Al Wasl Square, in the “Expo 2020 Dubai”, is the most prominent icon of the largest and most prestigious international event of its kind in the world, which will be attended by more than 192 countries over a period of six months, as well as during the period that will follow its conclusion.
The arena is a meeting place that brings the world together and stimulates the continuity of minds and making the future, and will reflect the role of Expo 2020 as a global platform to meet the brightest minds in order to identify appropriate solutions to a set of the largest current challenges facing humanity, and to develop a sustainable future vision for decades to come. The completion of the giant Al Wasl Square dome recently comes with the completion of all construction works for the exhibition by April, after which the trial operation of the international event will be launched until next September.
The square is the heart of the vibrant “Expo 2020 Dubai”, and the main center of the 4.3-square-kilometer event site, which forms a sustainable oasis with green spaces, trees, water fountains, and services and entertainment facilities to host visitors, mass events and huge celebrations during the event.
This new architectural icon also has special importance not only as it is the most prominent milestone in Expo 2020 Dubai and the jewel of the event, but because it is in addition to the outstanding urban and cultural achievements that Dubai and the Emirates boast before the world, as it equals approximately 11 tennis ball courts, while the size of The steel dome of the square to 724 thousand cubic meters, i.e. nearly 300 Olympic swimming pools, and height to 67,5 meters, exceeding the length of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and 13.6 km of steel was used, equivalent to the height of 16 towers along the Burj Khalifa, It weighs 2544 tons, i.e. the weight of 25 blue whales, and is sufficient to house two E-type planes Airbus 380.
The steel grille of the Al Wasl Square dome is a three-dimensional version of the Expo 2020 logo, with a width of 130 meters and weighing 2544 tons, i.e. the weight of 25 blue whales, and is sufficient to house two Airbus A380 planes.
The huge dome consists of 1162 pieces of steel with a length of 13.6 km of steel, equivalent to the height of 16 towers along the Burj Khalifa, assembled in 600 parts in factories in Italy and Abu Dhabi.
Al Wasl Square – bearing the old name of Dubai, is a symbolic reference to its role since ancient times in linking peoples and cultures – its unique design, vast area and giant dome, as it is 150 meters in diameter and can accommodate about 10,000 people at one time, and will be a major center during the Expo and after the end of its activities.
The square is a landmark that not only serves the six months of Expo, but also remains for a long time in the future as it is a symbol that inspires future generations, not just the current generation.
The word wasl also embodies the meanings of communication and connetion. Therefore, it will be the main link station for the three theme areas of the event: opportunities, mobility and sustainability, and will be the main destination for many events and the main meeting point for visitors during the international event.
Al Wasl Square, with its innovative design, witnessed the participation of hundreds of technicians and construction experts in following up the work, day and night, in this delicate process and used specialized lifting equipment to complete this mission, which represented a unique engineering challenge to turn the square into a tangible reality.
The process of establishing the dome of Al Wasl Square was one of the most difficult and most accurate engineering operations in the world, for several reasons, including the complexity of entering the site, in addition to lifting the mass and the weight of the crown of the dome is a very complex engineering process, with many variables as well, of which the simplest example of these variables are the occurrence of a change in the direction of wind or air temperature, which are variables that may significantly affect the calculations of the builders, making continuous monitoring and reassessment necessary during the process of raising the crown to the top of the dome.
The opening of the square was crowned by 34-month efforts to prepare for this moment, as those preparations began in the first week of April 2017.
Working on Al Wasl Square dome started 18 months ago, when the last pieces of the steel dome bars left Italy on June 26, 2018.
The first separate components arrived in Dubai in July 2018, and the crown was carefully assembled on the ground before being raised to its place. After placing the crown of the dome in place, then the welding process to install the crown in the structure of the dome, took 25 days to complete.
The dome of Al Wasl Square embodies the main emblem of Expo 2020 Dubai, which is “Connecting Minds and Creating the Future”, as it is the fruit of international cooperation with contributions from companies from 13 countries. It is designed by the US-based architecture firm Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill. The raw steel used to construct the Wasl Square dome was supplied from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. And companies in Belgium, Germany and Spain worked to form the curves of the steel dome of Al Wasl Square, before Simoulay Raymond assembled these bars in Italy.
The steel bars were shipped in batches to Dubai through Dubai Ports World, the partner of Expo 2020 Dubai for international trade. Jacobs Mees Consulting, the official service provider for Expo 2020 Dubai, worked in the field of program delivery management in the management of operating projects in general, and companies from the United States, Canada, China, France, Japan and Mexico also play an important role in completing the dome.
Because of the importance of the role of Al Wasl Square dome in Expo 2020, it will turn into a 360-degree display, to provide an immersive viewing experience for 360-degree visitors that can be seen from inside Expo and outside, and the dome will be provided with the latest displays by Christie’s experts in audiovisuals, Expo 2020 partner Dubai devices and displays.
Its corridors will witness many shows, performed by first-class artists and celebrities from around the world on important international occasions, such as New Year’s Day, Diwali and Chinese New Year.
So far, more than 150 million work hours have been accomplished at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, where there are currently about 38,000 workers on the site, and the number of workers at the peak stage reached 40,000, while the participating countries are working to build the completion of their wings at the sites designated for them.
Expo 2020 Dubai will be held over a six-month period from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, and is expected to attract 25 million visits, 70% of which are from outside the UAE. This is the largest percentage of international visits in the history of the International Expo, spanning 170 years. Expo 2020 Dubai will be the most spectacular event in the world for 173 days, and Al Wasl Square will host many live celebrations that will exceed 60 concerts daily. “Expo 2020” coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the UAE in 2021, which represents an important milestone in the history of the UAE, and over the past fifty years, the country managed to amaze the world with its rapid growth and rapid achievements, while the exhibition aims to inspire people to embrace this innovation spirit for another 50 years – at least.