After its vibrant 180 days of excitement and entertainment, Expo 2020 closed its doors on March 31. Many things in the worlds happened during this period, from Omicron outbreak and conflict in Ukraine, to the rise of NFTs and the inception of Metaverses. Nevertheless, for many, Expo 2020 was more than just a destination; it was a beacon of hope and unity.
An expected question, which came to millions of its visitors, is:
What will happen to the Expo 2020 location after it closed its doors at 3:00 AM on April 1?
The answer is simple: District 2020.
As per Expo website, District 2020 will re-purpose 80 per cent of the environment within the Expo 2020 site into an “integrated mixed use community that will continue to attract businesses and people to work, live, visit and enjoy”. By the end of 2022, the first 85 selected startups and small businesses will set up shop at District 2020 – totally rent-free!
Tala Al Ansari, director of Innovation Ecosystem and Scale2Dubai, a global entrepreneurship programme, said the startups will receive a “soft landing at District 2020 and will become part of our innovation ecosystem”.
A senior District 2020 official said that residents would be able to move into apartments at District 2020 by the early 2023. About 800 residential units, available only for rent, will be handed over starting from Q1, along with about 2,300 apartments at the nearby Expo Village, according to Sanjive Khosla, senior vice-president at District 2020.
Another great news is that guests, residents and employees will be able to enjoy some of the iconic landmarks of Expo 2020, which live on after the mega event, including the gravity-defying Water Feature, observation deck Garden in the Sky and the iconic Al Wasl Plaza.
Tenants and visitors will also get the chance to revisit some countries pavilions that will stay as major attractions, including the UAE, Saudi and India ones.
The Sustainability Pavilion (Terra) will be transformed into a Children and Science Centre, while the Mobility Pavilion (Alif), Vision Pavilion, Mission Possible, and Dubai Exhibition Centre will remain unchanged.
District 2020 will be the UAE’s first 15-minute city “designed around people, not around buildings or cars”. Residents will have everything they need to live and work, from offices, parks, groceries, retail shops, restaurants and coffee shops, accessible within 15 minutes by cycling, walking or riding e-scooters.
The plan is to create 100% car-free by connecting people via pedestrian walkways, autonomous vehicle routes and public transportation networks.
You can learn more about District 2020 on its official website.