Expo 2020 District Overview
In November 2013 Dubai won the right to host the internationally-renowned World Expo event in 2020 making it the first Middle Eastern city to win the award.
The theme chosen for the event is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" which emphasises the city's pioneering attitude to innovation and development.
The Expo site is in Jebel Ali and lies to the south of the E311 Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed highway linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The site is more or less half way between the two cities, the better to facilitate the movement of people and materials during construction, and the flow of visitors during the six months of the Expo, from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022.
Spread over an area of 430 hectares (1,062 acres) the site comprises a two square kilometre gated expo area surrounded by residential, hospitality and logistics zones.
- The project was launched in November 2013.
- The estimated handover date was 2020.
- Construction began in 2016.
- The project is being developed by Dubai Holding.
- Mace has been appointed as the project manager.
- The architect of the project is HOK Canada, Inc..
- Belhasa Six Construct has been appointed as the main contractor.
- Other companies involved with Expo 2020 District include Parsons International and Orascom Construction.
- From Expo 2020 District it takes roughly 43 minutes to drive to Dubai Mall, 37 minutes to Palm Jumeirah, 40 minutes to Burj Al Arab and 37 minutes to The Walk JBR.
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) is roughly 58 minutes' drive and the new Al Maktoum International Airport is roughly 30 minutes' drive. All durations are calculated by Google Maps and assume the fastest route in typical traffic conditions.
Early works, including completion of excavation of the basement for the three thematic districts, were completed in 2016.
In March 2017 Al Futtaim Carillion, a venture partly owned by London-listed Carillion Plc, was chosen as the main contractor for the development of three districts of the Expo site that are expected to house as many as 136 pavilions for the world’s fair.
Al Futtaim Carillion is 51 per cent owned by Dubai firm Al Futtaim and 49 per cent by Carillion Construction Overseas Ltd, part of the Carillion group. The contract is worth $600 million (Dh2.2 billion), and was the first of $3 billion of construction deals that Dubai plans to award for the Expo in 2017.
The majority of infrastructure work, including the media centre, VIP facilities and other operational areas, was completed in 2018 prior to participant nations beginning construction of national pavilions. All infrastructure work was completed by October 2019.
At the end of Expo 2020 the site will be demobilised and converted into to the legacy phase. 80 per cent of the Expo site building footprint will be repurposed for future use.
The first infrastructure package involved the installation of electricity, water, and drainage for the Expo Village, as well as the implementation of digital technology. It also included the construction of two pumping stations; one for sewerage, and one for irrigation and fire fighting.
The Expo Village is the residential area that will accommodate participants during the Expo. It was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
The second infrastructure package which includes the deep infrastructure for the gated area of the site went to tender at the end of 2016. The third and final infrastructure package included the surface road network.
In July 2017 a contract worth Dh353 million was awarded to Arabtec to build the UAE Pavilion at the site, and another worth Dh619m to HLG Contracting to build five towers at the Expo Village.
Contracts to build the three major pavilions representing Expo 2020’s main themes of sustainability, opportunity and mobility, were awarded to UAE’s Al Futtaim Construction in the fourth quarter of 2017. The works were completed in May 2019.
The thematic districts include three-storey pavilions covering 201,000 square metres and a single-storey parking basement covering 147,000 square metres.
Subsequent contracts, including mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), elevators and escalators, façade, shade structures, and public realm were put to tender in the second quarter of 2017, with contracts awarded in the third quarter of the same period. A tender to build up to 30,000 car parking spaces around the outer elements of the site was floated by the end of the September 2017.
The construction contracts were part of a package of almost Dh11 billion worth of contracts that Expo bosses awarded in 2017.
Additional public realm infrastructure was put to tender in the first quarter of 2018, and includes concourses, a performance area and children’s parks, as well as back-of-house secure areas, such as warehousing.
The three DEWA substations to power the 4.38sq km site and other key water, sewage and telecommunications infrastructure, including the 2.2 km road network, have been completed.
All infrastructure work was set to be complete by 2018, with all of Expo’s buildings set to be ready by October 2019 - a full year ahead of the event's original opening date.
Al Wasl Plaza is the focal point of the site, and the trellis structure for its 67.5-metre tall, 130-metre wide dome, was awarded in December 2017 to Cimolai Rimond Middle East General Contracting LLC, a UAE-Italian joint venture. It was constructed using 13,600 metres of steelwork weighing 2,265 tonnes and encloses a space of 724,000 cubic metres.
By the end of 2017 over 150 countries had committed to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai. They were able to begin site work for the construction of their pavilions from April 2018.
The Expo 2020 team had a presence on site throughout the Milan Expo, from construction through to demolition, and spoke to participating countries to make sure they learned as much as possible.
