By Parag Deulgaonkar
Mega expo site will retain a 75-year solitary ghaf tree, says official
Work at the Dubai Expo 2020 site will peak in 2018 and early 2019 with an estimated 43,000 workers, an official told Arabian Business.
Construction work at the 438-hectare site is reminiscent of Dubai’s pre-2008 property boom period, when hundreds of construction cranes were visible across the emirate’s upcoming mega developments.
Despite the high-level of construction activity, the Expo 2020 team will retain a 75-year solitary ghaf tree at the huge site in Jebel Ali – which stands few metres higher than the ground level.
“From the height of the tree you can make out the amount of ground levelling we have done,” an Expo official said during a tour of the site.
Work has already started on laying stormwater, sewage and irrigation pipeline and power cables.
When asked if work will continue non-stop (24 hours) on site, the official said certain projects will be under construction at all times, without giving specific details.
He revealed work has started on the three 132/11 kilovolt (kV) substations with 45 kilometres of high-voltage (132kV) cables, each of which will be located in the three thematic pavilions – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
In April 2016, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) put the total construction cost at $114.44 million (AED420 million). The substations are expected to be ready this year.
In terms of sustainability, the official revealed that they have used the entire concrete and other components of a building that was demolished on site to build temporary roads.
“These temporary roads are in place and will provide us the logistic support,” he added.
Currently, the Expo Village site is the most active in terms of development, with a number of cranes, excavators, backhoe loaders and bulldozers visible.
The village is a residential community development providing full-time housing facilities for staff from participating countries. In November 2016, Najeeb Al Ali, executive director of the Expo 2020, said the residential areas are being built to freehold specifications and will be sold as freehold units post the six-month exhibition.
Eighty percent of the Expo site will be repurposed following the trade fair, which Dubai hopes will attract 25 million visitors during its run from October 2020 to April 2021.For all the latest 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.