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Culture at heart of Dubai Expo legacy plans as government unveils District 2020

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Dubai has revealed its legacy plans following the 2020 World Expo, announcing plans to turn the site into a multi-use urban leisure district following the six-month event’s conclusion.

More than 80 per cent of the HOK-Arup masterplanned expo site will be reused after the international event closes, with a new community-led development called District 2020 repurposing the site under the government’s legacy scheme.

Anchored by 65,000sq m (700,000sq ft) of residential space and 135,000sq m (1.45 million sq ft) of commercial space, District 2020 will include cycle tracks, restaurants, shops, hotels, health centres, parkland and leisure facilities, as well as a conference and exhibition centre.

Culture will be an integral part of the development, with plans also including a public museum and three new cultural facilities in place of the thematic pavilions which during the Expo will address the themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity. Included in those plans will be the Children and Science Centre – a project the government says will “empower children and youth, provide enriching and enjoyable experiences as well as engaging ways to learn”. Host to the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony, the Al Wasl Plaza will be retained as a culture venue to host shows and concerts.

“Back in 2013 when we won the bid to host Expo 2020, we set ourselves two clear objectives in line with our leaders’ vision: to stage a World Expo that would amaze the world and that would build a lasting legacy, offering a new alternative for urban living,” said Reem Al Hashimy, UAE minister of state for international cooperation and director-general for Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum instructed us to build a site for a permanent legacy and therefore we had to think of ways to capitalise on what was being built for Expo, as well as for post-Expo.

“District 2020 will help us achieve our goal. It has been a key part of our planning from the very start, not just for our legacy team, but the entire expo organisation.”

The Dubai Expo is set to open in October 2020, running for six months before closing in April 2021. District 2020 has a scheduled opening date a year on from the Expo’s launch, with the new district to open in October 2021.

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Dubai has revealed its legacy plans following the 2020 World Expo, announcing plans to turn the site into a multi-use urban leisure district following the six-month event’s conclusion.
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Host to the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony, the Al Wasl Plaza will be retained as a culture venue to host shows and concerts / Dubai Expo

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