Dubai Expo 2020 enters next phase as grand plan is underway

4198The next-phase design and master planning for Dubai Expo 2020’s showpiece venue is making headway as the site’s readiness activity gets into full swing.

The 438-hectare Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali host venue is being designed to create a spectacular showcase befitting the tradition of world expos that leave behind an iconic architectural legacy, the Dubai Expo 2020 Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

A consortium made up of HOK, the U.S.-based lead architects and urban planners, and Arup, infrastructure experts and engineering partners, will undertake the design and master planning work. HOK and Arup have been involved with the expo project since the successful bid phase.

“Expos have been home to some of the world’s most landmark structures, from the Crystal Palace in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Dubai is committed to building on this tradition and making the entire site an experiential environment that fully embodies the essence of our theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’,” said Reem Ibrahim Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State, managing director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Preparatory Committee and director-general of the Dubai Expo 2020 Office.

The expansive Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali complex features a centrepiece Dubai Expo 2020 gated facility spread across 150 hectares and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone.

Construction works will begin after November 2015 following the approval by the Bureau of International Expositions, or BIE, the governing body of the World Expo.

“The masterplan design and execution are driven by a clear vision for its legacy, integrating sustainable urban development with opportunities to foster economic and social development for the emirate, for the country and for our region,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Centre and Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Preparatory Committee member.

The HOK-Arup consortium will be involved with the development of strategic and operational components of the Expo masterplan including sustainability practices; development of buildings, pavilions, urban design and engineering guidelines; spatial planning; public realm and landscaping; graphics and way-finding signage; as well as overlay, event operations and facilities management.

The consortium will also assist in transportation and pedestrian modelling; capacity assessment for utilities, infrastructure, security, logistics and environmental design practices, as well as detailed integration of the site into the wider Dubai infrastructure. Aligned with the Smart City development priority outlined in the Dubai Vision 2020 mandated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the and Ruler of Dubai, the Expo site is also being designed to serve as a prototype showcasing cutting-edge ICT innovations that can deliver a unique educational and entertainment experience across the entire Expo site and beyond, the Expo 2020 Office said.

“HOK and our consultants Arup are pleased to re-engage with this landmark project for its next phase and help in the development of a master plan that sets new precedents for hosting a global event of this magnitude. Dubai Expo 2020 will ensure the site leaves behind an iconic legacy befitting of this truly generation-defining event,” said Daniel Hajjar, senior vice-president at HOK.

The contract tenure for the master planners will run until the completion of all requirements for the mandatory registration phase, due to be approved by the BIE by November 2015.

The Dubai Expo 2020 exhibition site is designed to accommodate up to 300,000 visitors at peak time, with average week-day attendance expected at 153,000.

Running from 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, the statement said.

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