Update: Due to the massive outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, the UAE government feels saddened to announce that they are planning to postpone the Expo 2020 Dubai event until the next year 2021. They are extremely apologetic to all their international stakeholders and people who were looking forward to attending the event. The difficult decision was made as a collective one by the Steering Committee in collaboration with the International des Expositions (BIE). For now, they have planned to postpone it for one year but based on the changing dynamics of the world, they will establish/update a new date on the official Expo 2020 website in the coming days.
With less than 900 days to go, the development of the World Expo 2020 is progressing towards its initiation at an astonishing speed. More than 15,000 workers have dedicated their lives to the project, having invested more than 16 million hours to date, transforming the vast desolation of South Dubai into a mesmerizing destination, the likes of which our world has never seen. With a jaw-dropping architecture and all constructions projected to be completed a year before the official launch, Dubai Expo 2020 aims to bring more than 180 nations together under one umbrella.
If you ever get a chance to visit the outskirts of the South of Dubai, you are bound to come across heavily loaded trucks entering the zone every few minutes, crammed up to the brim with construction material. Currently, the entire zone is under construction and the only perceptible architectures to date are the headquarters for the Expo 2020 and a half-sized mock-up of a country pavilion. Also, there dotting the barrenness is a concrete batching plant, some air-conditioned resting huts, substations, tower cranes, and base foundations for other structures.
As far as the commute is concerned, an extended metro system connects the Al Maktoum airport directly with the Expo 2020 site. Whereas, civil engineers and architects are also reusing steel from the previous buildings keeping the aspect of sustainability in mind. Furthermore, the on-site lamp lights are mostly solar-powered, and all the excavated earth is being reused in construction. More than 5,000 cubic meters of concrete and more than 500 tons of steel are brought into the construction site every week, and already three of the districts have been completed.
With so much going on around in the world of Dubai Expo, we often wonder who is beyond this ultimate construction and what is the legacy behind it all. Let’s find out.
Ahmed Al-Khatib, the senior vice president for the real-estate business. is the brains behind the ultimate construction of the Dubai Expo and is putting his greatest efforts in creating the first World Expo in the MEASA region. Dubai has also shown a great inclination towards facilitating more than a billion individuals across the MEASA region. MEASA region stands for Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.
When Leaders like Al Maktoum back up the whole ideology of standardizing a Dubai Expo 2020, we can surely learn a whole lot more from them. Here are 10 Leadership Traits that you can learn from Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid who transformed the face of Dubai.
According to Al-Khatib, Dubai Global Expo can accommodate more than 25 million visitors and expects an estimated economic boost worth US $34.5 billion.
“This is a very complex project,” admits Al-Khatib. “We are building a city. Right now we are at around 7,000 workers on site and we are expecting to reach around 37,000. Then there’s the equipment, the lay down areas, the access roads, the food (how to feed everybody on site), the waste management. It will become more and more challenging as the countries start coming in. But we are taking all measures to make sure this is a very smooth and easy experience. The infrastructure and the power in any development are the most critical items and we are actually finishing them ahead of time.”
When asked how the team is performing their respective duties, Al-Khatib responded casually,
“Absolutely, there’s no pressure, I don’t think the team sleeps. We have consultants and contractors from all over the world, so if it is night over here, it’s morning in Chicago, so working around the clock is very, very necessary.”
“But it’s exciting and it’s literally a one-of-a-kind experience. I don’t know if I’m ever going to have the privilege to be part of a similar project again. It’s a university on its own. You think you know everything but actually when it comes to the amount of logistics, the amount of challenges, the different calibre of consultants and contractors, you’re constantly learning. But everybody’s working towards one goal: to make an exceptional experience for the visitors and for the country, and to make sure that it lives long in the memory.”
The leadership of the Expo 2020 is committed to building a legacy that is sustainable and everlasting. The agenda is to expand its new architectural impact within the boundaries of the UAE and beyond. The Dubai Expo 2020 has a unified vision of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The idea is believed to sustain not only for the six months of the World Expo but beyond it.
Year 2016 marks the date when Expo 2020 extended a hand of partnership towards WAMDA in the wake of harnessing the true power of collaboration in entrepreneurship ecosystem. WAMDA is a platform that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship in the MENA region. WAMDA and Expo 2020 held a staunch believe that cultivating such a relationship will ultimately unlock newer and better economic opportunities that will create possible gateways in the light of collaborative entrepreneurship.
The following initiative will help individuals and startups get easily connected with some of the greatest enterprise level organizations, who can help them scale exponentially and grow their respective businesses. More than 120 business leaders, in collaboration with 800 different startups operational within the UAE region, will perform further research in order to identify the trends and obstacles becoming a hindrance in the establishment of a collaborative ecosystem.
Beyond the perceptible economic benefits, Dubai Expo 2020 will also focus on different aspects of social cohesion. The Emiratis know that the future of UAE lies in the hands of their youth, and hence, they want to nurture them into the future leaders of tomorrow. Expo 2020 will see the launch of a dedicated youth and children’s program, aimed at inspiring the young minds and empowering them to take ownership. Dubai Expo 2020 will further inculcate in the next generation new knowledge pertaining to sustainability, mobility and other potential innovations in technology.
For instance, Expo 2020 Dubai is joining forces with the leading vehicle manufacturer Nissan to demonstrate and showcase the future of intelligent mobility – starting with a fleet that includes electric vehicles. Moreover, Expo 2020 Dubai and Cisco will work closely to deliver a global event that is at the forefront of technological evolution and demonstrate how connectivity can be a force for social and economic good, in alignment with the event’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’
As Reem Al Hashimy, an Emirati Minister who has ample amount of experience in International Affairs under his belt and who started her career as a Commercial Attaché says:
“Our leadership, and it starts from Sheikh Mohammed, was very clear,” she adds. “That you guys are planning for an event that can’t be short of amazing. But he also said you need to make sure that it has a good legacy. With that he meant the social legacy is there, meaning the inclusion of people, getting them to feel that they’re part of it. The element of pride was very big. But also that the Expo is a vehicle for us to get people learning about things that are important for the future of the world. To inspire them, particularly the youth, and to make them feel that they have a part to play in this world.”
“We want people to remember their experiences here as one of the best they’ve had in their life. And I give the example of people I’ve met on this journey, who, for example, visited the Montreal 1967 Expo and as a result of it became architects. That’s legacy. For me, to meet a person who made a career out of being inspired by architecture that he saw at an Expo, that’s the sort of legacy we want to leave behind. It’s very social, it’s very inspirational, and it’s tangible.”
World Expos are aimed at fostering the perfect element of creativity which showcases innovation and promotes collaboration among the technological giants and enterprise businesses around the world. With more than 25 million visitors attending this great event, some global heads of the government are also looking to partake in the conference. Such an event creates a significant opportunity for a number of audiences to gain added economic and geopolitical benefits.
But who knows how much fortune an event like Dubai Expo 2020 can bring into the digital world; however, we still look forward to its inauguration.