| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Expo 2020 Dubai to host New Year’s Eve spectacular despite COVID-19 concerns

Expo 2020 Dubai organizers have stated that they will ring in 2022 with a large-scale spectacular — despite pulling back several activities at the site because to increased COVID-19 attendance.

Expo, the most significant worldwide event conducted since the outbreak began, has set a schedule of events for December 31, including a music festival headlined by two DJs, two fireworks displays, and a midnight ‘ball drop’ at al-Wasl Plaza.

According to a statement on its website, the events will take place against a “backdrop of stringent safety precautions that will assure a memorable New Year’s Eve.”

As a precaution against the current COVID-19 developments in the UAE, Expo organizers postponed various activities that required close or direct interaction, according to official news agency WAM on Monday.

COVID- On Wednesday, officials reported another 665 instances in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in the UAE to 19.

The results represent a 47 percent increase over Tuesday’s total of 452 cases and a 120 percent increase over Monday’s total of 301 cases.

Shows and performance arts by roving artists are among the halted activities at Expo. Furthermore, the Expo raised the number of PCR testing facilities and mandated a PCR test for all front-line personnel as well as entertainment staff at the site.

However, organizers have guaranteed a New Year’s Eve lineup of festivities with strengthened COVID-19 safety procedures.

Expo’s site-wide New Year’s Eve events will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 31, and will extend until 4 a.m. on January 1. They will be aligned with multiple worldwide time zones across a 13-hour period.

DJ sensation Dimitri Vegas will perform at Expo’s Jubilee Park at 11.30 p.m., followed by Armin Van Buuren, one of the world’s top DJs and creators of electronic music.

A midnight ‘ball drop’ moment at al-Wasl Plaza, two separate fireworks displays at midnight and 3am, as well as festivities throughout several of Expo’s 192 Country pavilions – all greeting 2022 – will also be included throughout the evening.

According to organizers, more than 70 restaurants and 120-plus food concepts, including food trucks, food halls, restaurants, bars, kiosks, and “never-before-seen ideas by international chefs,” would be available on New Year’s Eve.

Music and entertainment will be available at the newly-opened Festival Garden in Expo’s Jubilee Park, which features communal seating, a main stage, food trucks, kiosks, and carts, while a variety of restaurants throughout Expo will offer set menus, DJ performances, and entertainment throughout New Year’s Eve.

“Celebrated by every country in the globe, New Year’s Eve is a unique moment in time – festivities rendered ever more poignant over the past two years as we face the epidemic together,” said Tareq Ghosheh, chief events and entertainment Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“As the largest event ever hosted in the Arab world continues to safely host 192 nationalities over 182 days, we are excited to offer a stunning celebration of top class entertainment and activations, greeting 2022 with open arms and renewed confidence for a brighter future.”

Expo’s newest COVID-19 initiatives include the extension of the number of on-site PCR testing labs to four and free testing for all Country Pavilion workers, making it the largest significant global event staged since the start of the epidemic. While all frontline employees and performers are still checked on a regular basis, several close contact occurrences have occurred.

Expo 2020 Dubai has mandated mandatory vaccination and boosters for all Expo and International Participant workers, volunteers, contractors, and service providers, despite the fact that more than 90% of the UAE population is properly vaccinated.

Visitors above the age of 18 must provide confirmation of any vaccinations or a negative PCR test done within the preceding 72 hours. Furthermore, both indoors and outdoors, Expo 2020 maintains sanitization facilities and required face masks.

  • alarabiya