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Expo 2020 Dubai to be renovated into futuristic ‘District 2020’ after March 2022

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Transitioning into District 2020, the Expo 2020 Dubai site will live long after the event closes its doors in March 2022.

Final checks are being carried out and global stars are preparing to kick-off the launch of Expo 2020 Dubai with a glittering opening ceremony to be beamed to millions of visitors around the world.

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From October 1, 2021, to 31 March 31, 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as it brings together the planet in one place to reimagine tomorrow.

But what will happen to the vast site after the event concludes? The answer lies in District 2020, billed as a ‘city of the future’.

District 2020: A ‘lasting legacy’

District 2020 will be a new urban development in the UAE and the region that’s focused squarely on “curating a global innovation ecosystem and an integrated community lifestyle,” according to Expo organizers.

They have billed the site as “a model global community for the future that will use state-of-the-art innovation, science and sustainability to create a cleaner, safer, healthier environment to live and work.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will transform into District 2020 - a new urban development in the UAE. (Supplied)
Expo 2020 Dubai will transform into District 2020 - a new urban development in the UAE. (Supplied)

Following the six months of the World Expo, District 2020 will re-purpose 80 percent of the Expo’s build environment into an integrated mixed-use community that will continue to attract businesses and people to work, live, visit and enjoy.

As the future of the Expo 2020 Dubai development, District 2020 will evolve into a smart and sustainable mixed-use community built with human centricity at its core. Post event, the transformation will include residential areas, green spaces, co-working spots and smart mobility.

This smart city will reveal its blueprint at its ‘Future of Expo 2020’ experience hub, in which visitors will be able to see the vision behind how the mega-event will evolve into the future and how it will play a key role in the sustainable urban development of Dubai.

Post-Expo, District 2020 aims to cater to a population of 145,000 at full capacity.

Some countries have donated their purpose-built pavilions to Expo to be used by Dubai post-event.

Luxembourg, for example, has allowed its sustainability-focused pavilion - which will serve as an incubator for rethinking challenges around natural resources - to remain permanently as part of the future city of District 2020.

A smart city for all

Fueled by cross-industry collaboration, District 2020 will contribute to the growth of Dubai’s innovation economy through a focus on four key growth industries and disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and blockchain.

The innovation ecosystem will provide “a work and lifestyle environment that will constantly evolve to cater to the changing needs of its future workers and residents,” according to Expo organizers. “As a community destination, District 2020 will welcome visitors and encourage residents to come together and enjoy the various attractions and spaces within the ecosystem, promoting a balanced lifestyle and personal wellbeing.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will transform into District 2020 - a new urban development in the UAE. (Supplied)
Expo 2020 Dubai will transform into District 2020 - a new urban development in the UAE. (Supplied)

A sustainable city

Sustainability will also be at its core as part of Dubai’s plans to become a “greener economy.”

The city will focus on reusing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold and Platinum-certified buildings, erected for the Expo, as part of its plans for an integrated mixed-use community.

District 2020 will also feature the “Service Station of the Future,” a sustainable and technologically advanced concept realized by ENOC, the official energy partner of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Located at the Expo 2020 site, it is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified service station in the world, with design inspired by the ghaf tree. The service station’s canopy comprises 37 tons of carbon fiber – a light, eco-friendly material five times lighter and three times stronger than steel.

Solar photovoltaic panels and a 25-meter wind turbine will power the service station, which will also recycle water and produce drinking water for onsite staff by converting humidity in the air into water molecules.

Expo 2020 Dubai runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”
Expo 2020 Dubai runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

Advance machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies will provide customized service and retail offerings for those fueling up and will help keep queuing/wait times as short as possible. Charging for electric vehicles is also available.

The Service Station of the Future will serve the entire Expo 2020 fleet ahead of and during the six months of Expo 2020 and will subsequently serve members of the public at District 2020, as part of Expo’s lasting sustainable legacy after its doors close on 31 March 2022.

Global business hub

Dubai aims to provide opportunities to stakeholders in key sectors, including Fortune 500s, SMEs, startups, entrepreneurs and innovators with programs such as Scale2Dubai.

District 2020 has already attracted some of the world’s leading industrial, tech and logistic giants, including Siemens, Terminus and DP World.

Startups and small businesses enrolled with Scale2Dubai will have the opportunity to collaborate with large corporations, government entities, accelerators and universities at District 2020. They will also have access to venture capitalists and funding entities to support their growth plans.

Shanghai-based investment and incubation company Atlas Capital Holding has also announced it is building a blockchain campus in District 2020 after Expo 2020 Dubai.

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