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Expo 2020 Dubai celebrates massive milestone as biggest global event since pandemic hits 20 million visits

Expo 2020 Dubai reached the remarkable milestone of 20 million visits on Saturday (19 March) – an amazing achievement making history against the odds while bringing the world together in the UAE for the largest global gathering since the start of the pandemic.

Displaying huge resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, the biggest event ever to be held in the Arab world has combined unparalleled cultural, educational and entertainment experiences, with 192 countries coming together to showcase the best their nations have to offer.

World leaders, cutting-edge innovations, sporting heroes, Grammy-award winning artists, incredible architecture, Arab superstars, innovative forums, global cuisine and the guarantee of something new and surprising every single day are among around 32,000 events and myriad attractions at the region’s first World Expo that have spurred Expo 2020 Dubai to this monumental achievement.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: “When we started this journey in 2013, and even before then as we prepared the bid for Expo 2020 Dubai, we had a dream to welcome the world to Dubai and the UAE for an unprecedented global gathering that would live long in hearts and minds.

“That we have fulfilled this dream is already beyond doubt, but to achieve such a landmark number of visits is true testament to how the world has responded to what we have worked so long and hard to create. We trust that those millions of people will take their memories back to their families and friends, wherever they are from in the world, to continue the impressive work we have set in motion at Expo 2020 Dubai.”

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The opportunity to safely unite the world in the wake of the pandemic to deliver an experience with real significance is one which we have not taken for granted, and we are thrilled that Expo 2020 Dubai has proved so impressively popular.

“In the spirit of optimism, millions of visitors and participants have come together, not only to witness and enjoy something truly remarkable, but to also work together to drive positive social and environmental impact. Expo 2020 Dubai has demonstrated exceptional capability and agility in achieving a consistently high turnout amid continuing global challenges, and, as we begin our bittersweet countdown to the final curtain, we are proud of the collective efforts of all those involved.”

This historic achievement will be celebrated later on Saturday, from 2030 GST, with a special projection on Al Wasl dome and spectacular fireworks.

Domestic visitors have turned out in force to support Expo 2020 Dubai, with almost 70 per cent of guests hailing from the UAE. Latest figures show that children under the age of 18 have visited more than 2.8 million times, with the global event inspiring the next generation of innovators and change-makers.

There is still opportunity to experience what has made Expo 2020 Dubai such a success, with Water Week – the 10th and final Expo 2020 Dubai Theme Week – running from 20-26 March and examining how we can protect our most precious resource today, for tomorrow. The Week is part of the Programme for People and Planet, which seeks to explore humanity’s most critical challenges and opportunities.

A host of countries from across the planet will celebrate their Expo 2020 Dubai National Days, including Canada (19 March), Pakistan (23 March), South Africa (28 March) and India (28 March), followed by the Honour Day of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, on 30 March.

Expo 2020 Dubai Run 3 brings down the curtain on the hugely successful sporting series on 26 March, while a high-quality programme of entertainment and activities will continue during the next two weeks.

With only 13 days remaining until its doors close on 31 March: it’s now or never, before it’s gone forever.