The video below from August 2021 shows the final construction phase of various pavilions that the Nussli Group is working on:
Expo 2020 District in the News
Dubai Media Office, 10th Oct 2021
Emirates News Agency, 9th Oct 2021
Khaleej Times, 8th Oct 2021
ME Construction News, 3rd Oct 2021
ME Construction News, 3rd Oct 2021
Construction Week, 1st Oct 2021
Construction Business News, 29th Sep 2021
Construction Business News, 23rd Sep 2021
Zawya, 23rd Sep 2021
Dubai Media Office, 21st Sep 2021
Construction Business News, 8th Sep 2021
Dubai Media Office, 2nd Sep 2021
Dubai Media Office, 31st Aug 2021
Khaleej Times, 19th Aug 2021
Arab News, 19th Jul 2021
Dubai Media Office, 18th Jul 2021
Khaleej Times, 13th Jul 2021
Construction Business News, 6th Jul 2021
Construction Business News, 5th Jul 2021
Zawya, 5th Jul 2021
Dubai Media Office, 23rd Jun 2021
Construction Business News, 20th Jun 2021
Dubai Media Office, 17th Jun 2021
Gulf News, 4th Jun 2021
ME Construction News, 17th May 2021
Hotelier Middle East, 23rd Apr 2021
Construction Business News, 22nd Apr 2021
BBC, 11th Apr 2021
Construction Business News, 30th Mar 2021
Construction Business News, 15th Mar 2021
Construction Week, 8th Mar 2021
Construction Business News, 8th Feb 2021
ME Construction News, 8th Feb 2021
Construction Business News, 7th Feb 2021
Zawya, 21st Jan 2021
Zawya, 20th Jan 2021
Construction Business News, 17th Jan 2021
Construction Business News, 20th Dec 2020
Gulf News, 9th Dec 2020
Construction Week, 5th Nov 2020
Construction Week, 6th Oct 2020
Construction Business News, 23rd Sep 2020
Construction Business News, 22nd Sep 2020
Hotelier Middle East, 22nd Sep 2020
Construction Week, 25th Aug 2020
Construction Week, 27th Jul 2020
Construction Week, 21st Apr 2020
Construction Week, 31st Mar 2020
Construction Week, 30th Mar 2020
Construction Week, 29th Mar 2020
Arabian Business, 27th Mar 2020
Construction Week, 23rd Mar 2020
Construction Week, 23rd Feb 2020
Construction Week, 28th Nov 2019
Construction Week, 26th Nov 2019
Construction Business News, 28th Oct 2019
Arabian Business, 23rd Sep 2019
Emirates 24|7, 28th Jun 2019
Construction Business News, 20th Jun 2019
Construction Business News, 21st May 2019
Emirates 24|7, 2nd May 2019
Emirates 24|7, 30th Apr 2019
Emirates 24|7, 10th Apr 2019
Emirates 24|7, 19th Sep 2018
Construction Business News, 5th May 2018
Route 2020 is the extension of Dubai Metro's Red Line to the Dubai Expo 2020 venue. A 3.2 kilometre tunnel that forms part of the route was completed in June 2018.
Tunnelling works began in October 2017 using a giant tunnel boring machine known as ‘Al Wugeisha Expo 2020’. The works started near Discovery Gardens and reached the underground station by Jumeirah Golf Estates in February 2018. Drilling then continued past Dubai Investment Park up to the Green Community where it ended.
Work on the metro viaducts was completed in November 2018, and all the project’s railway works were completed by July 2019. The metro was inaugurated in May 2020.
At the centre of the master plan for the expo area are three distinct zones, each dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity, which converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza, ‘the figurative and literal heart of Expo 2020’. Each zone has its own theme pavilion provided by the UAE, the host nation.
The design contract for the venue was awarded to a consortium consisting of US-based architects HOK and engineering firm Arup, who were also involved in creating a blueprint for Dubai's Expo bid.
In August 2015 US-based engineering and design firm Parsons was awarded the infrastructure design and construction supervision services contract for the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
In October 2015 it was rumoured that Emaar Properties & Dubai World Trade Centre LLC will work together to build a shopping centre along with several hotels which would be designed to cater for business travellers.
In March 2016 designs from three architectural practices were chosen for the theme pavilions following an international competition. The brief included a key criterion stipulating that the designs should not only embody one of Expo's core themes, but also have the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021.
The central element in the design of the Expo 2020 Dubai site is Al Wasl Plaza, an open space that combines breathtaking design, innovative technology, and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience.
For detailed information on Al Wasl Plaza please follow this link:
Al Wasl Plaza
Expo 2020 District Communities
We currently maintain records for 5 sub-communities in Expo 2020 District.
Expo 2020 District Buildings
We currently maintain records for 2 building developments in Expo 2020 District.
View all Expo 2020 District building developments.
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