Expo 2020 Dubai prepares to award next round of contracts

The organisers said major construction was on track to be finished in October 2019



The organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai are preparing to award contracts related to parks and other works with construction now well underway

In a May, update expo team released a video showcasing progress at the 4.38sqkm event site including a growing number of structures rising out of the desert.

Read: Video: Expo 2020 Dubai site takes shape

Expo 2020 senior vice president for real estate and delivery Ahmed Al Khatib told Gulf Business it was important to “wait for the right opportunity to award certain contracts”, especially those that risked being damaged by ongoing construction and logistics activities at the site.

“As the majority of Expo 2020-built construction contracts have now been awarded, this year we will award contracts for Expo’s public realm and parks – two packages that are integral to the overall presentation of the site,” he said.

“With less than 850 days to go until the start of Expo 2020, we feel that 2018 is the right time for these works to begin.”

The organisers awarded Dhs10.8bn ($2.94bn) of construction contracts last year and Dhs411m ($111.8m) of non-construction contracts.

Dubai government entities have also awarded contracts and completed works related to roads, metro and electricity infrastructure since the start of 2018.

Read: Dubai’s RTA awards $370m of road contracts for Expo 2020

Read: Dubai’s RTA completes tunnel-drilling works of Route 2020

Construction on track

Elsewhere, the event’s merchandising and licensing programme is now well underway with the first of about 70 licensees selected to create branded products from a list of 5,000 items.

Among those chosen under the food and beverage category are Emirati SMEs Karam Coffee and Mirzam, an artisan chocolate maker.

Al Khatib said work at the Expo site remained “on track” to finish major construction a year ahead of the event itself, which runs from October 20 until April 10, 2021.

“Our Real Estate and Delivery team is on course to finish major construction by October 2019, leaving plenty of time to spare for testing and other event operation preparation.”

Around 180 countries are expected to participate in the 2020 world expo, which will be the first where all the participating countries have their own pavilion.

Read: Luxembourg becomes first country to break ground on Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion

The organisers describe the event as the biggest “ever to be staged” in the Arab World, with plans to attract 25 million visitors between October 2020 and April 2021.

Of these, 70 per cent are expected to come from outside the UAE, while it ishoped citizens and residents will visit more than once.

They may be helped on the international front by recent changes to the UAE’s transit visa system, allowing anyone passing through the country’s airports to visit for 48 hours regardless of nationality.

The visa can be purchased at passport control halls across UAE airports and extended for up to 96 hours for Dhs50 ($14).

Read: Dubai lures transit passengers with airport experience