The number of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai has crossed the 17-million mark.

Organisers said visits hit 17,434,222 in the second week of March as residents and tourists make the most of the event, which will draw to a close after six months on March 31.

Numbers rocketed 1.4 million in a single week, and this is expected to continue until Expo closes, with the ‘world’s greatest show’ likely to come close to hitting its original 25-million-visit target, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

The rising number of international to Dubai has contributed to higher Expo footfall, as the tourism industry recovers from the pandemic and travel restrictions are eased.

In January, Dubai welcomed more than 979,700 international tourists, up 116.6 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to the city’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

The number of rooms reserved overnight crossed three million, up 14.7 per cent year on year.

Tourist numbers from Saudi Arabia hit more than 105,000, followed by India with 73,000.