Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and Expo Preparatory Committee member, has presented a progress update on the Dubai Expo 2020 organisation, governance framework and site development, including key milestones and timelines for delivery of the iconic event. The update came at an Executive Committee session of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the governing body of the World Expo, in France.
One of the first main deliverables is the submission of the mandatory Registration Dossier by 2015 to BIE. This document is a legally binding submission that will include more in-depth content across key topics presented in the Bid Document such as theme, communications programmes and the detailed Master Plan. Approval, which is necessary to commence formal engagement with the international participants, is then expected to coincide with the conclusion of Milan Expo 2015.
In the early part of next year, following finalisation of the detailed master planning, site readiness activity will commence on the Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali site to prepare for full-fledged construction immediately after BIE approval is received. The 438-hectare site that includes a dedicated gated 150-hectare Expo area, and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone, will play host to the 25 million visitors expected at Dubai Expo 2020, running from 20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021.
Plans have been drafted with a target date for all major construction activities to be completed on site by October 2019, allowing for a full year of readiness testing across networks, systems and technologies. Expo Village - a residential community development providing full-time housing facilities for staff from participating countries working on the Expo will target completion by 2018 following which pavilion construction activities will start.
“One of our strongest assets during the bid was a robust and well progressed Master Plan with a clear existing legacy, which Dubai World Trade Centre, as developer of the Expo 2020 site, has continued to evolve and drive forward rigorously to ensure that we are on track to delivering a truly exceptional World Expo in 2020,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Expo 2020 Preparatory Higher Committee Chairman, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group.
“We have made a commitment to the international community to make the 2020 Expo a true World Expo – one that is globally inclusive in reach, stimulating greater collaboration across the world’s public and private sector players to drive advancements and innovative solutions in the fields of mobility, sustainability and economic development, leaving behind a strong transformative social and economic legacy across the region and beyond,” he concluded.
Catering for close to 250 participants, Dubai Expo 2020 will be pushing forward a one country-one pavilion policy for the first time in Expo history.
“Building and implementing strategic partnerships on a city wide level is already being progressed and the driving forward of potential international participant engagement across governments, private sector and institutional players is underway. Through our theme, Dubai Expo 2020 will serve as a catalyst, connecting minds from around the world and inspiring participants to mobilise themselves around shared challenges, during a World Expo of unprecedented global scope,” said Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Expo Preparatory Committee member.
The essence of the Master Plan is to facilitate this global dialogue on-ground during the Expo, bringing to life the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and seamlessly integrating the three sub-themes Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity. The spatial organisation of the site embodies these concepts, drawing deep inspiration from local urban design, architecture and the natural environment.
At the core of the Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan for the gated expo area, are three distinct zones, each dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity, which will converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza, the figurative and literal heart of Dubai Expo 2020.
The flagship UAE Pavilion will feature prominently in addition to a Welcome Pavilion and an Innovation Pavilion near the North Entrance surrounding the central plaza; and three Souks - one at the heart of each Theme Zone - which will showcase smaller pavilions surrounded by the larger country pavilions on the outer rings ensuring maximum visibility and footfall for all participants. Additionally, each thematic zone will also have one feature Entertainment Venue and a specialised Theme Pavilion.
“The sheer level of detail that has already been developed for the Master Plan means that we are significantly advanced with the requirements for the immediate next stage of delivery and well on-track to ensuring timely and holistic implementation. It has undergone substantial review and feasibility, from optimum land usage and sustainability targets to infrastructure planning, transport forecast modelling, and the seamless incorporation of Dubai Smart City’s principles for a completely integrated participant and visitor experience,” said Helal Saeed Almarri.
“We are continually assessing cutting edge ICT innovations that allow us to extend the experience of an Expo beyond the insides of any single pavilion, across the entire site, delivering unique educational and entertainment experiences built around the core sub-themes.
