Slip on your walking shoes: Dubai Expo 2020 will be pedestrian-only

Planners studied the site and have organised autonomous vehicles to transport visitors of the world fair

Spending on Dubai Expo 2020 is forecast to stimulate the UAE's economy in 2018 and beyond. Expo 2020
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The Dubai Expo 2020 site will be a pedestrian-friendly zone with accessibility for all at the heart of the project, the senior vice president of real estate and delivery said on Wednesday.

“Accessibility on the expo site is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Our planning is based on this. We have changed and improved the master plan 24 times,” said Ahmed Al Khatib.

The main site will be a combustion engine free zone with bicycles and autonomous vehicles on hand to transport visitors of the world fair.

“We will have people mover systems for all types of users. We will also have around 10km of cycling paths,” said Mr Al Khatib.

He said planners mapped the arrival gates and entrances to pavilions to remove the need for motorised vehicles within the main expo site.

“For the whole expo there will be no cars, it’s all pedestrianised areas. It will be very easily accessible to everything. We have studied the whole expo site very well, we studied the walking distances, the shading, accessibility for different type of users. Not only that we looked at it from the children’s perspective and for the elderly as well,” said Mr Al Khatib.

An expo team also attended the world fair in Milan last year to examine and observe how visitors travelled around the site.

“They checked crowd management and the visitor experience from the time people arrive through the gates to entering the pavilions to better understand the site usage,” he said.

Since mobility is key to the Expo 2020, access for all was built into the master plan, Mr Al Khatib said.

Infrastructure work is currently under way at the expo site in Dubai South, which will feature a massive dome, fountains and parks with three central pavilions on the themes of sustainability, opportunity and mobility.


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Renewable energy is also central to the world fair site with plans for a solar panel canopy on the pavilions and water from sinks and showers will be reused for irrigation.

An extension of the Dubai Metro Red Line to connect the site to Jebel Ali — Lehbab road is also under way as well as the construction of three power plants on the 4.38-square kilometre site that will house an expo village and logistic support.