Expo site on track for on-time completion

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Expo site on track for on-time completion
An artist's illustration of the Dubai Expo 2020 site in Jebel Ali.

dubai - Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tours Expo site on Monday


Issac John

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Published: Mon 26 Sep 2016, 7:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 26 Sep 2016, 9:59 PM

On-time completion of Dubai Expo 2020 infrastructure and associated facilities will help organisers of the world's largest trade event to put in place final arrangements well ahead of the arrival of exhibitors from more than 180 countries, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said on Monday.

During a tour of the Expo 2020 site near the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, Shaikh Mohammed urged members of the organising committee to exercise patience, positivity and optimism every morning so as to deliver success in their mission.

Shaikh Mohammed was accompanied by Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; and Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, besides committee members.

During a meeting with the committee, Shaikh Mohammed said he has absolute confidence in them and the team, which is toiling hard with "complete co-ordination, positivity and strong determination to make Expo Dubai a unique and unparalleled experience."

He praised the Expo team that is "outperforming other event organisers in areas of organisation, reception, hospitality and promotion and marketing within the UAE, the region and the world at large."   

The target of the Expo 2020 team is to complete all infrastructure work by October 2019 to ensure that the first mega-event of its kind in the region, which is expected to draw 25 million visitors and more than 200 potential participant countries, will be a resounding success.

The first infrastructure package of Dubai Expo, which is one of four packages totalling Dh1.3 billion, is due to commence shortly and will be completed by April 2018 so that participants can begin work on their respective pavilions in the same month.

The project involves early works to support the development of the Expo Village where participants will reside during the period of the Expo. Other elements include systems for sewage, water, electricity and telecom cabling, according to Expo 2020 officials.

Early works on the 4.38 square kilometre site in the Dubai South district began in September 2015. To date, more than 4.7 million cubic metres of earth has been moved ahead of the main construction phase - enough sand to fill about 1,800 Olympic swimming pools, they said.

The second package will go to tender shortly and will include the deep infrastructure for the gated area of the site. The third and final infrastructure package will include the surface road network.

According to the Expo 2020 team, the design phase for aspects, including the public realm, specialist site-wide elements, and the three Thematic Districts is well under way - an effort led by a team of both international and local consultants. In addition, major procurement packages will be awarded in 2016 to support the development of the Exhibition Centre and Shade Structure.

"Ongoing planning and procurement of the construction and site-wide logistics continues to ensure the site will be ready for participants to begin work on their respective pavilions beginning in April 2018," organisers said.

According to Ahmed Al Khatib, vice-president of real estate for Expo 2020 Dubai: "The Expo site has been designed to deliver a memorable experience for all visitors that will embark on a journey of discovery and leave them inspired to contribute to the common vision of our shared future. Work on the site is progressing well as per our schedule."

- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

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