It has officially been announced that the first infrastructure works at the Dubai Expo 2020 site are ready to begin, with the tender for the second package due to be awarded shortly. The news arrived as part of an official update as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited the Expo 2020 site on September 26.
According to the UAE state news agency WAM, over 4.7 million cubic metres of earth had already been moved and recycled in preparation for the construction phase of the project. The initial infrastructure package, one of the four packages totalling Dhs1.3 billion ($273m), is due to commence soon and will be completed by April 2018. Sheikh Mohammed approved the latest architectural design of the Expo building and associated area. All infrastructure work is scheduled to finish by October 2019, and he urged the timely delivery of the works.
Initial development of the 4.38 square kilometre site, situated in the Dubai South district, has already started. The total value of all contracts and purchase orders to date is approximately Dhs1.95 billion, with 20% of the Expo’s total direct and indirect spend, representing over Dhs5 billion in contracts, set to be allocated to SMEs. More than 8,000 local and international companies have already registered on the Expo 2020 procurement portal.
Expo 2020 is a Universal scale Registered Exposition time slot sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), Paris on 27 November 2013. Dubai won the right to hold Expo 2020 which is scheduled to take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. 70% of all visitors are expected to come from outside the UAE, the biggest proportion of international visitors in Expo history.