Abu Dhabi: Officials from Expo 2020 Dubai announced on Monday plans to transform the Expo’s 4.38-square-kilometre site into an ecosystem that connects businesses in sectors like transport and logistics, travel and tourism, real estate, and education after the event is over.
The plan is part of Dubai’s strategy to create a knowledge-based economy that contributes to the UAE’s diversification.
“Over 80 per cent of our investments will be retained following the event. This includes the infrastructure, as well as the cutting edge technologies, the roads and public transport systems put in place to host the Expo. We intend to build on those physical and virtual platforms to create an ecosystem that lives through legacy,” Marjan Faraidooni, Expo 2020s vice president of legacy, said in a statement.
In a speech ahead of the Cityscape Global 2016 — property show and exhibition — which kicks off in Dubai on Tuesday, Faraidooni said the event “will continue to foster innovation, and to create meaningful partnerships that will live beyond 2020 — not only for the UAE but for the region as whole.”
She added that a team has been working on identifying how to develop the site to continue to attract businesses, students, and workers, and how to benefit from the investment being put now.
More than 80 per cent of the site will be reused or repurposed, according to her. The theme districts, which will host the majority of the country pavilions, will become collaborative work spaces to house companies of all sizes, and social and cultural institutions.
The theme pavilions will also be reused under the legacy plans. Meanwhile, the conference and Exhibition Centre, a key structure in the Expo master plan, will become an event venue for Dubai, and will be operated by Dubai World Trade Centre.
The Expo site will also feature residential communities and retail offerings.
In a video released on Monday by Expo 2020 Dubai, Martin Roth, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, discussed how the legacy of the first World Expo in 1851 continues to inspire people over 150 years later in the English capital.
Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to be a driver of the development of an entirely new quarter within the Dubai South District. The event’s theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’
Expo’s planners have identified education, transport and logistics, travel, and property as key strategic industries, and explored what technologies, including augmented reality, big data, and the internet of things could do to transform those industries. Expo also identified education and cultural initiatives to complement the ecosystem.
Such legacy plans are the result of over two years of research whereby officials looked at the UAE’s national priorities and studied the planning of other mega events like the Olympics and Paralympics 2012 in London and the Expo 1998 in Lisbon. Both events stimulated investments that resulted in the regeneration of inner-city areas.