Expo 2020 Dubai visit numbers edge past 12 million with just over 50 days to go

Arab pavilions prove most popular with visitors

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Expo 2020 Dubai visit numbers reached 12.4 million on Monday, with a little more than 50 days to go before the world fair closes on March 31.

Billed as the world's greatest show when it opened 130 days ago, Expo 2020 organisers confirmed that the first world fair to be held in the Arab world will close at the end of next month, despite talk of a possible extension.

The first global event attended by people since the outbreak of the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai has provided a showcase for Arabic heritage and culture as well as a platform for Arab nations. Expo 2020 is also the first time that all Arab countries have taken part in a world expo.

Arab pavilions are the most popular at Expo, with those of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco among the most visited. Organisers originally set a target of 25 million visits by the end of March.

Looking ahead to the 50 days that are left before it closes, organisers said there are a number of high profile country day celebrations, including the UK, which will feature Britain's Prince William on his first official trip to the Emirates, on Thursday, February 10.

The Duke of Cambridge will meet young Emiratis, government leaders and staff from the UK pavilion on the same day. No special tickets are required to enter Expo 2020 Dubai on the day and the site will be open to the public as usual.

Other significant national days include the Philippines on Friday, February 11, Kuwait (February 25), USA (March 6). Ireland (March 17), Pakistan (March 23) and South Africa (March 28).

Expo will also mark International Women’s Day on March 8 with a forum that will bring together governments, corporations and changemakers to deliberate on silent or invisible gender-based discrimination in professional settings.

During the coming seven weeks, organisers said there will also be guest appearances from the world of gymnastics, basketball, tennis and Muay Thai.

Expo’s virtual visitation numbers have reached more than 110 million, driven by the entertainment available via Live@Expo, as well as coverage of its programme for People and Planet.

Updated: February 08, 2022, 3:51 PM