Expo City Dubai’s stunning Al Wasl dome enters Guinness World Records

Calendar of events will celebrate the massive interactive immersive structure officially entering the global record books

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The striking Al Wasl dome in Expo City Dubai has been recognised in the Guinness World Records as the world's largest interactive immersive dome.

The translucent 360-degree structure was the centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai.

It remains at the heart of Expo City Dubai, the residential and commercial development that has emerged around it in the Dubai South area.

Expo City Dubai on Thursday released a calendar of events to mark the dome’s entry into the world record books.

“Al Wasl Plaza stands as a testament to architectural excellence and a distinguished structure that resonates with those who have had the privilege of experiencing it,” said Alwaleed Osman, official adjudicator at Guinness World Records.

“Its recognition in Guinness World Records underscores the commitment of Expo 2020, and the subsequent Expo City Dubai, to innovation and excellence,” he added in a statement.

A new cafe serving Arabic fusion cuisine, cultural festivals, and interactive experiences with the dome that visitors can experience using their mobile phone are among the offerings announced on Thursday.

Amna Abulhoul, executive creative director, events and entertainment at Expo City Dubai, said the Al Wasl dome would continue to bring people together.

“From interactive augmented reality and a tribute to legendary explorer Ibn Battuta, to the launch of a sustainable cafe and the return of our popular Winter City and Hai Ramadan festivities, our upcoming offerings cement our city as a hub of creativity, innovation and well-being,” she said.

Dubai's Al Wasl dome enters the world record books

Dubai's Al Wasl dome enters the world record books

Calendar of events

Events include a musical performance in October to highlight Greenland’s rapidly melting ice sheets and the Dubai Calligraphy Biennale, the first of a series of collaborations with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority that will feature Japanese artist Aimi Sekiguchi and Emirati painter and sculptor Mattar Bin Lahej.

Expo City Dubai will also be the venue for Cop28 in November. The dome will open to the public as part of the green zone during the two-week global climate summit.

After Cop28 ends, it will host an Artificial Intelligence Film Festival.

Al Wasl will then be the showpiece of the Winter City celebrations, opening from December 8 until January 7.

The calendar for next year is busy, with Break the Block, a music, food and arts festival in January; Untold – an electronic dance music festival from February 15 to 18; and Hai Ramadan likely to run from March 11 to April 10 to observe the spirit of the Holy Month.

Fitness will also be promoted with the Dubai Half Marathon on February 4, and the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge on February 24-25 which will set out from Expo City Dubai.

Crown jewel

Al Wasl means “connection” in Arabic and the 67-metre-tall steel trellis has been the backdrop for captivating visual effects over the past two years.

Called the Expo “crown jewel” by the world’s fair organisers, the glittering dome has hosted performances by Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Nancy Ajram.

Rows of speakers are embedded in the structure, which has a 130-metre diameter, to maximise the concert sound quality.

During a hugely popular concert last year, towering holograms of BTS, the biggest K-pop band, flickered across the dome as the Korean stars sang with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Designed by Adrian Smith Gordon Gill Architecture, the trellis pattern of the dome is inspired by a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age ring found in the UAE.

Since the Expo ended, the dome has been open for light shows beamed on to the roof.

During the day, the shaded, landscaped interior has been used for music and theatrical performances.

For more information on events, visit the Expo City Dubai website.

Behind the scenes of Al Wasl Plaza – in pictures

Updated: October 06, 2023, 5:41 AM