And those stunning gigantic entry gates are staying…

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has just announced that the legacy project on the Expo 2020 site, now known as Expo City Dubai (formally — District 2020) is scheduled to open on October 1, 2022.

Speaking at a special ceremony to mark the announcement, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “Brothers and Sisters… after the historical success of Expo 2020 Dubai, which was visited by more than 24 million visitors, and which left an indelible mark in the 170-year history of World Expositions…”

“Today we announce the transformation of the exhibition site into Expo City Dubai, a city that represents the most beautiful ambitions of Dubai.”

What familiar sights can we expect to see at Expo City Dubai?

This, what has been described as a ‘tech-enabled city of the future’ will retain and expand some of Expo 2020’s most exciting and engaging pavillions. It will also feature special leisure facilities, an appropriately vibrant dining scene, entertainment venues, sports facilities and, obviously, a mall.

Also hanging about for the legacy launch are the stunning Al Wasl Plaza set up; the giant rotating Garden in the Sky observation tower; and the ultimate influencer trap —  the Surreal water feature. And, thankfully, those giant iconic chainlink gates will not be going anywhere — don’t mind confessing that the idea of walking through them again is bringing a little mist to the eye.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Expo 2020 Dubai (@expo2020dubai)

Which Pavillions are staying?

In terms of Pavillions — we’ll get another opportunity to enjoy Alif (the Mobility Pavilion) and Terra (the Sustainability Pavilion), with enhanced interactive educational experiences.

Then, a little later on, following a comprehensive engineering makeover, the Opportunity Pavilion will open as the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum – tasked with telling the history of the world-charming Expo phenomenon, as well as celebrating the successes of the unqiuely popular Dubai edition of the event.

The Woman’s Pavilion will also stay — championing those ambassadors of the feminine spirit, along with the Vision Pavilion which gives a stage to the remarkable mind and insight of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


Country Pavillions

Visitors to Expo City Dubai will still be able to access the emblematic falcon of the UAE Pavilion, and that slanting shard of mirrored future — the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion. We also know that reworked, remixed and refrehed versions of Luxembourg, Australia, Pakistan, India, Morocco, Egypt and others are on the way, with details on exactly what form they’ll take expected to be announced soon.

Hard pass

And you won’t even have to live there to relive all that warm and fuzzy Expo nostalgia — details of a new Pavillion pass, giving you access to the revamped attractions will be announced in the coming weeks. No word yet on whether that will include the return of the people’s favourite, the Yellow Expo Passport et stamps.

A green city

Expo City Dubai is set to score highly on the eco-credentials too — featuring a full single-use plastic ban and the colossal sustainability achievement in the retention of 80 per cent of the original buildings.

The development will also be the first ‘WELL-certified’ community in the region, a status that recognises the prioritisation of health and wellness. Inside — you can expect a focus on pedestrians, buggies and bikes with running and cycling tracks thoroughout. Cars will be prohibited from the interior of the city.

In good company

If you’ve thought about maybe moving your own business there, you’ll be in good company. Developers have already confirmed that DP World and Siemens, as well as many other, will be making Expo City Dubai their new headquarters.

And what about the transport links?

In addition to the well-linked road network, the Metro connection will of course also be staying.

Speaking about the importance of the project, Sheikh Mohammed also said: “Expo City Dubai will be an environmentally-friendly city, one friendly to families, to the economy, and to 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. A city in which the magic of Expo will live on: Al Wasl will continue to shine, the waterfall will continue to delight, and the UAE, Alif and Terra pavilions will continue to fascinate visitors of all ages.”

“This new city will be home to an extraordinary 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, and one which continues to bring joy to our children, our families, and all those we love.”

Images: Getty