Expo City Dubai: Al Wasl dome’s free daily shows, new fountain; all you need to know

Visitors can relive the splendour of the beating heart of Expo 2020 with novel additions and facilities



Photos by Neeraj
Photos by Neeraj
by

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 6:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 5:06 PM

Al Wasl Plaza, the beating heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai, mesmerised thousands of visitors with its grandeur and jaw dropping visual shows every night for six months during the world event.

Now, with the opening of Expo City Dubai, visitors can relive the wonder of the shows at Al Wasl Plaza for free. The projectors come alive in the evenings. Four shows are held every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The first show starts at 6.15 pm, coinciding with the Magrib call to prayer, which is the Expo City Dubai’s way of transitioning the dome from its day mode to night mode. The last show is held at 11 pm.

Named ‘Al Wasl Awakening,’ the projection show is developed by the in-house creative team at Al Wasl Plaza led by Amna Abulhoul. The show is one of the most popular and has been voted as a favourite amongst the visitors.

Additional seating areas at the Plaza

It will be good news for the visitors who like to spend time and rest at the soothing and harmonious Al Wasl dome that additional seating areas are in place to accommodate more visitors. This was done due to the massive turnout during the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Due to Al Wasl’s strategic central location on the site, guests instinctively gravitate toward it. The plaza has become a casual resting area where people congregate. It has a total seating capacity of three thousand.

The seating is more comfortable and has a clear view of the garden’s topography.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

The whole of Al Wasl Plaza is one of the most 'Instagrammable' spots in Dubai. To top it all, the new addition - a water fountain - makes it even more attractive. It has also turned out to be a favourite amongst kids.

In the coming days, visitors can expect concerts and shows from renowned artists at the giant dome.

‘A unique and unseen design’

The man behind the dome and the whole of Al Wasl Plaza is Gordon Gill, a design partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times, Gill said that they had pushed to extreme limits of technology, architecture, and engineering to bring the dome into existence. The Al Wasl dome resembles structures that were prominent in extravagant architecture in the past.

Gill said that Al Wasl Dome is the largest steel structure ever made.

A video posted by Expo City Dubai's official account shows the wonder of technology that goes into the displays.

"It is like we have jumped 50 years ahead," says one member of the creative team behind the shows. The video features the experts controlling what can be seen on the huge dome with just a touch of a finger on the tablet in their hands.

"You actually feel like you are physical touching the dome," says another. "You as an individual feel so miniscule against the structure, but have huge power over it."

The latest state-of-the-art system allows mapping of the projection on a double curved 3-dimensional surface and perfect synchronisation between light, sound, and projections.

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