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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: One year after Expo 2020 Dubai debuted to the world, the global fair’s legacy site has again opened its doors to the public on Saturday hoping to attract the multitude of visitors that flocked to the six-month event described as the greatest show on earth.
Speaking to Arab News, Ahmed Al-Khatib, chief development and delivery officer of Expo City Dubai, said the legacy site, which retained 80 percent of the Expo infrastructure, will be beyond a touristic destination or a UAE community favorite.
While carrying forward Expo 2020 world fair’s energy and excitement, Expo City Dubai also aims to be a dynamic, futuristic city, which is home to tech-driven businesses and entertainment offerings, Al-Khatib added.
Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be hosted by Arab nation, welcomed over 24 million visitors. Expo City Dubai will feature an array of entertainment facilities, pavilions and restaurants when its development plans have been completed by 2023.
“The comprehensive city will drive innovation and action on its journey to net zero, cultivating a sense of personal agency among both tenants and visitors,” Al-Khatib told Arab News.
Expo City Dubai will be home to major businesses including Siemens, DP World and Terminus, he said.
Business tenants, who will start moving in stages this month, are being selected with a focus on areas such as sustainability, innovation, technology, education and healthcare, Al-Khatib explained.
Al-Khatib added that Expo City Dubai will also be the new go-to destination for business and globally significant events, including the much-anticipated 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28).
The city, he added, is unique for its open and public spaces where people can freely walk or bike, thus “presenting a smarter, more balanced, resilient, and sustainable way of life.”
It features 10 kilometers of cycling tracks, a 5km running track and 45,000-square meters of parks and gardens.
Meanwhile, a rich cultural and entertainment program will carry the spirit of the World Expo, celebrating imagination and ingenuity.
Unique visitor experience
Visitors to Expo City Dubai can now experience two re-opened pavilions – Vision Pavilion and the Women’s pavilion – besides the two major Mobility (Alif) and Sustainability (Terra) pavilions that re-launched earlier in September.
Al-Wasl Dome, an Expo 2020 favorite, is also returning with free immersive projections five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday, after sunset.
Other free-of-charge open-air facilities are the water feature, as well as children’s playgrounds and the carousel.
The Garden in the Sky, a 55-meter-high rotating observation tower that offers 360-degree views, has been reopened earlier with tickets priced at around $8 per adult.
The award-winning Saudi Arabia and the falcon-inspired UAE pavilion are to re-open later this month, with other country pavilions set to open “soon”, according to the Expo team.
Visitors can access all the flagship pavilions, including ones that will open in the future, with a $31 (AED 120) one-day Attractions Pass. Otherwise, individual pavilion tickets will cost $14 (AED 50) per person, with free-of-charge entry for children aged 12 and under, and people with disabilities.
Later this year, the Opportunity Pavilion will become the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum — a new feature highlighting the history and impact of World Expos and celebrating the success of Expo 2020 Dubai.
From a dining perspective, Expo City Dubai now hosts five food trucks and three restaurants.
“We will continue to expand our dining options to suit all tastes, with more restaurants opening in the near future,” Al-Khatib told Arab News.
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