Despite being delayed for a year due to the COVID-induced pandemic, Expo 2020 has spellbound every visitor for the past six months. Spread over 1,083 acres of desert in Dubai, the event has sported 192 participating countries and received more than 24 million visitors. Expo 2020 has finally closed its doors on 31st March and now when the party has wrapped up, the question is: what will happen to the sprawling Expo site? Will it become a desolate space or an unwanted place now?
The sprawling city of Dubai always comes up with something astonishing, awe-inspiring, and spectacular. Even now, the Expo 2020 site will turn into District 2020 – Dubai’s newest real estate destination, which has already caught the global investors’ attention. District 2020 will be a smart, sustainable city that will be designed in and around the Expo 2020 site, and will soon be one of the most desirable venues to live in Dubai.
Expo 2020 site to transform into District 2020…
The concerned officials and authorities have already started re-purposing the entire Expo 2020 venue – starting with the dismantling of all non-legacy structures, while 80 per cent of the total infrastructure is scheduled to turn into District 2020.
District 2020 site will boast a 45,000 sq. m. of open green spaces, filled with local plant species including Jasmine and the national tree of the UAE – Ghaf trees. Every structure is designed to be environment-friendly thus each building is fitted with solar panels.
Moreover, the buildings are designed to consume almost 50 per cent less water than conventional buildings, saving more water and electricity.
“District 2020 is a full, comprehensive city,” says Ahmed Al Khatib, chief development and delivery officer for the Expo 2020 site. It will feature homes, offices, leisure facilities, open green spaces, a mall, and a metro station. He further stated that it will also be the largest city in the world to be fully covered by a 5G-enabled network.
“Every corner you walk to, there is a different attraction,” he explains. “The parks, the landscaping, the trees — the entire thing is designed on human needs.”
The idea is for all amenities to be accessible to residents on foot in 15 minutes or less — “Like an old traditional city,” says Dina Storey, director of sustainability operations at Expo 2020.
The project is planned to have an abundance of open green spaces, making it an easily accessible mixed-use community. It will be a 15-minute city where all living and working spaces are within a travel distance of 15 minutes only.
The Sustainability Pavilion is the pinnacle of Expo’s environment-friendly vision boasting a 440 foott wide steel canopy covered with more than 1,000 solar panels and 18 “Energy Trees” around the pavilion. This set-up can generate up to 4 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year, which can supply power to around 370 homes.
In District 2020, the Sustainability Pavilion will be converted into the Terra Children and Science Centre, a museum and an educational facility.
With all these features and facilities, District 2020 will not be an exclusive residents-only community, as visitors will be welcomed to the site of Expo 2020. The venue will be oozing with community-oriented entertainment experiences and a number of other legacy structures to be retained in glory for future visitors.
When the structure will start shaping up?
After the dismantling, the new structures will be fitted out to make a base for new residents before they move in – along with a few of the legacy pavilions from the Expo 2020. All the dismantling work is scheduled to be done within 3 to 6 months, depending upon the size and complexity of each pavilion.
First tenant expected to move into District 2020 this October…
The dismantling and the new fit-out work are planned according to the earlier announcement done by the operators of District 2020, who are planning for the first tenant to move into the office space from October 2022. A few names that have already secured a place in District 2020 are Siemens, Terminus, and DP World.
Dubai South – An emerging neighbourhood around District 2020
The establishment of District 2020 will help increase the demand for properties in Dubai South and the Jebel Ali areas. According to statistics, Dubai South has already recorded a steep increase in interest from potential buyers and investors. The trend is expected to continue in the months to come for the Dubai South area.
Several companies and businesses have also started establishing their bases in Dubai South. Following the trend, a large number of schools are already open there in Dubai South, followed by world-class healthcare facilities.
Several previous world expo sites have become desolate after the event, as they were not needed by the city’s management. However, Dubai is a global city in the truest sense and has already been rapidly growing, the site of Expo 2020 will be integrated into its urban master plan. With a tenant moving into the site in October, the transformation of Expo 2020 into District 2020 is worth commendable.
We are already excited to see the transformation and appreciate another architectural marvel coming to life at the former Expo 2020 site in form of District 2020.