A legacy can take many forms, but one of its most enduring ones is instilling a spirit of discovery, of hope and of possibility. Expo 2020 Dubai offered a glimpse of how to achieve just that. Notwithstanding macro challenges, the sprawling exhibition welcomed people from all around the world, and with them, ushered in a hope of a better tomorrow, led by a confluence of ideas, opportunities and collaborations. Expo 2020 Dubai though was as future-ready as it was present-focused. In the weeks that followed the end of the six-month event, details of its legacy were heralded – the exhibition site was to morph into a clean, human-centric and tech-enabled city.
Representing the ambition of the emirate hosting it, Expo City Dubai aims to be a bastion of progress and innovation. Having officially opened on October 1, it is part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan and retains 80 per cent of the Expo-built infrastructure. Besides hosting several of Expo 2020’s attractions such as the Al Wasl Plaza, the Garden in the Sky tower, the Surreal water feature and several pavilions, Expo City houses the Dubai Exhibition Centre as well, which will host a gamut of conferences, events and activations.
The destination will also play host to the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in November of next year. From a commercial standpoint, it aims to act as a fertile ground for businesses by offering a technology-driven ecosystem, with several companies keen to set up shop.
“Expo City Dubai will become the main facility for Siemens in Dubai. More than 200 engineers, technical experts and corporate staff will work from our building that overlooks the Al Wasl Dome. The space will also include an experience centre for customers, which we operated throughout Expo 2020 Dubai,”
says Helmut von Struve, chief executive officer of Siemens in the UAE and the Middle East.
“As the premier partner for infrastructure digitalisation at Expo 2020 Dubai, we delivered technologies that made the site a blueprint for future smart cities. Together with Expo 2020 Dubai, we selected technologies in the areas of safety and security, quality of life, sustainability and resilience. These are all key requirements for city dwellers of today, and of tomorrow, so it was an obvious choice for Siemens to choose Expo City as its new hub in Dubai,“
By offering opportunities for businesses, and beckoning guests to an array of educational, cultural and entertainment offerings, Expo City Dubai will underpin the emirate’s economic growth.
“Given sustainability, innovation, knowledge development and entertainment are clearly stated to be central to Expo City, it is not difficult to see why it will be an important generator of economic activity. It will also be connected to Jebel Ali port and the two international Dubai airports, which will help drive trade volumes and enhance the logistics sector. Commute timings in and out of Expo City means it will be a time-efficient location for many businesses looking to locate there,”
notes Sachin Kerur, managing partner, Middle East, Reed Smith.
Placing sustainability and technology at the heart of its frame, Expo City Dubai aims to personify sustainable urban planning. Besides being home to 123 LEED-certified buildings, the city will be a car-free destination, offering visitors other mobility options such as buggies, e-scooters and e-bikes.
“Siemens is a big proponent of using all forms of transportation to help achieve net zero targets and protect the environment. Siemens enables electric vehicle charging infrastructure, so we are very focused on contributing to the shift toward cleaner transportation. Making cities less reliant on vehicles has a clear benefit for people,”
says von Struve. Reflecting its eco-friendly code, Expo City Dubai will remain free of single-use plastic. And while it is beckoning people to make greener choices, its sustainability drive is being complemented on an organisational level as well.
“At Rove, sustainability is an important area of focus. We are applying all the environmental learnings acquired across other brand properties to Rove Expo 2020,”
notes Nila Pendarovski, hotel manager of Rove Expo 2020, the only hotel at Expo City Dubai.
“Initiatives include 100 per cent sustainable amenities, the usage of LED lights for reduced energy consumption, in-property waste segregation, recycling and more. Additionally, we conduct regular training sessions to increase the environmental awareness of our team.”
Ahead of its official opening, visitors were offered a preview of a few of its exhibits last month. Guests were invited to experience Alif and Terra, the mobility and sustainability pavilions as well as Garden in the Sky, outlining the first chapter of the destination’s journey. The two thematic pavilions will be joined by the Opportunity pavilion, which will become the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum later this year.
“With the re-opening of the attractions and companies establishing themselves on-site, we believe that we will see a gradual increase in visitors, starting from October,”
“Additionally, we expect that the many exciting events taking place in Dubai and across the region in the coming months, such as the World Cup, and the re-start of the exhibition schedule in Dubai Exhibition Centre, will drive an increase
Building on the momentum of Expo 2020 Dubai, Expo City Dubai aims to become the new address for innovation, education and sustainability – themes that are expected to shape the future.
News Source: Gulf Business