When Expo 2020 came to a close, the prevalent question across the UAE was, “what’s going to happen to the Expo site?” Well, rest assured, there was always a comprehensive plan in place. The venue has been transformed into a large-scale, human-centric community — Expo City Dubai — that will carry forward the legacy and spirit of Expo 2020. In this guide, we take a look at everything we know about Expo City Dubai so far.
Expo City starts welcoming visitors
Expo City was partially opened to the public on September 1st, 2022. The complete launch will take place on October 1st, 2022.
The site’s relaunch will take place in phases. During the initial opening of the legacy site, guests can visit Terra (The Sustainability Pavilion) and Alif (The Mobility Pavilion).
Alif takes you on a mesmerising journey through time, highlighting the evolution of mobility from the throes of the past to innovations for the future.
Terra visualises the impact people have on the environment and the need to adopt sustainable practices to save the planet.
As per initial announcements, the Garden in the Sky was supposed to open to the public along with the Sustainability and Mobility Pavilions; however, the attraction is temporarily closed for now.
Other popular Expo attractions such as Surreal (the famous water feature), the Women’s Pavilion, the Vision Pavilion and children’s playgrounds will all open on October 1st, 2022. It is also expected that some other pavilions, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, will reopen later.
As per the Expo City Dubai official website, ticket prices for Terra and Alif start at AED 50 per pavilion. These pavilions are free for kids under 12 and People of Determination. However, they do need to pick up the free passes at any ticketing booth.
One Day Pass
Come October 1st 2022, visitors to Expo City Dubai can take advantage of a new one day pass. For AED 120, you can visit at least four pavilions at the repurposed site. The price of individual pavilions is AED 50 each.
The pass will allow entry to Mobility, Terra, Sustainability and Alif pavilions as well as Women’s and Vision pavilions.
New attractions are expected to be added to the pass as they open to the public.
The mentioned tickets are available for purchase online via the Expo City website. You can also buy them from the four box offices on site.
- Attraction timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
- Booked school groups: 09:00 am to 06:00 pm
Focusing on innovative, cutting-edge technology, Expo 2020 Dubai inspired a collective action that caters to the world’s most critical challenges. This year’s most future-forward global extravaganza featured 192 countries and organisations with one common goal — connecting, collaborating, celebrating and inspiring innovation.
Each country had a pavilion in line with one of the three themes of Expo 2020: Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility. The Expo 2020 pavilions served as a catalyst offering visitors a taste of each country’s art, architecture and culture.
The World’s Greatest Show, Expo 2020, wrapped up on 31st March 2022. And now, the site is ready to evolve into Expo City Dubai.
EXPO CITY 2020 – THE FUTURE OF EXPO 2020
Expo City Dubai will be a smart city that retains 80% of the Expo 2020 Dubai site. It will offer a tech-focused way of living, with green spaces, co-working spots, residential areas and more.
Let’s learn more about the new area and what working or living in the community holds in store.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
In a series of tweets, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, outlined the future plan for the Expo 2020 site.
“After the historical success of Expo 2020 Dubai, visited by more than 24 million visitors, left a mark in the 170-year history of world expositions, today we announce the transformation of the exhibition site into Expo City Dubai, a new city that represents the ambitions of Dubai”, H.H. stated
“Expo City Dubai will be an environmentally friendly city that caters to families and future generations. A city connected to a port and two airports, and also to beautiful memories in the hearts and minds of millions of people,” he added.
It was confirmed that some iconic spots and a few pavilions would also remain.
“The magic of Expo will continue. Al Wasl Dome will remain, the Expo waterfall will remain, and the pavilions will remain: the Emirates, Alif and Terra. This new city will be home to a new museum, a world-class exhibition centre and the headquarters of cutting-edge and fast-growing companies. It will continue to host the pavilions of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and others. It will be a city that embodies the dreams of every city”, said H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
WORKING IN EXPO CITY DUBAI
The community will have a specially curated ecosystem to encourage innovation and inter-business partnerships. The facility will also organise conferences and industry events year-round to foster economic growth.
LEASABLE OFFICE SPACES
Expo City Dubai will provide leasable commercial spaces for small businesses and global companies. Designed to foster collaboration, these will include offices and co-working spaces. Aside from businesses, the facilities will be suitable for innovation labs and R&D centres.
