|By Arabian Post Staff| The combined value of the Expo 2020-related development projects has touched $33 billion (Dh121 billion) as the UAE begins the three-year countdown for the six-month-long mega global event that will kick-off on October 20, 2020, according to BNC Network, a project research and intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
These projects include transport infrastructure, such as the expansion of the road networks, several highways, roundabouts, interchanges and Dubai Metro line to connect to the Dubai Expo 2020 site, Al Makhtoum International Airport (AMIA) to the rest of the main city of Dubai as well as mixed-use projects, residential, commercial, hospitality and golf course.
Mostly located at Dubai South, the 145-square kilometer mixed-use development with AMIA at its centerpiece, most of these projects are all expected to be completed before Expo 2020. Once completed, these projects will create 500,000 jobs living in a large community within the city.
Initially planned as an Aerotropolis or an ‘Airport City’ to serve the AMIA – the world’s largest greenfield airport development with a design capacity to handle 220 million passengers and 16 million tons of cargo per annum with five runways, six terminal buildings.
“As it stands, Dubai is getting ready to host the Expo 2020 and the emirate is way ahead in terms of its readiness to host the mega event – taking place in the Middle East for the first time in the event’s more than 150 years of history,” Avin Gidwani, Chief Executive Officer of BNC Network, says. “While driving past some of the major highways, one would notice the hectic construction activities on the highways and both sides of these highways – that reflect the pace of development work in the emirate. Most of the projects are on a fast-track basis, intended to expand the hotel inventory. “Both the public and private sectors have mobilized their best resources to complete these projects on time.”
Dubai South has been divided into separate functional districts, such as the Logistics District, linked to the AMIA – to create a mega cargo hub – which along with the Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone, created one of the world’s largest sea-to-air logistic corridor. The 21 square kilometers long Logistics District is designed to enable fast-cycle businesses and provide value-added services such as manufacturing and assembly.
It also will host Dh25 billion Residential District – with a building capacity for 1,100 low to mid-rise buildings that covers a 715 hectares area and expected to accommodate 250,000 residents, when complete.
The Commercial District is expected to provide employment opportunities for an estimated 150,000 people. It will consist of over 850 commercial towers with 3 to 5 star hotel lodging and is divided into eight zones namely; The Urban Village, Lake District, The Seven Towers, Central Park, Creative Commercial District, Grand Central, Business District and Residential Crescent.
An Exhibition District, that will host the World Expo 2020 site, will spread across 4.38 square kilometers will be dedicated to the exhibition and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry.
The 6.7 square kilometers Aviation District is being developed adjacent to AMIA and in proximity with the Jebel Ali Port. The district – which also features the upcoming business aviation terminal – meets all the practical aspects of the aviation and aerospace industries, from design and development to operation and use of aircraft. Beyond its aviation focus, the district has well-defined zones for sectors such as hospitality, education, research and development, as well as land for mixed-used developments.
Dubai South also hosts a Business Park Free Zone, located at the gateway of Dubai South that comprises 11 modern buildings offering a versatile range of office spaces suited for the corporate and administrative needs of all kinds of businesses – whether start-ups, SMEs or multinationals. It is situated amidst landscaped gardens and equipped with multiple amenities.
A Humanitarian District is envisioned to become a leading regional hub for the coordination of emergency response and relief operations. Supporting infrastructure includes office buildings, warehouses, conference and training facilities for the United Nations, International Humanitarian City and other aid agencies.