Expo 2020 sees more than 1 million visits in a week as overall numbers reach 13.5 million

Visits set to boom in last six weeks of Expo

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Prince William's tour of Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday helped to boost visit numbers by one million, organisers say.

Visit numbers reached 13,457,400 since the site opened more than 19 weeks ago.

The Duke of Cambridge's first official visit to the UAE was marked by a series of high-level engagements, including a meeting with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, a tour of the Abu Dhabi mangroves and a visit to Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port to see how it tackles the illegal wildlife trade.

His visit to Expo included an impromptu walkabout outside the UK pavilion, where the future King of England spoke with families who had been queuing for hours to meet him.

The Philippines also celebrated its national day on Friday, which included a concert in Jubilee Park by Filipino American pop icon Bamboo, as well as a cultural performance by Daluyong ng Diwa.

Thousands of Filipinos gathered and waved national flags outside the country’s pavilion.

Organisers' original goal was 25 million visits by the end of Expo in March.

The weekend also saw Grammy-nominated South African DJ, producer and songwriter Black Coffee showcase Expo’s latest venue – the Dubai Exhibition Centre Arena – while musical ensemble Thaikkudam Bridge and Bollywood superstar Ranbir Kapoor attracted thousands of Indian fans to the Jubilee Stage.

Organisers said the spurt in numbers was also down to people embracing the urgency of the ‘now or never, before it’s gone forever’ message.

"With just six weeks to go, I think people are really getting that and realising that time is running out and to come and join in things," said Sconaid McGeachin, senior vice president of communications.

She said in keeping with previous expos, she expects high visitation numbers for the remainder of the event.

"I think typically you do see expos get busier towards the end, and people realise that, like we believe has been the case in this last week, that time is running out. We obviously have so many different activities that we expect to have high visitation for the remainder of the expo."

With schools in the UAE enjoying half-term break this week, organisers are also expecting more families to visit the site, with family-friendly shows and a raft of activities and workshops for kids dotted around the site.

"Even though it's half term this week for many schools, we still actually have some schools that are at school and I know today we're looking to have between 11,000 to 15,000 schoolchildren on site, as well as obviously those who are enjoying the holiday time as well," Ms McGeachin said.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s virtual visitation numbers reached more than 121 million, which is set to soar even further with tonight’s performance by British band Coldplay.

Almost 10,000 free passes have been allocated for the inner and outer gardens of Al Wasl Plaza, with extra outdoor screens made available across the Expo site and a further 4,000-plus bookings in the DEC Arena.

Updated: February 15, 2022, 9:02 AM
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