Expo 2020 Dubai fireworks
Fireworks display during the UAE National Day and Golden Jubilee Celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai earlier this month. Image Credit: Courtesy: Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai visit numbers have increased significantly to a total of 7,167,591 visits in the period up to December 20, as organisers continue to maintain robust COVID-19 measures, ensuring a safe and exceptional event for all visitors.

The largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai’s latest COVID-19 measures include the expansion of the number of on-site PCR testing facilities to four, and free testing for all Country Pavilion staff. While all frontline workers and entertainers continue to be tested on a regular basis, some close-contact events, such as parades and roving entertainers, have been temporarily suspended as a short-term precautionary measure.

On-site sanitisation stations

With more than 90 per cent of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination and boosters of all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers. Visitors aged 18 and above are required to present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains on-site sanitisation stations and mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor.

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Expo 2020 Dubai was honoured to receive Sultan Al Bohra and members of the Bohra community, while other recent high-profile events included an appearance from footballing great and Expo 2020 Dubai Ambassador Lionel Messi; a concert by multitalented Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan; electrifying science show Brainiac Live and plenty more live entertainment, buoyed by enthusiastic uptake of the Expo 2020 Festive Pass.

Visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai soak up the action during an aerobatics show. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Interactive workshop-style event

Knowledge and Learning Week, the latest engrossing Theme Week under Expo’s Programme for People and Planet, presented a three-day global education summit, a number of World Majlis events, an interactive workshop-style event around 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 across the entire Expo site ahead of December 25, with the unmissable Christmas tree at Al Wasl Plaza lit up in a special ceremony on December 18 and all kinds of ongoing yuletide events, activities and shopping, plus a full menu of festive food and drink options, all delighting visitors.

Expo’s programme of live concerts during the next seven days glitters with a truly international cast, including Dina Stars and Apo & The Apostles (December 23, Jubilee Park), Egyptian entertainer Tamer Hosny (December 23, Jubilee Park), Grigoryan Chant and Naia Izumi (December 24, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre), London Community Gospel Choir (December 24-25, Jubilee Park and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre respectively), Lea Salonga (December 25, Jubilee Park), and Kazakh National Ballet (December 23, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre).

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Rich array of activities

The festive fun continues, too, with Expo’s International Participants presenting their nations’ festive traditions and 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 December 27. With Expo’s Festive Pass unlocking unlimited access to a wonderful winter for just Dh95, on sale now until the end of December, visit numbers are expected to keep increasing.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s virtual visitation rose to 31.6 million over the same period, mainly driven by the uptake of Live@Expo, which enables visitors to take a bespoke live virtual tour through the site.

Expo 2020 Dubai runs until March 31, 2022, inviting the world to join a global celebration that will help to shape a better, brighter future for everyone.