Organizers at Expo 2020 Dubai have announced visitor numbers continue to climb – regardless of the scaling back of some activities at the site due to rising numbers of COVID-19.
The number of visits to Expo – the largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic – has increased to 8,067,012 in the period up to 27 December, with organizers saying stringent COVID-19 safety measures are in force to protect everyone on site and include mandatory mask-wearing – indoors and outdoors – for visitors, as well as all staff and participants.
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Organizers said venues may also close temporarily for deep cleaning and sanitisation in response to positive cases detected by extensive workforce testing protocols, as well as for maintenance, private events and staff shortages.
During the past week, Expo 2020 celebrated Christmas with a series of special events, with thousands of visitors safely enjoying the festivities, with many taking advantage of the AED 95 festive pass valid until the end of December.
Visitors and performers have shown collective responsibility in the face of heightened health concerns. Academy and Grammy award-winning composer A.R. Rahman, during a special concert on 22 December, thanked audiences for being responsible and encouraged everyone to wear masks – a message echoed on Christmas Day by award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga and internationally acclaimed singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe.
On December 24, The Holy See held a prayer service for humanity, award-winning Lebanese singer Tania Kassis and the Festival Chorus performed a special carol service, while the UK’s most successful gospel choir group, the London Community Gospel Choir and American soul artist Naia Izumi delighted audiences.
The next seven days promise another host of events , with a special focus on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Helping visitors ring in 2022 will be two of the world’s biggest DJs – Dimitri Vegas, who will perform at Jubilee Park from 11.30pm, and Armin Van Buuren, the producer of electronic music, who will be in action from 1.30am.
New Year’s Eve will also see numerous Arab, Filipino and Indian DJs performing sets, and there will be a midnight ‘ball drop’ moment at Al Wasl Plaza, as well as two separate fireworks displays at midnight and 3am.
Dubai Metro will run continuously throughout New Year’s Eve, ensuring every visitor to Expo 2020 can get home safely.
Expo 2020’s virtual visitation rose to 37 million up to December 27, with more than three million children around the world enjoying the Virtual School Animation Series – now available in six languages – in the last 20 days alone.
The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone continue to be of the highest priority and organizers remain committed to working with participants to welcome visitors to a safe and exceptional Expo.
Expo 2020 Dubai runs until March 31, 2022, inviting the world to join a global celebration that will help to shape a better, brighter future for everyone.