Osaka will host the world’s fair in 2025
Latest: Why these 11 pavilions are the most popular at the world fair
With only two weeks left before Expo ends its six-month residency in Dubai, people are flocking to the site to see more of the 200 pavilions housed in the vast site of the world’s fair.
Organisers on Tuesday said there were almost 1.6 million visits in one week — a record number for the event — with 19 million in total since it opened.
Here we take a look at what’s next for Expo as an event and the legacy plans for the sprawling site in Dubai South.
Where and when is the next Expo?
The next Expo will be held in Osaka, Japan, in 2025.
First established in 1851 in London, expos are generally held every five years, but Expo 2020 was postponed for one year because of the pandemic.
Osaka hosted the world’s fair in 1970 under the theme ‘Progress and Harmony for Mankind’.
Its expo in 2025 will have a theme of ‘Designing Future Society for Our Lives’, with 150 countries and 25 international organisations expected to participate.
Expo 2025 will open on April 13 and close on October 13.
The Japan pavilion at Expo 2020 has been one of the more popular stops in Dubai. Organisers have been collating information about the times visitors have spent in sections related to nature, history and miniature forms. The findings will be used to curate the Expo in Osaka in 2025.
When will Expo end?
The six-month extravaganza will close its doors on March 31. Billed as the world’s greatest show when it opened on October 1, organisers confirmed that the first world’s fair to be held in the Arab world will close at the end of next month, despite talk of a possible extension.
What’s happening to the Expo site?
The Expo 2020 site in Dubai will transform into a residential and business community called District 2020 once the world’s fair is over — with cycling the main method of transport.
The 4.38 square-kilometre area will be repurposed to host 145,000 residents and workers with budding businesses as well as multinational corporations setting up operations in the mixed-use district.
More than 600 start-ups and small businesses from around the world are vying for a chance to be the first tenants of District 2020, which will open in October.
The start-ups are being selected from 628 businesses shortlisted after more than 3,000 registrations were received from 129 countries.
It will become the country’s first “15-minute city”, meaning it will be possible to walk or cycle from end to end without the need for a car.
A big part of District 2020’s infrastructure is centred around health and well-being, with the aim of promoting an active and balanced lifestyle
The site will feature smart mobility solutions that encourage sustainable and flexible means of movement between their office and home.
District 2020 will include a range of mobility options that link the site, such as a dedicated autonomous vehicle route, a 10-kilometre cycling track, interconnected, wide pedestrianised pathways and a 5km jogging track.
The Expo 2020 Dubai site forms a large part of Dubai’s 2040 Urban Plan.
What’s staying behind at the Expo site?
Once the world’s fair draws to close on March 31, work will begin on transforming the $8 billion site into a residential and commercial community. It is estimated that about 80 per cent of the structures will remain in some form.
The UK has already said it will open a hydrogen innovation centre with the UAE on the legacy site. Italy’s government said it will run a “renaissance” legacy project at the
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site to preserve archaeological artefacts and art recovered from war zones.
Speaking to The National shortly before the world’s fair began, chief experience officer Marjan Faraidooni said some of the largest buildings on site, such as the Mobility pavilion, were built with the future in mind.
“When we thought about the buildings, we automatically thought about what these buildings would be doing after the event is over. For this particular one — Mobility — the legacy is very flexible,” Ms Faraidooni said.
“We have worked closely with the architects on a design that allows us to shift and repurpose it as a commercial office building.”
Expo legacy site District 2020 in pictures
Updated: March 17, 2022, 10:31 AM