Emirati officials announce new plans for world’s fair site

support independent journalism donate

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Emirati officials Monday revealed plans to repurpose the Expo 2020 site in Dubai that received millions of visitors between October and March.

At a press conference at the site’s exhibition center, officials announced the property would be transformed into Expo City Dubai, an environment-friendly city housing businesses and other tenants.

“Expo City Dubai will offer everyone, families, youth, students, tourists … opportunities to experience rich, diverse, educational, fun and cultural attractions,” said Marjan Faraidooni, chief experience officer at the Expo site.

The pandemic-delayed world’s fair in the United Arab Emirates closed after eight years of anticipation, over $7 billion in investment, 240 million hours of labor and six months of festivities.

The new city will be accessible only by pedestrians, buggies and bicycles, said Ahmed Al-Khatib, chief development and delivery officer.

The pavilions of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, Brussels and others will be preserved. Al-Khatib said 80% of the existing assets of Expo 2020 will be “retained and repurposed.”

The gigantic Al Wasl dome, known as the beating heart of Expo 2020 that attracted visitors including artists and heads of state, will also be preserved.

The new development will play an integral role in the 2040 plan advocated by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to double the size of the city.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Al-Maktoum said Expo City Dubai will be a hub for economic activity.