DUBAI // The organisers of the World Expo visited the Dubai site for the first time recently and affirmed that the emirate’s preparations were on track.
The two-day visit by the team from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) was part of a series of updates about developments for the international body that oversees World Expos.
“It’s wonderful to have been able to stand on the ground, with the organisers and see things taking shape,” said Vicente Loscertales, BIE secretary general about his visit to Dubai South.
The delegation viewed the site where, since last September, 3.9 million cubic metres of earth were moved and construction will begin later this year.
“The plans that have been put in place, and the progress being made in delivering them are impressive,” Mr Loscertales said after a briefing that outlined designs for pavilions, a master plan, local engagement and international outreach.
“The breadth of vision and scale of ambition Dubai displayed was crucial to winning the right to host this event,” he said.
The Expo site, which covers 438 hectares and includes a 200ha gated area, is located within the Dubai South District, adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport.
Delegates from countries that the UAE hopes will participate in the Expo 2020 are scheduled to visit the site next month.
“Our progress is accelerating,” said Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai.
“This is the first BIE technical visit since Dubai formally became host city for Expo 2020, and it marks another milestone on our Expo journey.”
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline, also greeted the BIE team.
“We are on track to deliver an exceptional Expo that will truly connect people around the world, where they can come and experience ideas and innovations that will define the next fifty years,” Sheikh Ahmed said.
“We are delighted to share the progress we are making with representatives from the BIE.”
The BIE team was shown the winning designs selected for three major theme pavilions, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, which are central to the Expo 2020s message of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
The pavilions will surround the central plaza called Al Wasl, drawing from the old Arabic name for Dubai meaning “the connection”.
The logo for the world fair was revealed last month inspired by a 4,000-year-old gold ring discovered on one of the UAE’s most important archaeological sites.
The expo will run from six months from October 2020 until April 2021 and host an estimated 25 million visitors.
The site will have the capacity to accommodate up to 250,000 people per day and there are plans for more than 30,000 volunteers from many nationalities to welcome visitors.
Two years ago, Dubai captured 70 per cent of votes at the BIE general assembly in Paris, sweeping aside competition from Yekaterinburg, Russia, and Izmir, Turkey to host the 13th World Expo.
In a November ceremony in Paris last year, Dubai was formally registered as the host, the green light to approach more than 180 countries to participate.