Int’l design firms prepare masterplan for Dubai’s Expo bid

In a clear sign of the momentum behind the UAE’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, a team of leading international architectural and design firms are preparing the masterplan for the proposed Expo 2020 site, Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali.

Upon completion, the masterplan will be included in the UAE’s bid dossier to be submitted in December 2012 to the Bureau International des Expositions, the international organisation responsible for overseeing the bidding, selection and organisation of World Expos.

This 438-hectare site will be designed as a specialised, highly-connected environment in support of the UAE’s bid to bring the Expo to the region for the first time in the event’s 160-year history. The masterplan will serve as a permanent attraction, contributing to Dubai’s long-term appeal as a premier destination for global events. Led by architecture and design consulting firm HOK, the team includes experts with significant experience in mega events, including the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Partner companies involved in the masterplan of the Expo site include Populous, an architectural and planning firm, and Arup, a specialist design, planning engineering consultancy practice. Thinkwell, an experiential design and development firm, has also been appointed to develop the entertainment masterplan to support the UAE’s bid. Under the bid theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” Thinkwell will bring the plans for Expo 2020 to life with a programme of shows, performances and events that will appeal to all generations, enhance the visitor experience and drive global tourist traffic to the Expo.

Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State and the Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, said: “The UAE’s bid to host Expo 2020 is articulated through our theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,’ reflecting Dubai’s unique ability to catalyse, facilitate, nurture and create connections that are sustainable, synergistic and beneficial. Those developing the masterplan will manifest our theme throughout the site, bringing the UAE’s natural role as a convener and connector to life for all Expo 2020 participants and visitors.”

“The masterplan for our proposed site for the 2020 World Expo will reflect the UAE’s focus on both connectivity and sustainability,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, chief executive officer of the Dubai World Trade Centre and Member of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. “We will use the latest technology to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure and ensure an entertaining, educational and seamless Expo experience for global visitors and participants, while also creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

“Working in close cooperation with our colleagues, we look forward to developing an innovative blueprint for the Expo 2020 site — and contributing to the architectural landscape of this uniquely modern city,” HOK senior vice-president Daniel Hajjar said.

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