Expo 2020 Dubai organizers have declared the first month of the world’s biggest cultural gathering as a huge success, with more than 2.35 million visits recorded to date.
So far, 28 percent of the 2,350,868 visits from October 1 to 31 were made by those under the age of 18, but this figure is expected to grow as the Expo School program expands during the cooler months ahead.
About 17 percent of the total visits came from overseas, while Expo has counted 185 nationalities through its gates, with the top five most popular overseas markets consisting of India, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia and the UK.
The majority of visitors intend to visit multiple times, with more than half (53 percent) holding a Season Pass, more than a quarter (27 percent) entering with a Multi-Day Pass and 20 percent entering on a one-day ticket.
A total of 1938 government leaders, including ministers, presidents, prime ministers and heads of state, have graced the Expo site to open their country’s pavilions, speak at official events or celebrate their nation’s Expo National Day.
Many of the 192 Country Pavilions - the first time in World Expo history that every participating nation has its own pavilion - have proved especially popular. The Saudi Arabia Pavilion, one of the largest on the Expo site, has attracted half a million visitors already.
In keeping with Expo 2020’s sustainability aims, a significant number of people have traveled to and around the site using RTA transport methods.
From a total of almost 3.6 million total journeys, more than 1.1 million trips were made to and from the site using the Dubai Metro.
The opening 31 days also saw the first two Thematic Weeks from Expo’s program for People and Planet, which is designed to inspire international; action to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
These included the Climate and Biodiversity Week, which took place ahead of the vital COP26 global environment summit, before Space Week explored how the final frontier can help life on Earth.
Eight further Thematic Weeks will be held between now and the end of March, with Urban and Rural Development Week currently underway until November 6.
Throughout the first month, a number of Expo 2020 National Days and honor Days were commemorated, with highlights including spectacular aerobatics from the French Air Force team Patrouille de France; Switzerland unveiling an inspiring supersize artwork by artist Saype; and international ensemble the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra delivering a message of peace and understanding for UN honor Day.
Ticket-holders have eagerly availed of their Expo Passports, with 695,437 sold in the first month, as fans compete to get the most country stamps in a single day.
A staggering 5,610 official events have been staged across the Expo site during the first month of operations.
Crowds have been attracted to a stellar line-up of regional and international music artists, including Amr Diab, Kadim Al Sahir and Sami Yusuf. There have also been appearances by major sporting stars, from the basketball skills of the Harlem Globetrotters to the Rajasthan Royals cricket team. Individual countries have flown in musicians and performers, and there have been panel discussions featuring everyone from business leaders to astronauts.
As the UAE moves into its winter months and the weather become more temperate, visitor numbers are expected to steadily increase, as Expo’s entertainment program continues.
November alone will feature the conclusion of a week of events marking Diwali, Nancy Ajram and Ragheb Alama headlining the second of Expo’s Infinite Nights concert series, and the beginning of a packed schedule of celebrations for the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.
Bringing Expo 2020 Dubai to a global digital audience, the number of virtual visitors has amounted to 12.8 million since 1st October.
Expo 2020 Dubai runs until 31st March 2022, inviting the world to join a celebration of unity, opportunity, creativity and sustainability that will help to shape a better, brighter future for everyone.
Last month, Riyadh submitted a formal request to host Expo 2030, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced at the time.
Saudi Arabia is the latest country to submit a request after Italy, Russia, South Korea and Ukraine.