Dubai is to host the 2020 Expo it was revealed last night, marking the first time that this international celebration of business and innovation will be held in the Middle East. The theme for the 2020 Expo will be ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and an extravagant masterplan is currently under development for a site equidistant from the airports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The designs have been created by a team led by HOK / Populous.
At the centre of the site will be a covered plaza called ‘Al Wasl’ (the old name for Dubai meaning ‘The Connection) where a series of discussions and presentations will be supported by an evolving exhibition. Branching off from this core venue will be three dedicated zones representing the main topics of the Expo: Connectivity, Mobility and Sustainability.
Smooth pedestrian flow will be encouraged by placing the larger pavilions to the perimeter of the site and clustering the smaller volumes towards the centre. The layout of a traditional Arabic marketplace or ‘souk’ has provided the inspiration for this arrangement with the hope that the constant interaction between visitors will create new business connections across the nations.
A network of fully-automated underground tubes will provide connections between pavilions and support facilities, enabling services to be ‘invisible’ to the thousands of visitors attending the Expo. There are also plans to introduce a computer-controlled logistics system to aid the smooth running of the event.
Suspended above the pavilions will be a shading structure made of photovoltaic fabric as part of an initiative to generate 50% of the energy used during the Expo onsite. As the sun goes down, these swathes of fabric will be brought to life with an illuminating light show with digital projections for the enjoyment of all visitors.
Architect John Rhodes, Populous Principal said: “Dubai Expo 2020 has the potential to be one of the greatest Expo’s of all time. The masterplan design uniquely underpins and celebrates the essence of Dubai and the Expo’s core themes, Connecting People, Mobility, Opportunity and Sustainability. The place we have crafted will be an exceptional backdrop to the magic and wonder of the event. The Expo will be wonderful for the region and will be a significant legacy addition to the existing leisure, conference and cultural destination that is Dubai.”
In light of the revelation that Dubai is to host this international celebration, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has announced that a skyscraper due to break ground in 2015 will be renamed ‘Burj 2020’. Hailed as the world’s tallest commercial tower, Burj 2020 will be part of the Free Zone Business Park expansion and architects are due to be appointed in 2014.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman at DMCC said: “Few can imagine the impact the Dubai of 2020 will have on the Expo and how it will connect people, their ideas and aspirations. DMCC would like to congratulate His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the people of the UAE. We are honoured to dedicate the world’s tallest commercial tower to this historic win by naming it ‘Burj 2020’.”