Dubai: Construction of the Expo 2020 site is on track and all the buildings will be completed by the end of 2019, said the Expo officials.
An exclusive media tour to the under-construction Expo 2020 site on Wednesday was an eye-opener of the massive amount of work being undertaken to complete the mega project.
Construction work is at its peak as more than 40,000 workers are doing their best to create a marvel. More than 100 million working hours have already gone into developing the site, including the completion of all the shell and core works of the Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability Districts. All the Expo-led construction are on track and to be completed in the year before gates open.
However, the construction of country pavilions which are being handled by the respective countries in collaboration with the Expo team, may run into the 2020. “We are sure all the country pavilions will also be ready well ahead of Expo opening on October 20, 2020,” a senior official told Gulf News during the visit which was part of an onsite media Iftar reception organized by the Expo team.
During the visit, Gulf News found out that 30,000 parking spaces were being created in anticipation of huge flow of visitors.
During about 20 minutes ride on a bus, we saw massive construction work on dozens of building complexes. We could see the largest metro station in the UAE taking shape and elevated metro track taking shape. Massive roadwork and landscaping is also underway. “It looks a lot of work to be completed but we are on track,” said an Expo team member who briefed the media on the bus.
Construction of Expo 2020 Dubai’s petal-shaped Thematic Districts is now complete marking one of the most significant milestones on the road to welcoming the world to the UAE for 173 days of fun, creativity and inspiration.
Built by the UAE’s Al Futtaim Construction and already landscaped with water and shading features, the districts are now ready for fit-outs. They form the largest built-up area of the site and include 86 low-rise buildings that will house dozens of Country Pavilions, food and beverage outlets, retail, performance spaces and leisure areas.
Each district will be anchored by its own Thematic Pavilion and connected to the central Al Wasl Plaza, set to be the next iconic structure of Dubai.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The completion of the Thematic Districts is a significant milestone in our journey towards delivering an exceptional Expo, including world class design, as part of the UAE leadership’s vision to always achieve the highest standards and to show the world the spirit and creativity of our nation.”
Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “This is the year of delivery, and the completion of the three Thematic Districts is a major construction landmark to be celebrated as we prepare to welcome the world in less than 520 days”.
“It’s exciting to see the site evolve every day, and despite the pace of progress, we remain committed to quality and worker welfare.”
Designed by Hopkins and Partners, the Thematic Districts evoke old Dubai, with façades resembling traditional Emirati wind towers and walkways lined with flora indigenous to the UAE. They incorporate a host of innovative features, including smart shading, solar cells and moisture capturing mechanisms, as well as an enormous basement under each district, which will be used for seamless logistics during the event and parking post event.
He said that more than 80 per cent of the Expo-built environment will live on after the event as part of District 2020, an integrated mixed-use community.
The next major Expo 2020 construction milestone is the completion of Al Wasl Plaza’s massive domed trellis, which will act as a huge 360-degree projection screen and is scheduled for completion in June.
The Dubai Metro will be the one of the four entry gates to the Expo. The Metro Route 2020 extension, which will link Expo 2020 to the rest of the emirate is well on track.
Three DEWA substations that will power the 4.38 sqkm site and other key water, sewage and telecommunications infrastructure, including the 2.2 km road network, have already been completed.
Ongoing construction of the Thematic Pavilions, the Dubai Exhibition Centre, and Expo Village is progressing as planned.
Expo 2020 in numbers
Area of the Expo 2020 site is qual to the 600 football grounds
Expo 2020 expects to attract 25 million visits between October 20, 2020 and 10 April 10, 2021.
Some 70 per cent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos.
More than 200 participants, including countries, corporations, multinational organisations and educational institutions, will gather to explore Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
Expo 2020 also has an ambitious volunteer programme, which aims to include more than 30,000 volunteers from a wide range of ages, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds.
More than 55,000 volunteers have already registered.
For six months from 20 October, 2020, Expo will bring together 192 countries and millions of people to celebrate human ingenuity: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
The Expo site covers a total of 4.38 sqkm, including a 2 sqkm gated area.
It is located adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South
Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to take place in the MEASA (Middle East, Africa and South Asia) region