Expo 2020 Dubai attracts 1.8 million visits in a week as total approaches 21 million

The world's fair is primed for a busy final stretch before closing to the public on March 31

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Expo 2020 Dubai is closing in on 21 million visits with ten days to go until the mega event closes its doors to the public.

The world's fair enjoyed its biggest week yet with about 1.8 million visits as people flocked to the site.

A packed programme of activities helped to bolster visit numbers over the past seven days, with an array of entertainment still to come.

Visit numbers now stand at 20,819,155, with virtual visits at 197 million.

Organisers had set a 25-million-visit target before the start of the six-month extravaganza in October.

Sconaid McGeachin, senior vice president of communications at Expo 2020 Dubai, lauded the visit numbers achieved against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is such a remarkable achievement to exceed 20 million visits,” she said.

“It is remarkable at any time, but particularly in pandemic times.

“We've seen a phenomenal amount [of visitors] in the last week. Each week, the amount goes up.

“It was 1.8 million last week, an absolutely fantastic response.”

A number of individual country pavilions have exceeded 1 million visits during Expo, with the likes of Saudi Arabia, Japan and Germany proving particularly popular.

A string of high-profile concerts and visits by prominent figures such as the UK's Prince William and sporting royalty including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Novak Djokovic have also helped to drive interest in recent months.

As with previous Expos, visit numbers have surged in the second half of the event.

On Saturday, organisers announced Expo had hit the milestone 20-million-visit target.

The achievement meant the event had doubled its visit numbers in two months, having hit the 10 million mark on January 18.

Excitement builds for finale

Expo organisers expect visit numbers to surge further in the final days of the event.

Music star Jason Derulo will entertain fans at the Jubilee Stage on Friday, the latest in a line-up of live attractions which has included Coldplay and Alicia Keys.

Meanwhile, thousands of leaders, experts and senior officials from 190 countries will gather at Expo next week to help shape the post-pandemic agenda on sustainability, health care, economic recovery and the cities of the future.

The World Government Summit will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in the heart of the vast world's fair site on March 29 and 30.

This year's summit will feature 15 conferences aimed at defining the future of agile governance.

They will include the first hosting of the Time 100 Gala outside the US. The gala celebrates the world’s most influential people.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 event will be in the line-up, along with the Global Crypto Forum, the Arab Meeting for Young Leaders, the Arab Government Administration Forum and the Global Metaverse Forum.

Closing ceremony will look to future

As the finishing line for the international gathering is now in sight, thoughts are turning to the closing ceremony.

A spectacular opening ceremony in October set the tone for the festivities to come.

The curtain is set to be brought down on the event in style, though organisers are not giving too much away about what Expo enthusiasts can expect.

“It will be reflective of Expo but will also be looking ahead,” said Ms McGeachin.

Expo 2020 Dubai — in pictures

Updated: March 22, 2022, 7:51 AM