Dubai: For the past six weeks, members of the public have been visiting Expo 2020 Dubai for a close look at the site, which is set to welcome the world for an unforgettable 173 days from October 20, next year. Launched on July 20, the Expo 2020 tours initiative that concluded on August 31, connected people across the seven emirates, reflecting the spirit of hospitality and generosity that the UAE will showcase when it says ‘hayyakum’ (Arabic for ‘welcome’) to the world in 2020.

After seeing ‘The World’s Greatest Show in the Making’ first-hand, the 3,000-plus tour visitors sent a clear message — they can’t wait to experience the once-in-a-lifetime celebration. “It was an amazing experience,” said Ahmad, a Jordanian. “The bus tour was well-organised and covered all the main milestones of the Expo developments. I cannot wait till the Expo.”

Karem, from Canada, said: “It is nice to see even before it is finished. We can always say we were among the first to see the site.”

A post-tour survey revealed that, on average, visitors rated the likelihood of them coming to Expo 2020 as 9.7 out of 10. Satisfaction with the tour averaged 9.2 out of 10, and Expo’s relevance to each individual tallied at 8.9 out of 10.

Manal Al Bayat, chief community engagement officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We were delighted with the success of the sneak preview bus tours, which have highlighted just how excited the nation is to say ‘hayyakum’ to the world at Expo 2020. Next month (October 2019) will mark the ‘One Year to Go’ countdown to our once-in-a-lifetime celebration, and we’ll have further opportunities for everyone in the UAE to be part of the Expo story as we journey together towards the World’s Greatest Show.”

Expo 2020 Dubai is set to welcome 192 participating countries and millions of visitors for the largest event ever staged in the Arab world, taking place in Dubai South from October 20, 2020, to April 10, 2021. Log on to and Expo 2020’s social pages for more information.

100-plus tours.

3,000-plus tour visitors.

5,200-plus registrations of interest (including tour visitors).

14,500-plus seats requested.

Visitors from 79 nationalities.

Top five nationalities in terms of visits (in order): India, Philippines, Pakistan, United Kingdom, UAE.

Employees from Expo’s official partners took the tour, including Emirates NBD, Siemens and Cisco, as well as the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and school groups and senior citizens.

All seats booked within three hours of being made available with additional seats released also fully booked within minutes.