What has been the most popular attraction in the world over the past couple of months? I can't say for certain, but there's a strong case for Expo 2020 Dubai, which announced that it has welcomed more than 5.6 million visitors during that time - a number that would exceed any major theme park's attendance over the same period.
Before the pandemic, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom averaged about 1.75 million visitors a month, according to the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index attendance report. That works out to more than 57,000 visitors per day. So consider that context when looking at the Expo 2020 Dubai numbers, which average to nearly 86,000 visitors a day.
Expo 2020 officials report that 60% of the world's fair visitors hold a an Expo Season Pass, accounting for 1.2 million repeat visits so far. More than 28% of visitors came to the Expo from outside the United Arab Emirates, with top origin points including India, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom, according to Expo officials.
The lead-up to UAE's 50th anniversary on December 2 helped push attendance during the period. Upcoming events at the Expo include concerts by Alicia Keys on December 10, Academy Award-winner A.R. Rahman [Slumdog Millionaire] on the 22nd, and Disney Legend Lea Salonga [Aladdin and Mulan] on Christmas. The Alicia Keys concert at 10pm Dubai time [1pm Eastern] on Friday will be webcast on the Expo's YouTube channel.
"We are delighted with the figures, and that so many people chose to celebrate such a momentous occasion, the UAE’s 50th National Day, with us here at Expo 2020 Dubai," UAE Minister for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Reem Al Hashimy said. "Two months in, these numbers are a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in Expo, from the hosting of spectacular events that make people want to visit again and again, to the bringing together of global changemakers on a powerful platform for action and collaboration, and – crucially – to our robust Covid-19 measures, which allow us to accommodate such large numbers in a safe, reassuring manner."
Expo 2020 Dubai features pavilions from 192 participating countries on the 1082-acre Expo site in Dubai South, about 14 miles from Dubai Parks and Resorts. The Expo puts on up to 60 live shows per day in addition to the pavilion attractions and will continue through March 31, 2022.
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