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Expo 2020 Dubai site to transform into District 2020 legacy project

Officials have revealed how Expo 2020 Dubai’s site will be reused following the conclusion of the world’s fair, Construction Week Online reported.

Located in the heart of Dubai South, the District 2020 legacy megaproject will feature 135,000m2 of commercial space, 65,000m2 of residential space, 45,900m2 of parkland, and 10km of cycling tracks.

From Q4 2021, the district will become the post-exhibition home of Al Wasl Plaza designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture , the UAE Pavilion by architect Santiago Calatrava, and the three themed pavilions- Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability Pavilion, with the latter to be transformed into a Children and Science Centre.

It will boast innovation, educational, cultural, and entertainment facilities, as well as a conference and exhibition centre developed by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Additionally, there will be other academic institutions, museums and galleries.

VIDEO: Dubai Expo 2020 reveals virtual tour of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill-designed Al Wasl Plaza

District 2020 forms part of Dubai’s legacy strategy to reuse 80% of Expo 2020’s site infrastructure. All of the district’s buildings will meet or exceed LEED Gold standards.

Commenting on the project, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and director-general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “Back in 2013, when we won the bid to host this great event, we set ourselves two clear objectives in line with our leader’s vision: to stage a World Expo that would amaze the world, and build a lasting legacy with a global destination that offers a new alternative for urban living.

The dome-shaped Al Wasl Plaza will celebrate local culture and values while at the same time imagining the future. 

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, [Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai,] instructed us to build a site for a permanent legacy and, therefore, we had to think of ways to capitalise on what was being built for Expo, as well as for post-Expo.

“We have created District 2020 to achieve that goal,” HE Al Hashimy continued. “It has been a key part of our planning from the very start, not just for our legacy team, but the entire Expo organisation.”

Marjan Faraidooni, vice-president of legacy impact and development at Expo 2020 Dubai

Situated at the junction of four major highways, close to the Project Star mall, District 2020 will feature a dedicated metro station, which will form part of the Route 2020 Dubai Metro line. The site’s transition from Expo 2020 to District 2020 will begin as soon as the world’s fair draws to a close, with work scheduled to commence on 11 April, 2021.

The project is expected to support the acceleration of Dubai’s development. According to a statement released by the Expo 2020 team, the area will become “a long-term economic contributor for the UAE as a home for innovators, original thinkers, and pioneers, creating jobs and attracting investment”.

Marjan Faraidooni, senior vice president of legacy impact and development at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “District 2020 will continue to carry forward Expo 2020’s mission of connecting people – offering a new urban experience.

“It will be at the cutting edge of modern working and living – combining places to work, rest, and explore to create an ecosystem that stimulates connections, inspires creation, and drives innovation, creating value for all those who come here.

“It will also be among the best connected districts in the world: within an hour of the centres of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, next to what will be the world’s largest airport [Al Maktoum International Airport,] the Jebel Ali Port, and with world-leading digital infrastructure, including 5G,” she added.

In keeping with Expo 2020’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, District 2020 will be underpinned by the exhibition’s three pillars: opportunity, mobility, and sustainability.