On March 31st, Dubai’s Expo 2020 came to a close with an incredible closing ceremony where visitors enjoyed music and performances by local and international artists and a spectacular fireworks display. Since October 2021, the Expo 2020 Dubai site welcomed over 23 million visitors as they showcased futuristic concepts from all over the world – but what to make of these amazing and enormous pavilions now that its over?
Dubai already has it figured out! The plan is to transform the site that sits across 4.38 square kilometers into a business and residential space. Enter: District 2020.
This new development will feature four key domains: smart cities, smart logistics, smart mobility and Industry 4.0.
It will have the capacity to host around 145,000 residents and workers whilst being a community for multinational businesses and corporations. Dubai spent $8 billion USD on the Expo 2020 project and in the name of sustainability and the future, its going to be repurposed and a part of the city’s 2040 Urban Master Plan.
Moreover, the plans also plan for over 600 start ups and small businesses to be given the chance to be included in the district that should be open by October 2022.
What is interesting about this new small city, is that it will be the UAE’s first ever “15 minute city,” – which means that people will be able to walk or cycle anywhere across the district without needing to drive – which also fits in with Expo 2020’s goals: “the well being of the earth and its people.”
Sustainability is a big deal for the UAE, and the new District 2020 will include a number of mobility options for people to get around in a green way such as, an autonomous vehicle route, a cycling track and a jogging track. Shops, hospitals, and schools will just be 15 minutes away!
A large majority of the old Expo 2020 site’s structure should remain the same and the stunning Al Wasl plaza – which is the world’s biggest 360 projection dome. The Garden in the Sky, a view of the entire district will also remain with an underground deck and a cooling system for the summer.
Surreal Water will also remain as well as the Firdaus Studio which will stay as a space for creatives to record film scores, music and more.
The Alif Mobility pavilion will also be staying put and will maintain its purpose to spread its message about mobility and will host exhibitions. It will also be home to offices and will keep the world’s largest passenger lift which can carry up to 160 people at a time!
The Terra Sustainability Pavilion will also host exhibitions to promote its messages and act as a center for awareness surrounding environmental change. It will be re-imagined into a Children and Science Center also. The Dubai Exhibition Center will also remain to hold international events, concerts, ceremonies and more, and will be used as a place for world-class events.
Director at the Opportunity Pavilion Anoosha Al Marzouqi said in a statement about the transformation, “Nearly 80% of what the Expo has built will remain in legacy. While District 2020 is the name of the Expo site, it will turn into a residential and commercial community called the ‘15-minute city’ eventually.”
The country pavilions that will be remaining are the UAE pavilion, Saudi Arabia and India. Other pavilions will be taken down as the spaces are used for homes and offices.