Dubai: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai issued more than 32,000 entry permits on last Thursday alone when EXPO 2020 Dubai kicked off.
According to Lt General Mohammed Al Merri, Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, the number of permits is expected to grow in the coming days.
“GDRFA-Dubai issued more than 32,000 entry permits on Thursday, September 30. We are ready to welcome millions of visitors to the mega-event,” said Lt Gen Al Merri.
He said that passport control officers at Dubai Airports are dealing with more than 85,000 passengers per day at entry and exit points.
“Around 47,000 passengers arrive in Dubai per day,” he said, adding that the pre-pandemic figure stood at 210,000.
“The passengers’ movement will be smooth and easy. Hosting Expo 2020 was a dream come true for all Emiratis and residents. Despite all challenges, UAE and Dubai proved that it is the land where major events are held,” he said, noting that GDRFA-Dubai had learnt from challenges faced during previous world events and conferences.
“Dubai Airports and Emirates airline are key factors behind the success of any major event. We have enough experience to make Expo 2020 a major success,” he said.
Lt Gen Al Merri pointed out that his department has been involved with the event preprations since two years by welcoming officials and other members to prepare the pavilions.
He said the event reflects the world’s confidence in the UAE’s prime position in terms of development, prosperity, security and safety.
As many as 122 smart gates in the departure and arrival halls at Dubai Airports have been adorned with the logo of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Lt Gen Al Merri said that the smart gates are the gateway for visitors to the UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai.
“Passengers are taking pictures with the gates showing the logo as their first experience of visiting the mega event,” said Al Marri, adding, “We hope travellers will experience a unique journey like never before.”
“We trained passport control officers to know what Expo is about so they could answer any questions by visitors,” he said.
GDRFA-Dubai prepared a second line of officers to deal with any emergency situation and launched a hotline to answer public inquiries.
“We have a high level of cooperation with all airports in the UAE. Our leaders are in direct contact and following up on all matters to overcome any challenges,” said Lt Gen Al Merri.