Expo 2020 Dubai already a mega tourist attraction - months before it opens

Thousands of people have enjoyed bus tours of the impressive expo site ahead of the grand launch in October

Expo 2020 Dubai is already proving a huge tourist attraction - nine months before it even opens to the public.

More than 6,000 people have already jumped on board for free bus tours of the sprawling 4.38 square-kilometre site of the world fair, which will run for six months from October.

Eager for a sneak preview of the spectacular event, residents and international visitors alike have registered online to reserve a spot on the World's Greatest Show in the Making Tour.

It is a huge area, we are amazed at the size

Flavio Fransico, from Brazil, made sure to include the expo site in his 25-day UAE vacation after hearing stories down the years about his father's visit to Asia’s first world fair, the 1970 Japan expo.

“My father always told me I should visit an expo after his amazing experience in Japan and so I have been following the history of the expos,” said Mr Fransico on his first visit to the UAE.

“We want to see as much as we can before the actual opening since we cannot come for the expo in October. It is a huge area, we are amazed at the size.”

Before heading for the tour on a double-decker, open-top bus, his family-of-five snapped photographs at displays that showed models of the Eiffel Tower, a ferris wheel, the telephone and old box television, attractions and technology unveiled at previous world expos.

Tours of the vast Expo site were launched last July and resumed in December.

Free of charge, the tours last about 45 minutes and give people a glimpse of the rich array of facilities taking shape.

Fully booked when announced last year, the tours are popular with students, families and business houses booking up spots.

Visitors are picked up in coaches from Dubai Marina Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Sharjah Aquarium and Abu Dhabi Marina Mall.

Spaces can be booked this month on the Expo 2020 Dubai website for tours that run through the week and on weekends. The bus tour takes a break in February after which fresh dates will be announced.

Celebrations are planned for the national days of each of the 192 countries to participate in the six-month world fair with entertainment and food offerings to