World Expo 2020 Dubai site readies for construction phase

Expo 2020 Dubai today released an operational update. It provides a detailed overview of its activities to date in the lead-up to the first mega-event of its kind in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Progress is underway in three key areas:
•    Site development and preparation
•    Engagement with organisations and individuals to build a global Collaborative platform
•    Commercial partnerships and outreach to potential participants

Operational Highlights

Site development:
•    Initial development of the 4.38 square kilometre site in the Dubai South district began in September 2015. To date, more than 4.7 million cubic metres of earth has been recycled and moved in preparation for the construction phase
•    In May 2016, Expo 2020 Dubai revealed its Master Plan at the Arab Media Forum

Collaborative platform:
•    11 editions of BusinessConnect events starting in September 2015 that have brought 826 businesses in contact with Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss delivering an exceptional experience and meaningful legacy, as well as areas of collaboration. There have been a total of 18 BusinessConnect sessions covering 11 different topics so far and through this and other events, conferences and forums, the Engagement team has liaised with more than 2,000 business representatives
•    Several Engagement initiatives have been launched in line with the UAE’s Youth Empowerment Strategy and the National Youth Strategy, including YouthConnect in November 2015 and the Apprenticeship Programme in April 2016, both aimed to address youth career development in the UAE. The first YouthConnect event attracted a total attendance of 800.
•    The official Expo 2020 Dubai logo was unveiled at a public launch ceremony on 28 March 2016 led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
•    Approximately 250 attendees representing 132 countries convened for the inaugural International Planning Meeting in May 2016 to discuss participation in Expo 2020
•    Expo Live is a 100 million euro programme which aims to create and accelerate the development and deployment of new solutions that encapsulate the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai’s overarching theme, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, and its three sub-theme areas of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability
•    400 business representatives gathered at the Collaborative Entrepreneurship Summit in May 2016 to identify opportunities for collaborative growth and synergies among established corporations, multinationals, and startups
•    The Expo 2020 Dubai team has 140 employees, with an approximate 50-50 gender split. Two-thirds are under the age of 40 years

Commercial partnerships:
•    Three Premier Partnerships, worth several hundred million dollars, have been announced to date including Emirates Airline in May 2016, and Etisalat and DP World in June 2016
•    Procurement is well underway. So far, more than 8,000 local and international companies have registered on Expo 2020 Dubai’s procurement portal. The  total value of all contracts and purchase orders to date is circa AED 1.95 billion
•    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up more than 3,100 of businesses registered on the portal. Of the orders to date, 320 have been awarded to SMEs. 20% of the Expo’s total direct and indirect spend, representing more than AED 5 billion in contracts, will be allocated to SMEs, both local and international

The broad outline of activity leading up to the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai is:

The Content Master Plan has been completed and strategy is being further developed to ensure a strong thematic and cultural impact of Expo 2020, promoting and demonstrating UAE thought leadership and cultural depth.
The site is being prepared for construction and designs will be finalised, including for the signature pavilions. Outreach to participating nations is currently taking place.
Engagement programmes such as Business Connect and Youth Connect are being rolled out, and the first initiative under the Expo Live programme has been launched.

2017 – 2018:
The Expo team will carry out active engagement with participating nations, while initiatives around youth and business engagement will progress. The team will also continue to reach out across the cultural landscape, including with the creative community, to generate excitement and make the connection between the mega-event and its cultural significance.
The main construction will take place and participants will build their pavilions on site.

2019 – 2020:
The site will be handed over to test Event Operations and a series of events will be held in preparation for the Expo.

On 20 October, the mega-event opens.

On 10 April, the mega-event closes, followed by a transition to the legacy phase.