Expo 2020 Countdown

Officials at Al Wasl Plaza’s inauguration ceremony.

Officials at Al Wasl Plaza’s inauguration ceremony.

Dubai opens Expo nerve centre Al Wasl Plaza

February 2020

Al Wasl Plaza, which will be serving as the centre of the upcoming mega Expo 2020 Dubai event, has been opened. The development of the 130-m-wide, 67.5-m-tall domed space was managed by Meraas, with the steel work for the dome trellis provided by Cimolai Rimond Middle East.

Al Wasl Plaza will be connected to the three districts based on the subthemes of Expo – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, last month inaugurated Al Wasl Plaza at the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

Speaking on the occasion, they said that under the leadership of President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE has consolidated its status as a leader in the global arena.

The country is a perfect host for Expo 2020, which will promote optimism, hope and collaboration and inspire people to work towards achieving positive change and a better future, they added.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed were briefed about Al Wasl Plaza and the preparations to welcome the 192 participating countries and millions of visitors to Expo, said the mega event’s organisers.

 They were also updated on the various phases of Expo completed in 2019 including major construction projects developed under the three sub-themes of the event. The entire project has achieved 150 million working hours and has 38,000 people currently working on site, they stated.

The two leaders later toured Al Wasl Plaza and also visited the Expo headquarters and Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, the pavilion explores the potential for buildings to be self-sustaining in water and energy, by using innovative combinations of technologies to harvest solar power and water from the air.

The pavilion, which approximately covers 25,000 sq m, has 6,300 sq m of exhibition space. It has been designed to be a net zero energy and net zero water building, which means the pavilion generates all of its own power and water needs, said the event organisers.

The pavilion has more than 1,050 solar panels arranged on its 130-m-wide canopy and on the locally-designed energy trees (e-trees) that dot the landscape and rotate to face the sun like a sunflower. These can produce four gigawatt hours of electricity per year and have the capacity to charge 890,000 mobile phones, they added.  

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