Dubai: The beauty and grandeur of Expo 2020 Dubai will come back to life in September, ahead of the official opening of Expo City Dubai in October.
“Expo City Dubai will open in phases. Some of the big pavilions like Terra (Sustainability) and Alif (Mobility) will re-open in September, in time for the school opening and to welcome students who will come for visits,” Sconaid McGeachin, senior vice-president of communications, Expo 2020 Dubai, told Gulf News during a press briefing on Monday announcing the transformation of the exhibition site into Expo City Dubai.
Expo City Dubai, which was announced on Monday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is the pioneering legacy plan of Expo 2020 Dubai and part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.
“A city that represents the most beautiful ambitions of Dubai, Expo City Dubai will be an environmentally-friendly city, one friendly to families, to the economy, and to future generations,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Expo City Dubai will retain 80 per cent of the infrastructure of Expo 2020 Dubai, which ran from October 1, 2021 to March 31 this year and was visited by more than 24 million people.
‘Opening in phases’
McGeachin explained to Gulf News the gradual opening of Expo City Dubai, with the students being the first expected visitors as Alif and Terra pavilions will re-live their interactive educational offerings.
“The rest of the City will open in phases, coinciding with the first anniversary of Expo 2020 Dubai in October,” she added.
Marjan Faraidooni, chief experience officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo City Dubai will continue the Expo’s legacy of “learning beyond the classroom. The City will enrich real life experiences and engage students in topics related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and culture.”
She added that later this year, the Opportunity Pavilion will become the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum to highlight the history and impact of world expos and success of the six-month global event in Dubai.
Other pavilions that will re-open include the falcon-inspired UAE Pavilion, KSA pavilion, Women’s Pavilion and Vision Pavilion.
Details, meanwhile, of other country pavilions, including the reworked version of the pavilions of India, Pakistan, Luxembourg, Australia, Egypt and Morocco will be announced soon.
The Dubai Exhibition Centre, which is just next to Expo 2020 Metro Station, will continue to host local and global events.
'City of the future'
Ahmed Al Khatib, chief development and delivery officer for Expo 2020 Dubai, dubbed Expo City Dubai as a ‘city of the future.’ He noted that it will be a smart and futuristic destination for business and innovation, as it will provide an innovation-driven business ecosystem focusing on technology, education and healthcare.
Al Khatib said Expo City Dubai will become an independent free zone with its own authority. It is already attracting interest from a large number of commercial tenants and will soon become the new headquarters of DP World, Siemens, as well as start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Sustainability is at the core of Expo City Dubai. Al Khatib said it will be free of single-use plastic and cars will be prohibited inside the City.
In terms of mobility, Al Khatib said they are fine-tuning the use of soft mobility, including buggies, scooters and bikes to move people around. Expo City Dubai will be highly pedestrianised. “We highly encourage of use of public transport and the City is easily accessible by Metro,” he added.
Fast facts – Expo City Dubai
• 80 per cent of Expo-built infrastructure is retained for Expo City Dubai
• 120 LEED ((Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings are located at Expo City Dubai, designed for green living
• Expo City Dubai will be free of single-use plastic
• 5G-enabled network available at Expo City Dubai
• Three of Expo 2020’s most iconic attractions (Al Wasl Plaza, Garden in the Sky, Surreal water feature) will remain
• September – Alf and Terra pavilions will be the first to open to the public
• October 1 – anniversary of Expo 2020 Dubai; official opening of Expo City Dubai
• 24 million – recorded visitors of Expo 2020 Dubai that ran from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022