Expo 2020 Dubai site to be delivered this year
Despite the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai until next year the event site remains on target for completion before the end of 2020.
The six-month world fair, a milestone for the United Arab Emirates, has cost US$8.2 billion to develop, but, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, has been postponed from October this year to October 2021.
Nonetheless, grappling with the complexities of rescheduling the event, the organisers are intent on delivering the main buildings of the Expo by the original start date.
Advising that a number of Expo pavilions have “reached a very final stage” in construction, Expo Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Ahmed Al Khatib told Arabian Business this week "of course, the impact of COVID-19 has affected the logistics and the processes of delivering some of the remaining works.
“(But) work continues and some of the pavilions have actually reached a very final stage. 2020 is the year of delivery.”
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, Dubai had hoped the largest event ever staged in the Arab world - billed as the ‘World's Greatest Show’ and showcasing dozens of pavilions among the 192 participating countries.’ - would attract some 25 million visitors.
Now, when complete, the 450 hectare site will be mothballed until its 2021 opening.
With a lavish promotional campaign featuring superstars such as Lionel Messi, Dubai hopes the Expo will be a lifeline for the property, tourism and trade sectors, after years of malaise in the region which has now been aggravated by the global coronavirus-induced slowdown.
Expo Chief Engagement Officer Manal AlBayat said the postponement approved in May by the governing Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) had no impact on the "commitment to deliver an Expo that inspires the world".
However, as the timeline stretches out, putting pressure on budgets, it has led to layoffs among staff that once thronged the air-conditioned temporary buildings on site.
Measures to contain the Coronavirus pandemic forced Dubai - which attracted 16.7 million visitors last year - to close its doors in March. It is aiming to reopen ahead of the start of the tourist season in September, when the summer heat dissipates.
Like the Tokyo Olympics, the Expo will be keeping its 2020 name and logo, which is emblazed on everything from billboards to aircraft.
Image: An aerial concept of the Expo precinct.
6th May 2020 - One-year postponement confirmed for Expo 2020 Dubai
30th April 2020 - Dubai aims to welcome back visitors from July
9th April 2020 - Coca-Cola Arena launches campaign to engage Dubai’s community
2nd April 2020 - Expo 2020 Dubai considers postponement to next year
25th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics postponed to 2021
24th January 2020 - Opening of world’s tallest observation wheel to coincide with Expo 2020 Dubai
22nd January 2020 - Under Armour Turf Games announces inaugural Dubai City Series
6th November 2019 - Dubai venue to host 100% environmentally sustainable rock concert
19th September 2019 - Emaar Entertainment to launch ekart attraction at Dubai Mall
24th April 2019 - World’s tallest observation wheel to be ready for Expo 2020 Dubai
17th April 2019 - Dubai Tourism looks to develop live entertainment industry
5th April 2019 - New Dubai Arena to be ‘game changer’ for UAE
16th January 2019 - Dubai Parks and Resorts attracts almost 2.8 million visits in 2018
29th May 2018 - Dubai spends US$42.5 billion on mega projects ahead of Expo 2020
13th October 2016 - Authorities plan to reuse more than 80% of Dubai Expo 2020 site
23rd June 2015 - UAE leisure sector to attract 45 million visitors by 2021
4th December 2013 - After Expo 2020, Dubai considers 2024 Olympics bid
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