DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Emirati officials revealed Monday plans to repurpose the Expo 2020 Dubai site, which hosted millions of visitors between October and March.
During a press conference at the on-site exhibition centre, officials announced that the property will be transformed into Dubai Expo City, an environmentally friendly urban housing business and other tenants.
“Expo City Dubai will provide everyone, families, youth, students, visitors… the opportunity to experience a rich, diverse, educational, fun and cultural attraction,” said Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer, Expo Site.
After eight years of anticipation, more than $7 billion in investment, 240 million hours of labor and six months of festivities, the pandemic-delayed United Arab Emirates World Expo has come to a close.
Chief development and delivery officer Ahmed Al-Khatib said the new city will only be accessible by pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages and bicycles.
The pavilions of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, Brussels and other countries will be preserved. Al-Khatib said that 80% of Expo 2020’s existing assets will be “retained and repurposed”.
The massive Al Wasl dome, dubbed the beating heart of Expo 2020 and attracting visitors including artists and heads of state, will also be protected.
The new development will play an integral part in Dubai’s 2040 plan to double the size of the city, championed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai effect.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Al Maktoum said that Dubai Expo City would be the hub of economic activity.