There will be high-rise buildings with courtyards. And you will spot relatively smaller buildings. The commercial office spaces have been designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. From Fortune 500 companies to local startups, you will find the top corporates operating in the area.
For instance, Siemens, the German technology giant, is already working towards opening an office in the community and moving hundreds of staff.
A TECH-FRIENDLY WORK ENVIRONMENT
Expo City Dubai will provide a flexible, tech-enabled environment for your employees with 5G and IoT technologies and calming outdoor spaces.
COMPETITIVE FREE ZONE STRUCTURE
Expo City Dubai will have a competitive free zone structure to help innovation-driven businesses test their ideas or run pilot projects. The authorities have not yet released the major details of this agile framework.
LIVING IN EXPO CITY DUBAI
CONNECTED, HUMAN-CENTRIC COMMUNITY
Expo City Dubai will be ideal for ambitious professionals and families who wish to work and live in one place, maintaining a solid work-life balance. The facilities and amenities in the Expo City Dubai residential areas will include these.
- Retail strips
- F&B outlets
- Vehicle routes to offices
- Pedestrian walkways
- Cycling tracks
Aimed at facilitating human health, Expo City Dubai will be the first area to be registered under the cutting-edge WELL community standard pilot. It will have these features.
- 5km of jogging pathways
- 10km of bike tracks
- Gardens and parks
The community is being built with Dubai’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 in consideration.
The new community will offer many apartments for those seeking housing in Dubai. Here are the options.
- One to two-bedroom loft apartments with courtyards
- Modern studios to two-bedroom flats
- Affordable co-living apartments
If you want to live closer to the futuristic community, check out the most popular residential areas near Expo 2020 site in Dubai.
Investors searching for lucrative investment opportunities may consider the highest ROI areas near the Expo 2020 site.
Expo City Dubai will promote seamless mobility in Dubai, offering smart shuttles and public transport services. The area will be entirely pedestrian-friendly. All in all, transport to Expo 202 will be convenient.
A CULTURAL AND SOCIAL DESTINATION
Residents and visitors will have plenty of opportunities to have fun at Expo City Dubai! There will always be something going on, from iconic attractions like Terra or Al Wasl Plaza to community-orientated events!
EXPLORING EXPO CITY DUBAI
AL WASL PLAZA – EXPO CITY DUBAI’S VISUAL MARVEL
The world’s largest 360-degree laser projection, Al Wasl Plaza, will host numerous live concerts and outdoor performances in Expo City Dubai.
DUBAI EXHIBITION CENTRE (DEC) – A HUB FOR EVENTS
Business professionals, entrepreneurs, and social butterflies can look forward to the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) events. It will play host to regular events and conferences.
TERRA – A WELL-ROUNDED SCIENCE CENTRE FOR CHILDREN
The Sustainability Pavilion would turn into Terra, a holistic science centre for budding Einsteins. For now, the pavilion continues to exhibit its Under the Ocean and Under the Forest theme displays that serve as an educational journey spelling out the growing need for adopting sustainable lifestyles.
ACCESS TO THE REST OF DUBAI
The community will be connected to the entire city via three key highways and the Dubai Metro station, EXPO 2020, which is part of the newly launched Route 2020.
EXPO CITY DUBAI’S INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
The community will serve as a growth catalyst by offering opportunities for leading companies and small businesses.
The community will focus on four growth sectors: Smart Logistics, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities and Smart Mobility. This will set a precedent for a more innovative and sustainable city.
- Smart Mobility: Technology-driven mobility apps and solutions
- Smart Logistics: Smart solutions that enable an effective network of traceable goods
- Industry 4.0: Accelerating the growth of computer-generated manufacturing systems to meet real-time challenges and demands
- Smart Cities: Sustainable and intelligent urban spaces
Expo City Dubai will support the creation of future smart cities. It will employ the most advanced technologies across key industries, including the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.
Expo City Dubai will bring academic institutions, research and development centres, incubators and accelerators together to instigate the exchange of ideas and knowledge, resulting in transformative progress.
The Urban Lab will be a reliable resource for businesses testing pilot projects and releasing products before they are on the market.
EXPO CITY DUBAI’S SCALE2DUBAI PROGRAMME
Scale2Dubai is an inclusive global entrepreneur programme for both regional and international applicants. Startups or small businesses planning to scale their operations in Dubai or the MENA region can apply for this ambitious programme.
