Dubai By : Khaled Hassan
The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is off to a great start, with Expo 2020 Dubai welcoming 411,768 ticketed visits in its first ten days.
Expo 2020 opened its doors on 1 October, and figures up to and including 10 October show that visitors belonged to 175 nationalities – not far off the 192 countries that are participating in the event, each with its own pavilion. One in three has come from abroad, with this proportion expected to increase as international travel ramps up.
Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) said: “Expo 2020 Dubai’s opening week has undoubtedly been a success. The numbers we are seeing are very encouraging and demonstrate the global desire for people to reconnect with each other and to imagine a better future.”
A number of ticket options are open to visitors, with Multi-Day and Season Passes proving popular. One in five visitors have already visited Expo more than once, demonstrating that one day is not enough to enjoy the diverse and dynamic array of activities and entertainment on offer.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We are very happy with this wonderful turnout. The numbers achieved in the first ten days reflect the enthusiasm of the world to attend Expo 2020 Dubai. The coming days and weeks will be full of special events offering a visitor experience that will be rich, purposeful and entertaining, and we look forward to welcoming many more people from around the world.”
Many of the Country Pavilions have also been impressed with the numbers of visitors so far.
His Excellency Joseph K Issa, Commissioner General of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “We’ve been really busy since the show opened nine days ago, with a constant flow of visitors every day. People genuinely seem interested and inquisitive about what we have to offer and we are delighted to bring a flavour of Timor-Leste to visitors, businesses and investors from around the world.”
Ambassador Doreen DeBrum, Commissioner General of the Marshall Islands at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “This is the first time we’ve had our own, dedicated pavilion at a World Expo, and it has been fantastic to share the best of the Marshall Islands with so many visitors. We’ve been delighted with the reaction of people so far – this is truly an incredible opportunity for us to be part of this incredible event.”
The figures include all physical ticket-holders. They exclude representatives, delegations and guests of International Participants, Partners and other stakeholders, as well as Expo staff.
Virtual Expo, virtualexpo.world, which launched on 30 September with three million people watching the Opening Ceremony live, has seen a further five million visits between 1-10 October.
Expo 2020 Dubai runs until 31 March 2022, with 200 pavilions in total for visitors to explore. As well as the attractions at each location, there are multiple daily events, with panel discussions and cultural performances.