has attracted nearly 250,000 pupils from private and public schools across the UAE. Schools have participated in 10,000 dedicated school journeys encompassing The Legacy of the UAE; World of Opportunities; The Universe in Motion; and The Sustainable Planet, while talented youngsters have delighted visitors from the stage, as part of Expo’s popular Young Stars and Rising Stars entertainment.

Other highlights included the Golden Jubilee’s ‘Journey of the 50th’ – a show in Al Wasl dome about the UAE’s present and future – as well as the ‘The Boy and the Horse’, a 20-minute theatrical production that honored His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice and President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

There is an expectation of the numbers to rising further because of Expo’s new Dh95 Festive Pass on sale until the end of December.  This discounted pass gives access to Christmas festivities and more excellent performances, such as Grammy Award-winner Alicia Keys’ show at Al Wasl Plaza on December 10, Academy Award-winning composer and musician A.R. Rahman on the December 22 and Broadway superstar Lea Salonga on December 25.

In keeping with Expo’s sustainability aims, scores of people have travelled to the site using public transport. During October and November, there were around 455,000 rides were made to and from the site using taxis, more than 600,000 trips made on the free Expo Rider bus service, and 2.2 million users entered and exited Expo via the Dubai Metro.

Expo 2020’s virtual visitation rose to a 25 million, driven by the uptake of Live@Expo, which enables visitors to take a live virtual tour through the site.

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