Dubai’s Expo 2020 host venue will be designed by a consortium consisting of US-based architects HOK and engineering firm Arup, it was announced on Wednesday.
The two companies, who were involved in creating a blueprint for Dubai’s successful Expo bid, were selected because of their “successful involvement” with the masterplan, their detailed knowledge of the project, and relevant expertise on other mega events internationally, a statement from the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Preparatory Committee said.
The consortium will help develop the strategic and operational components of the Expo masterplan including sustainability practices, development of building, pavilions, urban design and engineering guidelines, spatial planning, public realm and landscaping, graphics and way-finding signage and overlay, event operations and facilities management.
They will also assist in transportation and pedestrian modeling, capacity assessment for utilities, infrastructure, security, logistics and environmental design practices and detailed integration of the site into the wider Dubai infrastructure, the statement said.
The contract tenure for the masterplanners will run until the completion of all requirements for the mandatory Registration Phase, which is due for approval from the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the governing body of the World Expo, by November 2015.
Reem Al Hashimy, MD of the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Preparatory Committee and director general of Dubai Expo 2020 Office, said: “Expos have been home to some of the world’s most landmark structures, from the Crystal Palace in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Dubai is committed to building on this tradition and making the entire site an experiential environment that fully embodies the essence of our theme ‘connecting minds, creating the future’.”
The host venue for the event, stretching from Dubai Trade Centre to Jebel Ali, is a 438-hectare site that includes a dedicated gated 150-hectare expo area and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone.
Site readiness activity is currently underway on the site, and full-fledged construction will begin after BIE approval is received, the statement said.
The exhibition site is designed to accommodate up to 300,000 visitors, with average week-day attendance expected at 153,000.
“The masterplan design and execution is driven by a clear vision for its legacy, integrating sustainable urban development with opportunities to foster economic and social development for the emirate, for the country and for our region,” said Helal Almarri, Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Preparatory Committee member.
In line with Dubai’s Smart City agenda, the Expo site is also being designed to serve as a prototype for ICT innovations that can deliver a unique educational and entertainment experience, the committee said.
“HOK and our consultants Arup are pleased to re-engage with this landmark project allowing us to continue on the next chapter and help in the development of a master plan that sets new precedents for hosting a global event of this type,” said Daniel Hajjar, SVP, HOK.
“Dubai Expo 2020 will ensure the site leaves behind an iconic legacy befitting of this truly generation defining event.”
Dubai, which beat rivals Ekaterinburg, Izmir and Sao Paulo to win the Expo hosting rights in November last year, will hold the six-month event from October 2020 to April 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s golden jubilee celebration.