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Expo 2020 Dubai: Covid-19 did not affect construction work

Dubai - Most of the work was completed by October 2019 — much before the pandemic struck.

Photo: Neeraj Murali
Photo: Neeraj Murali

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Sat 16 Jan 2021, 6:14 PM

Last updated: Sat 16 Jan 2021, 6:20 PM

A major part of the construction work for the Expo 2020 Dubai pavilions was completed by October 2019 — much before Covid-19 struck, officials said on Saturday. The remaining “minor works” are all set to be completed in the first quarter of this year.

While the country’s successful Covid-19 vaccination drive offers hope, organisers of the mega event are prepared for all eventualities.

This was highlighted by the officials as they addressed a media briefing at the Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, which opens to the public on January 22.

First look: Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion opens next week

Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As far as the construction of the Expo is concerned, most of the buildings were completed by October 2019.

“Our focus continues on hosting the Expo. We have strategised for many different scenarios pertaining to Covid-19 and even otherwise. Let’s hope that with the virus vaccination, things get better.

“(Even) if it’s still the same, we already have all our strategies in place to deal with it. We are excited and confident to host the world this year.”

What’s in store at the Terra pavilion

From January 22 to April 10, visitors will be able to explore the Terra pavilion. They will get access to public spaces which include a children’s playground, gift shop, dining and more.

Terra, which means ‘Planet Earth’ in Latin, will offer an immersive journey through the wonders of the natural world. It includes an interactive walk through the roots of the forest and an insight into the laboratory of future values.

Speaking at the event, Reem Al Hashimy, Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, said: “This period of rapid, unprecedented change has brought with it a pressing need to rethink the way we exist, and is further accelerated by a global health crisis that has touched each and every individual on Earth. While 2020 may be remembered as a year that changed us forever, it also gives us an opportunity to be a catalyst for change and resolve the different challenges that humanity is faced with today.

“This remains the focal purpose of Expo 2020 Dubai and the vision of the UAE’s leadership. Our Thematic Pavilions – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability – rally the call for collective action to tackle these challenges in order to create a better future for all humanity.”

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