“Dubai Expo 2020 seeks to offer the international community an opportunity to understand perspectives, share practices and develop solutions for an inclusive future. Collaboration and innovation– the cornerstones of this platform – are cornerstones of the Master Plan as well. Layering the Expo’s key requirements on this base, and building on sound design principles rooted in a clear longer term legacy, is the modus operandi of a viable Expo Master Plan that will ensure Dubai Expo 2020 sets a new standard for global mega events.”
At its peak, the Dubai Expo 2020 exhibition site at Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali is designed to accommodate up to 300,000 visitors, with average week-day attendance expected at 153,000.
A comprehensive visitor management study has been undertaken around the Dubai Expo 2020 hosting, including city wide traffic and movement flow analysis. Sustainability lies at the heart of the Expo transportation strategy as it will seek to maximise the use of public transport systems in delivering visitors to the site. An extension to the existing Dubai Metro (Red Line) will be constructed along with a dedicated station on the Expo site to encourage maximum usage of public transport systems.
Additionally, a bespoke low-emission bus service will transport visitors to and from the Expo from pick-up points throughout the UAE, situated in key hotel and major population areas. At these pick-up points, passengers will undergo ticket checks and security screening prior to boarding the ExpoRider buses in operation, eliminating the need for further checking when they reach the Expo Site to facilitate faster processing through the entrances.
The Dubai Expo 2020 is designed to be easily accessible, from transport to and from the site as well as whilst at the venue, for all people, regardless of age or physical ability. The centre of the Expo, Al Wasl Plaza, will be within 15 minutes’ walk from any part of the site and an autonomous people mover system is planned to assist visitor movement around the site.
“To determine the most effective transport policy and planning for Expo 2020, key principles have been adopted based on detailed analysis of peak demand flows, capacity of the available infrastructure, including road network, and sustainability objectives. Their readiness and connectivity to the Expo site is of course a major priority and is a widely collaborative effort between the RTA, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Airports and other key Expo stakeholders with joint planning already well progressed after a number of key meetings,” added Almarri.
Sustainability is also a core facet of the Dubai Expo 2020 Master Plan design. Detailed targets and overarching strategies have been developed to ensure that sustainability is achieved in the design of Dubai Expo 2020 pavilions and related buildings and infrastructure, focusing on demand reduction, use of alternative sources, re-use and recycling across energy, water, waste, materials and supply.
A key ambition of Dubai Expo 2020 is to supply at least 50% of the Expo Site’s energy needs over its six-month duration with energy from renewable sources. Emphasis will be placed on integrating solar energy technologies into the Expo Site Master Plan.
Furthermore a 25% of reduction in consumption of water across the pavilions and buildings on-site is being targeted to be achieved at Dubai Expo 2020 whilst a Resource and Waste Management Strategy (RWMS) outlines the approach to managing waste that would arise during the construction, operation and legacy transition phases of the Expo and reusing materials with the intention of maximising the opportunity of recycling waste material.
The Expo 2020 Preparatory Committee is driving forward the Dubai Expo 2020 delivery reporting directly to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai. Formed by decree in January 2014 and under the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the Preparatory Higher Committee is chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, with Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Ruler’s Court, as its vice-chairman.
Other Committee members include Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan; Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith; Chief Commander of Dubai Police, Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina; Director General of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah; Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Road and Transport Authority, Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer; Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, Khalifa Suhail Al Zaffin; UAE Minister of State, Reem Al-Hashimy; Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre Helal Saeed Almarri; and Chairman of Emaar, Mohamed Ali Alabbar.
Running October 2020 through April 2021, the Expo will launch the country’s Golden Jubilee celebration and serve as a springboard from which to inaugurate a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.
In the next six years, over 275,000 jobs are estimated to be created across the Region to service the Expo, across several sectors linked to Expo delivery and legacy transition plans such as tourism, aviation, construction, real estate, engineering, infrastructure; logistics, transportation, hospitality and retail. Preliminary estimates indicate that the Economic Impact generated by the Expo between now and 2021 will be approximately €17.7 Billion.