Infrastructure work on the Dubai Expo 2020 site is set to begin this summer, the director general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau Reem Al Hashimy confirmed on Monday.
Major construction on the site is anticipated to be completed around a year ahead of the Expo’s opening ceremony, which will take place on October 20, 2020.
However, participating countries building their own pavilions will have time until four months ahead of the opening, Al Hashimy added.
Expo 2020 plans to host over 180 nations, from Africa, Asia, Europe, Australasia and the Americas.
Also see: Video: Dubai’s Expo 2020 masterplan
Located in Jebel Ali, the 438-hectare Expo 2020 site will be part of a new city with its own infrastructure, facilities and services.
The exhibition area within the site will include a 2 sqkm Al Wasl meeting plaza at the centre which will branch outwards into pavilions under the three sub-themes of ‘opportunity, mobility and sustainability’.
The overall project will also feature an Expo village – to provide housing to staff. It will also be linked to airports and will also include a dedicated transport network.
Al Hashimy stressed that the project will have specific standards in areas like sustainability and environmental protection, including a public commitment to using 50 per cent renewable energy on the Expo site over the period of operation.
With 1,575 days until the six-month long event – which is expected to attract around 25 million visitors – the Expo project is “progressing on schedule,” she said.
Al Hashimy also said that she expected the private sector to play a major role in the project.
In the last two months, Expo 2020 Dubai has signed up three premier partners – Emirates Airline, Etisalat and DP World in a series of deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The event will also help facilitate opportunities for small and medium enterprises, she said.
Earlier this month, Expo 2020 Dubai signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Dubai SME, and Tejari to help broaden access for SMEs in the emirate to tender for opportunities offered by the mega event.
Expo 2020 Dubai is also cooperating with the economy ministry to support SMEs, she added.