Expo 2020: contracts for themed pavilions to be awarded this year

Contracts are part of a package of about Dh11 billion expected to be awarded this year

General view of Expo 2020 site under construction in Dubai South. Christopher Pike/The National
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Contracts to build the three major pavilions representing Expo 2020’s main themes of sustainability, opportunity and mobility, will be awarded in the fourth quarter of this year, says the event’s vice-president of real estate, Ahmed Al Katib.

Furthermore, a tender to build up to 30,000 car parking spaces around the outer elements of the site is due to be floated by the end of the current quarter.

The construction contracts are part of a package of almost Dh11 billion worth of contracts that Expo bosses have said they are planning to award this year.

Already this month the Expo organising committee has awarded a contract worth Dh353 million to Arabtec to build the UAE Pavilion at the site, along with a Dh619m deal to build five towers at the Expo Village to HLG Contracting.


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The biggest contract awarded so far this year is a Dh2.2bn deal with Al Futtaim Carillion for the site’s three thematic districts, but Mr Khatib said that many smaller contracts have also been awarded on site for facilities such as police stations and substations.

The site currently has three substations under construction, which are all due to be energised this year.

“So we will have the power ready much earlier than we need, but it’s good.”

Mr Al Khatib said that the other major infrastructure works were progressing, with the site levelling now largely complete after more than 5 million cubic metres of material has been shifted.

All of the infrastructure work is 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 opening.

Expo participants looking to build their own pavilions will need to complete them by mid-2020 to allow for a three-month testing period.

He said 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.

“We met with the organisers so many times, from all perspectives. From the smallest thing to the biggest… from security to waste management.

“If you don’t know who likes what and who doesn’t like what, then you cannot make assumptions.

“It’s all about the experience of the visitors.”