Selection will be based purely on merit. However, priority will be given to businesses in line with Expo City Dubai’s key sectors, vision or technologies. The programme will help small enterprises build strong roots within the UAE market.
In the first cohort, 85 startups took part in the scheme. For further details, visit the official Expo City Dubai website.
BENEFITS OF SCALE2DUBAI
Scale2Dubai will offer these benefits.
- Two years of free workspace
- Two-year visa
- Business set-up
- Community lifestyle
- Two years of subsidised urban living
- Access to special rates (for service providers)
- Social and networking event calendar
EXPO CITY DUBAI’S TIMELINE
Here’s the community’s timeline.
- 2020: Expo City Dubai continues to create its innovation ecosystem
- 2021: Expo 2020 Dubai begins
- 31st March 2022: Expo 2020 draws to a close
- April – October 2022: Expo 2020 starts transforming into Expo City Dubai
- September and October 2022: The community starts to welcome tenants, residents, workers and visitors
Here is the contact information of the community’s corporate office.
- Location: Expo Road, Dubai South, Jebel Ali
- Timings: Monday to Thursday: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm | Friday from 08:30 to 12:30 pm
- Contact: +971-4-555-2020
FAQS ABOUT EXPO 2020 CITY
CAN I VISIT THE EXPO CITY TODAY?
Yes, you can, but please remember that even though the site is open to the public, there aren’t too many attractions at the moment. You can, however, visit the Alif and Terra pavilions after buying your tickets.
The opening of Expo City will take place in phases and new attractions will be available as and when they are reopened/inaugurated.
WHAT DO I DO IF I CANNOT WALK LONG DISTANCES IN EXPO CITY?
That’s not a problem. You can hail one of the transfer shuttles and easily get from one place to another.
WHICH EXPO 2020 ATTRACTIONS WILL REMAIN AFTER THE EVENT?
After Expo 2020, the site will become a “15-minute city” that residents can cycle across within the mentioned timeframe. The aim is to turn the existing venue into an inspirational place.
Here are some of the spaces and pavilions that will remain.
- Al Wasl Centrepiece: Described as the crown jewel of the event, the steel trellis structure will continue to serve as a performance platform for global stars.
- Sustainability Science Pavilion: This solar-run facility shall remain a children’s science centre.
- Mobility Pavilion: This flexible structure that attracted millions of visitors will remain and house offices.
- UAE’s Falcon-theme Pavilion: The UAE Pavilion will stay on as a visitor’s attraction.
- Saudi’s Window on the World: The second largest pavilion will stay on, and people can use the six-storey structure.
- Gravity-defying Water Illusion: One of the most popular hotspots of the event, this incredible marvel shall remain after the event.
- Garden in the Sky: Visitors will still be able to take a bird’s eye view of the area long after the show is over.
- Exhibition Area: This area will be used for concerts, conferences, award ceremonies, weddings and exhibitions.
- Recording Studio: Directors and musicians will use the space to record albums, film scores and multimedia projects.
- Bike Trails: The biking and jogging trails will be extended as part of the new community.
While Expo 2020 site had limited timings, we now will have a “24-hour neighbourhood”.
WHEN CAN YOU MOVE TO EXPO CITY DUBAI?
The area will be ready for move-in from October 2022 onwards. If you are considering moving to the area, you can look at the residential areas near Route 2020.
WHERE IS THE COMMUNITY’S CORPORATE OFFICE BASED CURRENTLY?
The corporate office is based on Expo Road in Dubai.
WHAT HAPPENS TO EXPO PAVILIONS AFTER EXPO 2020?
Will any of the pavilions from Expo 2020 stay at Expo City Dubai? Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Australia, Pakistan, India, Morocco and Egypt pavilions are expected to return.
That brings an end to our guide on Expo City Dubai. We hope you’re excited by the prospect of this smart, human-centric city in Dubai. It will play a vital role in accelerating the sustainable developments of the UAE.
If you want to know about other futuristic communities, read up on Dubai Future District, which is expected to lay the foundation for a new Dubai.
Aside from this upcoming community, the usage of renewable energy is intrinsic to the country’s sustainability goals. Here are the primary sources of renewable energy in the UAE.
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Cover Image is courtesy of Expo City Dubai’s official website.