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The Future of Expo 2020: City of the future puts people at the centre of its design

The Future of Expo 2020: City of the future puts people at the centre of its design

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 26 September 2021: In the past 30 years, Dubai has become a city synonymous with bold, dynamic developments that have continually reinvented the art of the possible. The future evolution of Expo 2020 Dubai – District 2020 – is the latest incarnation of that relentless pursuit of innovation and new design thinking, showing the rest of the world what the future will look like, today.

District 2020 will reveal its blueprint for a human-centric future city and its people-centred approach at its “Future of Expo 2020” experience hub. Located at the Rove Expo 2020 hotel, it will be open to all visitors throughout the six months of Expo 2020, from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022. Visitors will be able to see the vision for how the mega-event was designed to evolve into the future, playing an integral role in the sustainable urban development of Dubai as a new urban centre in the emirate’s growth corridor.

Visitors will experience the transition of the Expo 2020 site into a fully integrated city of the future and visualise its evolution starting from March 2022 and continuing to grow to eventually house a population of 145,000 people. They will learn about District 2020’s mission to bring together people, businesses, spaces, technologies and industries. They will also have the opportunity to engage in opportunities within its innovation ecosystem and dedicated entrepreneurship programme, Scale2Dubai, for cross-sector collaboration and co-creation – with a purpose to create a smarter, more balanced, resilient and sustainable way of life.

District 2020 has set out an ultimate expression of a people-first, city of the future, to meet the demands of a new world economy – one driven by innovation and talent, and supported by the latest advances in technology and human-centric design.

Inheriting cutting-edge digital and physical infrastructure from Expo 2020, District 2020 will evolve and expand on the timeless legacy of the six-month mega event, very much with a forward-looking identity. It is already recognised as a benchmark for wellbeing, sustainability and mixed-use urban design, with a raft of multinational companies (MNCs) and innovation-driven enterprises set to benefit from its future-ready environment, location and easy access to regional and global markets.

As part of its strategic initiative to curate a global innovation ecosystem for the smart logistics, smart mobility, Industry 4.0, and smart cities sectors alongside technologies such as AI and IoT, District 2020 has already attracted some of the world’s leading industrial, tech and logistic giants, including Siemens, Terminus and DP World. In addition, the foundations for a commercial environment that actively supports synergies and integration between diverse stakeholders also makes it a highly attractive base for accelerating opportunities for start-ups, SMEs, academia, R&D and government entities.

Envisioned to be a ‘city of firsts’, District 2020 firmly echoes Dubai’s dynamic, forward-thinking approach by curating an environment that is, in effect, a ‘living lab’ – a place where individuals can realise their full potential and businesses can explore, develop and test new inventions and ideas, all within one of the world’s most hyper-connected communities.

“From established MNCs to our Scale2Dubai start-up programme that offers support to the next generation of innovators and the talent that drives that progress, District 2020 will bring together an ecosystem of engaged diverse stakeholders that will benefit from and contribute to its purpose-driven community, collaborating and enabling each other to realise their full potential.

“Industry acceleration and social advancement is the result of human behaviour and, in the design of this future city, we have sought to cultivate a balance that facilitates the best possible environment from which to realise both personal and professional advancement.” 

With all amenities for city living available within a 15-minute walk, District 2020 has looked beyond the traditional, functional approach to urban and commercial development to create a balanced mixed-use fully-integrated environment that sets new benchmarks for the future of city planning. And with iconic architecture and attractions, an ultra-fast 5G network, autonomous vehicles, smart technologies across the community, and businesses focused in areas such as AI, IoT and 3-D printing, residents, workers and visitors to District 2020 may be forgiven for thinking they have stepped through a portal to the future.

Commenting on the innovative approach to designing a mega-event that paves the way for a future city, Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “There is nothing traditional or standard about the design-thinking behind the Expo 2020 site. From the outset, we have sought to bring to life a vision of the future with people at the heart of its design by curating a tech-enabled and integrated human-centric sustainable community where individuals and businesses have the best opportunity to succeed.

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