The pavilions for some participant countries at the Expo 2020 Dubai site have reached above-ground level, as the emirate prepares to host the mega six-month event, organisers announced on Monday.
The buildings are the first structures to reach above-ground level.
Construction across the 4.38 square kilometre site is progressing on track, Expo 2020 Dubai said in a statement.
Expo 2020’s three theme districts – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, will contain a total of 136 pavilions for countries, NGOs and commercial partners.
Those being constructed by Expo are to be rented. Dozens of other ‘self-built’ country pavilions will be erected outside the theme districts.
The pavilions will house a wide range of exhibits and experiences and every building in the theme districts will meet at the least the LEED Gold standard for sustainability.
During Expo, the completed basements will become an underground rail and road network, supporting logistics to ensure pavilions, shops, restaurants and cafes are restocked and cleaned throughout the day.
Work on the districts began in March after Dubai-based Al Futtaim Carillion was awarded an Dhs2.2bn contract.
Ahmed Al Khatib, vice president of Real Estate and Delivery at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “The first superstructure – buildings that have reached above-ground level – to emerge in the theme districts marks a key milestone in our journey to Expo 2020.
“We are making great progress in the construction and marking this milestone already means we are right on schedule.”
The pace of development across the Expo site is “accelerating” since the main construction phase is underway, the statement said.
At least 17 kilometres of logistics roads have been constructed – using recycled concrete – to allow equipment and materials to access the site.
Infrastructure work is also moving ahead, with three DEWA substations near completion.
Twelve tower cranes are operating at the Expo site, with a further 10 to be erected in the coming months.
Each week, 6,100 cubic metres of concrete is poured on to the site.
All heavy construction at the Expo site will be completed by October 2019, a year before the Expo opens on October 20, 2020.
Al Khatib added: “We already have 17 different projects underway and more will be coming on stream in the next few months, particularly from April 2018, when participant nations begin to take over their plots and start constructing their pavilions.”
Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
More than 200 international participants including countries, companies, NGOs and educational institutions are set to take part, while about 70 per cent of the 25 million visits forecast will come from outside the UAE.