Dubai exhibition’s ‘new city’ will exist for decades, says chef

This article was written by Talek Harris and Shatha Yaish at AFP:

Dubai has created a “new city” for Expo 2020 that will exist for decades, the event manager told AFP, promising that most of the vast site will remain in use after the six-month period. World Exhibition.

The purpose-built $ 7 billion showground occupies a large site on the outskirts of Dubai, with hundreds of pavilions and exhibits spanning an area twice the size of Monaco.

Expo 2020, where sustainability is one of its main themes, ends in March. But managing director Reem Al Hashimy said the lavish and largely air-conditioned development would not be wasted.

“It was never an investment to host an Expo, it was an investment to create a new city midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and truly the city of the future,” she said in an interview.

“This investment goes in a city until 2040, 2050 and beyond. In addition to this, we are also committed not to dismantle all facilities related to the Expo.

“Everything we build, a very large majority, over 90% or so, will actually stay for this future city. “

The city of the United Arab Emirates has experienced a rapid development in its growth from a small fishing colony to a large center with the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

The Expo project is connected to the Dubai Metro and is en route to the capital Abu Dhabi, the richest and most powerful of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.

– ‘We are looking to attract industries’ –

The exhibition is intended to attract millions of foreign visitors, but travel restrictions linked to the pandemic around the world will likely have a moderating effect.

And whether the 5G-enabled site thrives or languishes after the Expo, it depends on what companies can be persuaded to move there.

“Given the emphasis on technology and sustainability, we are looking to attract industries, residents who are inclined to operate in these spaces,” said Al Hashimy, who is also UAE Minister of State. for international cooperation.

“So we’re looking at some of the climate related industries or green tech industries if you will, a lot around agricultural technology. There is an interesting mix of new sectors that have emerged that we will hopefully be able to capitalize on. this Expo. “

Expo sustainability measures include Terra, a huge satellite dish-shaped construction that is powered by nearly 5,000 solar panels and recycles its own water.

There are also a number of activities on climate and biodiversity, a particularly urgent topic in the oil-rich Gulf, one of the warmest regions in the world.

“There was a real conscious decision when we presented our people and planet program to examine how Expo activities… could contribute positively,” Al Hashimy said.

“Big world events in general do not look at long-term sustainable measures,” she added.

“But as this site will remain almost in its entirety as a legacy, we are proud to be able to contribute to the broader sustainable development agenda.”