The two-year countdown to Expo 2020 Dubai officially started ticking last Saturday, 20 October with a public celebration at Burj Park in Downtown Dubai, offering the community a glimpse of what is to come at the biggest event to ever be held in the region.
A specially choreographed show of The Dubai Fountain and display on the Burj Khalifa façade at 2020 (20 minutes past 8 pm) marked the milestone moment and bringing to life its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.
Visitors also had the opportunity to sign up as an Expo 2020 Volunteer, joining more than 15,000 UAE nationals and expats on the road to eventually include more than 30,000 volunteers from a wide range of ages, nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds.
Expo Pavillion under construction
Expo 2020, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is located adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South, will cover a total of 4.38 sqkm, including a 2 sqkm gated area.
It will run from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. It is expected to attract 180 countries and 25 million visits, with 70% of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos.
Feel the energy
Based on Airbnb data from the 2015 World Fair in Milan*, 11,200 Airbnb Listings hosted 339,000 inbound visitors from Italy and abroad for an average of three nights.
Moreover, 8,400 hosts welcomed visitors to Milan who stayed at an Airbnb Listing for an average of 93 Euros (390 AED, $106) per night, which contributed to nearly 33 million Euros (140 million AED, $38 million) to host households during the Expo months.
A 16% rise in guest arrivals during the Expo months in Milan in 2015, compared to the same months in 2014, could mean a similar trend may be followed in Dubai as outlined by the government’s vision to welcome 25 million visitors for Expo 2020.
Studies have shown that by staying in properties available on the Airbnb platform instead of traditional accommodation options in Milan during Expo 2015, resulted in an estimated energy saving equivalent to 4,000 homes, water reduction equivalent of 63 Olympic-sized pools, waste reduction of up to 560 tons and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 11,400 cars.
An Airbnb Environmental Impact study found that compared to hotels, home sharing may generate substantial benefits as Airbnb guests consumed less energy by 63-78%, less water by 12-48% and generated less greenhouse gas emissions by 61-89%.
Expo 2020 Dubai in numbers
• With 25 million visits, Expo 2020 expects to attract more visits than the combined number of tickets sold for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics
• Expo 2020 expects to attract approximately 16 times the number of spectators who attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
• Expo 2020 will host approximately 60 events per day for 173 consecutive days
• More than 200 participants will take part in Expo 2020 Dubai, including nations, multilateral organizations, businesses, and educational institutions
• More than 170 countries have confirmed their participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, either publicly or privately
• Expo 2020 expects to welcome approximately 150,000 visitors on an average day
• The Expo 2020 site will be able to accommodate up to 300,000 people per day, more than three times the capacity of London’s Wembley Stadium
• Expo 2020 will have its own dedicated Dubai Metro station on the Route 2020 line, with carriages capable of transporting 46,000 passengers per hour to and from the site
• The Expo site will feature 30,000 parking spaces, more than twice as many as Dubai Mall
• Some 5,000 types of officially licensed products will be sold through retail outlets across the Expo site, as well as by authorized outlets around the UAE and Expo 2020’s online store
Workforce & volunteers
• Between 20,000 and 35,000 people will work at the Expo site each day during the six months of the event
• More than 60 nationalities are represented in the Expo 2020 team
• Women make up 51% of the Expo workforce
Food & beverage
• The Expo site will feature more than 200 F&B outlets
• More than 50 million meal occasions are expected to be served during Expo 2020, and visitors will be able to view, order and pay for their food and beverages online via a smartphone app
• Up to 500,000 meals will be served during a peak day at Expo 2020
• Approximately 5 million meals will be needed to fuel the Expo workforce during the six months of the event
• Expo 2020 expects to generate about AED 2 billion ($544.5 million) in total F&B sales
• Expo 2020’s goal is for 85% of all waste – including municipal solid waste, construction waste, and decommissioning waste – to be segregated to allow for treatment and diversion from landfill
• Smart building strategies will reduce power consumption by 20%, or 150,000 MWh, during the six months of Expo – enough to meet the energy requirements of 11,000 UAE residents for an entire year
• Expo 2020’s legacy buildings are designed to use 57% less potable water than conventional buildings
• The Sustainability Pavilion will use renewable sources to produce up to 4GWh of energy per year, enough to charge more than 900,000 mobile phones
• More than 25,000 suppliers from 149 countries have registered to do business on Expo 2020 Dubai’s eSourcing Portal
• Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded 56% of Expo contracts to date
• Post-Expo, the site will be transformed into District 2020, a world-class integrated community that will reuse 80% of Expo’s built environment
• Expo 2020 Dubai’s innovation and partnership programme Expo Live has an allocation of $100 million to support innovative solutions to pressing global challenges
• To date, more than 44 million work hours have been completed at the Expo 2020 site
• All concrete works for the Thematic Districts have now been completed, with about 243,000 cubic meters of concrete poured
• The value of the contract secured by Al Futtaim Carillion to construct Expo’s three Thematic Districts was AED 2.2 billion ($599 million)