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What to expect during Expo 2020

An amazing show awaits you, launching in October 2020

05 Mar 2020, words by Ankita Bhowmick in The Guides

What to expect during Expo 2020

The World Expo of Expo 2020 is scheduled to be hosted in Dubai for more than six months, from October 2020 to April 10 2021. The mega international event can be called the world’s greatest show when it comes to its size, scale, duration and the number of visitors. The event will welcome people from all over the world and will provide a platform for them to interact and share ideas. 

The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, its site spans an area of 4.38 square kilometre and will be located in Dubai South District and will enjoy proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport. It will also have a dedicated metro station of its own and the trains will be scheduled in a way to transport 36,000 passengers per hour. 

The majority of the construction of the pavilions of the Expo 2020 has already been completed and the ones that are remaining are expected to be done by the end of this year. While construction of pavillions like that of India, Pakistan, the UK, Germany, the USA and Oman are under their way, it is being said that some of the pavilions will be retained as a part of Dubai’s legacy.

The Site

The focal point for the celebrations will be the Al Wasl Plaza which is located at the heart of the Expo 2020 site. Visitors will be seen gathering here so as to witness the celebrations and cultural events from the 192 countries participating. 

The site will feature three thematic districts based on sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. Each district will be anchored by a thematic pavilion which will also be based on subthemes. 

The pavilions will host interactive exhibitions as well as engaging content so that visitors can explore the themes in an entertaining way. The thematic districts will feature performance spaces, innovation galleries, art installations and outdoor gardens.

Crowning of Al Wasl dome

Last September witnessed a key-highlight in the construction of Expo 2020 when Al Wasl dome was lifted into its place. It was a result of elaborate planning and a complex construction process. Encircling Al Wasl Plaza that is located at the heart of the site, Al Wasl Dome will be the largest 360-degree projection surface in the world and will offer a unique experience to the millions of visitors visiting the Expo.

According to Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, “Crowning Al Wasl Dome were both incredibly exciting and one of the most challenging engineering operations in the world. Lifting such a large and heavy structure involved a huge number of variables. Something as simple as a shift in the direction of the wind or change in air temperature could have had a big impact on our calculations, so constant monitoring and reassessment was essential throughout the process.”

“It was the most exhilarating day of my entire career. We had one chance to get this right,” he added.

The crowing of the dome was a key milestone for Expo 2020, while other permanent expo-led constructions that are on track will be completed by the end of this year. The huge 22.5-metre steel crown of the dome is made up of 550 tonnes of moulded steel. It is positioned on top of the vertical trellis, with a margin of error of only 3 milimetres. The process was completed using a technique, strand-jacking. Including the structures and equipment required to lift the dome during this process, the total weight was 830 tonnes – equivalent to 600 saloon cars.

The crowing of the dome was succeeded with the help of eighteen hydraulic jacks, aided by steel lifting ropes connected to 18 freestanding temporary columns, that were used to slowly raise the curved steel crown. It was positioned directly on top of the trellis already in place 45 metres above the ground and were attached using 53 temporary connection brackets. 800 engineers and construction technicians worked throughout the night, carefully monitoring every millimetre of the process with the help of GPS indicators in order to ensure perfect alignment.

Things to do at Expo 2020

Expo 2020 has a lot to offer its guests in terms of entertainment. It will feature art, music, gastronomy, technology, architecture, to name a few.

The Al Wasl Plaza will showcase artwork and interactive installations from local as well as international artists. Guests can also enjoy a treat of the architecture and marvel at the pavilions that are built on creative and sustainable designs.

60 live shows will be featured each day at the Expo 2020 that includes operas, pop-up theatres, flash mobs, sports events and National Day celebrations.

Tickets

Single Day Ticket for adults - AED 120 (USD 33) 

Three-day Pass - AED 260 (USD 71)

Extry to the Expo is free for children up to 5 years of age and seniors aged 65 and above.

Dates

Opening Day - October 20, 2020 

Closing Date - April 10, 2021

Timings

Weekdays - 9.00am - 1.00am 

Weekends and Special Days - 10.00am - 2.00am

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