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Visitors near Al Wasl dome in the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai is experiencing a record rush of visitors with only nine days left before the world’s biggest fair – that has gathered 192 nations and institutions under one roof in the past six months – closes its doors to the public on March 31.

On Tuesday, organisers announced 20,819,155 physical visits have been recorded as on March 22 – nearing the expected target of 25 million total visits. Residents, tourists, first-time and repeat visitors are all heading to the Expo site to enjoy, explore and keep lasting memories of the “world’s greatest show”.

Expo has also conquered the virtual world, with over 197 million online visits registered, driven by the diverse entertainment available via Live@Expo, as well as extensive coverage of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Programme for People and Planet.

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People from around the world have visited the mega site Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Final stretch

Expo is now on its final stretch and the race to the finish line is still replete with high-quality programme of entertainment and activities in the coming days.

Expo is currently hosting Water Week, the 10th and final Theme Week as part of the Programme for People and Planet. Running until March 26, the event is focused on how to protect the world’s most precious resource. There is also a call for collective responsibility to better manage and preserve water in the face of threats such as climate change, plastic pollution and over-fishing.

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A number of countries are still to celebrate their National Days, including Pakistan on March 23, Namibia on March 24 and India on March 29; while the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the organisation that oversees World Expos, will mark its Honour Day on March 30. A stellar line-up of entertainers are also expected to perform at various stages across the Expo.

Expo will also host on March 29 and 30 the World Government Summit, a gathering of thought leaders, global experts and decision-makers who will share and contribute to the development of tools, policies, and models that are essential in shaping future governments

Organisers assured more special events are coming up, including the spectacular closing ceremony on March 31, which will feature top entertainment and honour teachers and students.

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Picto Facto Roving Performance on Ghaf Avenue at Expo Image Credit: Christopher Pike/Expo 2020 Dubai

Bringing people together

Beyond the facts and figures, however, is the warm reality that the largest global gathering since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought together people from across the world in one place.

Austrian tourist Dr Karin M Strasser said: “For me, Expo 2020 Dubai has motivated me to travel as much as I can. I believe knowledge and understanding of other nations and ethnic groups contributes to world peace.”

South African expat Dr Aloysia Ogle said: “[Expo] has opened my mind to the possibilities for the future.”

BIE secretary-general Dimitri Kerkentzes underlined: “Expo 2020 Dubai has been an incredible platform of positivity, a beacon of hope at a time when the world needed it most. We will miss it when it is gone, but we are confident that its legacy of impact and purpose, in terms of driving positive action around the globe, will continue long after March 31’.”

Expo in numbers
9 days left
197 million - Expo 2020 Dubai’s virtual visits
20,819,155 physical visits recorded as on March 22
70 per cent of visits came from the UAE.
2.8 million times – number of visits by children and youth under the age of 18
25 million visits – target until March 31, closing day
32,000+ events and attractions happened, featuring local and global celebrities, personalities, world leaders, sporting heroes, ground-breaking artists, and more
192 participating countries and institutions
30,000 – Expo volunteers from 135+ different nationalities
Dh50 – cost of Season pass finale
6-17 years old; 60+ years – all free
Dh25 – entry fee for the companion of People of Determination (who is free)
7 days a week – open; timings: 9am-12mn from Sunday to Thursday (last entry at 11pm); 9am-2am Friday-Saturday (last entry at 1am)

Route 2020 runs straight to the Expo site
2 minutes – gap between Dubai Metro trains serving visitors
203 – number of buses, transporting Expo visitors from 18 stations across Dubai and key cities of the UAE.
15,000 – taxis and limousines deployed across the city, ready to serve Expo visitors
Zero – cost of parking at four parking zones across Expo 2020 Dubai
200+ – food outlets and restaurants serving cuisines and flavours from every continent

10 – number of Theme Weeks as part Expo’s Programme for People and Planet
29-30 March – World Government Summit at Expo 2020 Dubai, a gathering of thought leaders, global experts and decisionmakers who will share and contribute to the development of tools, policies, and models that are essential in shaping future governments
March 31 – final day of Expo 2020 Dubai