By Sarah Townsend
District 2020 aims to fuse work with recreation, says Reem Al Hashimy
The redeveloped Expo 2020 Dubai site will offer a fresh blueprint for urban living, according to UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimy.
The organisers of the six-month event on Sunday unveiled their legacy masterplan: a two million square metre mixed-use community called District 2020.
Under the plans – revealed exclusively in this week’s print edition of Arabian Business and set to be officially unveiled at Cityscape on Monday – Expo will create a thriving new district in the Dubai South area, close to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port.
The legacy masterplan comprises 135,000 square metres of commercial space and 65,000 square metres of residential space, to be redeveloped by Expo. Further parcels of land are to be made available to third party developers in due course.
In addition, key features of the Expo site will be retained and repurposed – including the UAE Pavilion, which will become a public museum; the three thematic pavilions (Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity), which will become new cultural facilities, and the conference and exhibition centre.
District 2020 is intended to be a home for innovators, original thinkers and pioneers, creating jobs and attracting investment, Expo organisers said.
There will also be cycle and footpaths, shops and restaurants, health centres and other community facilities.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of the Dubai Expo 2020 [organisers’] Bureau, said: “Back in 2013 when we won the bid to host this great event, we set ourselves two clear objectives in line with our leaders’ vision: to stage a World Expo that would amaze the world, and build a lasting legacy with a global destination that offers a new alternative for urban living.
“High Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, instructed us to build a site for a permanent legacy and therefore we had to think of ways to capitalise on what was being built for Expo as well as for post-Expo.
“We have created District 2020 to achieve that goal. It has been a key part of our planning from the very start, not just for our legacy team but the entire Expo organisation.”
Marjan Faraidooni, senior vice-president of legacy impact and development at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “District 2020 will continue to carry forward Expo 2020’s mission of connecting people – offering a new urban experience.
“It will be at the cutting edge of modern working and living – combining places to work, rest and explore, and create an ecosystem that stimulates connections, inspires creation and drives innovation.
“It will also be among the best connected districts in the world: within an hour of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, next to what will be the world’s largest airport, the Jebel Ali Port, and with world leading digital infrastructure, including 5G.”construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.