Expo 2020 Dubai sees 7 mln visits, organizers impose heightened COVID-19 measures
Expo 2020 Dubai organizers have recorded more than seven million visits to the site since the launch of the global event, as some activities at the world fair are suspended as a precautionary measure in the wake of the heightened COVID-19 concerns.
Since Expo – the largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic – launched on October 1, organizers have clocked 7,167,591 visits to the site in the period up to December 20.
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It comes as Expo organizers suspended some activities that require close or direct contact as a precaution against the latest COVID-19 developments in the UAE, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.
Some of the suspended activities include shows, and performance arts by roaming artists. Additionally, the Expo increased the number of PCR testing facilities, and enforced a PCR test on all front-line workers at the site as well as the entertainment employees.
However, in a statement on its website, Expo organizers have announced that they “continue to maintain robust COVID-19 measures, ensuring a safe and exceptional event for all attending.”
Expo 2020’s latest COVID-19 measures include the expansion of the number of on-site PCR testing facilities to four, and free testing for all staff of country pavilions.
“While all frontline workers and entertainers continue to be tested on a regular basis, some close contact events, such as parades and roving entertainers, have been temporarily suspended as a short-term precautionary measure,” the statement said.
With more than 90 per cent of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination and boosters of all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers.
Visitors ages 18 and above are required to present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains on site sanitization stations and mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor.
High profile events boost Expo visits
Organizers say visitor numbers to the site have been boosted by several high-profile events, including an appearance from footballing great and Expo Ambassador Lionel Messi; a concert by Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan, the popular science show Brainiac Live and plenty more live entertainment, buoyed by enthusiastic uptake of the Expo 2020 Festive Pass.
Knowledge & Learning Week, the latest engrossing Theme Week under Expo’s program for People and Planet, presented a three-day global education summit, a number of World Majlis events, an interactive workshop-style event around experiential learning, and a Business Forum on harnessing and challenging today’s knowledge to better prepare for the future.
The seasonal spirit has been felt across the entire Expo site ahead of December 25, with a giant Christmas tree at al-Wasl Plaza lit up in a special ceremony on December 18, and all kinds of ongoing yuletide events, activities and shopping, plus a full menu of festive food and drink options, all delighting visitors.
Expo 2020 Dubai live concerts
Expo’s program of live concerts during the next seven days features an international cast, including Dina Stars and Apo & The Apostles (December 23, Jubilee Park), Egyptian entertainer Tamer Hosny (December 23, Jubilee Park), Grigoryan Chant and Naia Izumi (December 24, Dubai Millennium amphitheater), London Community Gospel Choir (December 24, 25 Jubilee Park and Dubai Millennium amphitheater respectively), Lea Salonga (December 25, Jubilee Park), and Kazakh National Ballet (December 23, Dubai Millennium amphitheater).
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The festive fun continues, too, with Expo’s International Participants presenting their nations’ festive traditions and own unique twists on seasonal cheer: from 3D-printed snowflakes at the Czech Republic Pavilion, to the 400-year-old tradition of Lucia at the Sweden Pavilion on December 27.
Expo 2020’s virtual visits rose to 31.6 million over the same period, mainly driven by the uptake of [email protected], which enables visitors to take a bespoke live virtual tour through the site. 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.
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