HOK wins lead role for 2020 Dubai World Expo bid

HOK has been appointed to lead the group of design firms, which also includes Populous and Arup, responsible for developing blueprint for the 2020 Dubai World Expo, and the highly specialised environment that this entails.

The Dubai Trade Centre, Jebel Ali is to be designed as a permanent attraction, not only supporting the UAE’s bid for the 2020 World Expo, but contributing long-term to Dubai’s appeal as a premier destination for global events.

“We are delighted to have been appointed as lead consultant to oversee the development of the masterplan. We look forward to developing an innovative blueprint for the site, and contributing to the architectural landscape of this uniquely modern city,” said Daniel Hajjar, Senior VP at HOK.

The UAE intends to go all out in developing 438-hectare site in the hope drawing the event to the UAE for the first time in its 160-year history.

Thinkwell, a theme park specialist also responsible for Ski Dubai, has been appointed to master plan and design the Expo’s main show and performance hosting entertainment venues.

“The masterplan for our proposed site for the 2020 World Expo will reflect the UAE’s focus on both connectivity and sustainability,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO the Dubai World Trade Centre and Member of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.

Dubai is competing against Ayutthaya (Thailand); Ekaterinburg (Russia); Izmir (Turkey); and Sao Paulo (Brazil). The winning city will be announced in November 2013.

“We will use the latest technology to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure and ensure an entertaining, educational and seamless Expo experience for global visitors and participants, while also creating a lasting legacy for generations to come,” said Al Marri.

UK-based Populous has designed some of the world’s most recognisable sporting and entertainment venues, including Royal Ascot, Wembley, the Emirates stadium and the new Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Arup has a strong Expo track record, having developed the award-winning masterplan for the Shanghai Expo 2010 with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and aided in the design of some of the most eye-catching pavilions, including those of Denmark and Singapore.