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Construction on Expo 2020 Dubai’s crown jewel, the world’s largest 360-degree projection dome, is complete.

The steel trellis that makes up Al Wasl’s dome, with sand-coloured screens, has been fitted with more than 200 projectors and is wide enough to fit two Airbus A380s.

Al Wasl – meaning connection in English – is the World’s Fair centerpiece, connecting the districts, and will host its main ceremonies.

 The completion of this breathtaking landmark is a historic moment for the UAE to celebrate, as #Expo2020

With this, Expo-led construction of permanent structures has been completed on the Dubai South site and testing of lighting has begun across the three main theme districts divided into Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability zones.

All infrastructure and major landmarks – including fidget-spinner shaped Mobility Pavilion and the disc-shaped Sustainability Pavilion – have all been completed, expo officials said during a tour of the site on Monday.

“Al Wasl is really the jewel of the site because it will be the central hub,” said Katy Granville, who works with the Expo’s community engagement team.

“This is where the biggest celebrations will take place. When you see the crowned dome as you drive into work every day, it’s really a symbol of all the work being done and we are most proud of it.”

During the six-month expo, images will be beamed via projectors on to surface of the translucent dome and will be visible both within and outside the site.

The massive dome’s architectural design is linked to the country’s history and heritage. The outer cover resembles the world fair logo which was inspired by an ancient golden ring found in the Saruq Al Hadid site by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. Artefacts uncovered at the site date back to the Iron Age.

Meticulous and careful engineering precision was needed last year to raise hundreds of tonnes of moulded steel and fit the crown of the dome to the top of Al Wasl plaza.

 #Dubai prepares to welcome guests from across the globe to the World’s Greatest Show!

UAE leaders inaugurate Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai site

Dubai ruler and Abu Dhabi crown prince tour the Expo 2020 site; say the UAE is the ‘perfect host’ for the mega event

UAE leaders inaugurate Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai site

Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Wednesday inaugurated Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

The leaders said the UAE is a “perfect host” for Expo 2020, which will promote optimism, hope and collaboration and inspire people to work towards achieving positive change and a better future.

“We will celebrate the accomplishments of the last 50 years. Thanks to the efforts of UAE citizens and residents, as well as all those who have contributed to its success and prosperity, Expo 2020 will mark the start of new 50-year phase of leadership and achievements,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

“We are working to implement our vision as part of our comprehensive development plan, whose key objective is the happiness of people. Our efforts are backed by initiatives and projects aimed at maximisng the energy and talent of our people and creating new opportunities for them. We work with all countries and governments keen to promote the prosperity and wellbeing of humanity.

“In a few months, the world will gather in this place to celebrate the cultures of various nations across the world and humankind’s best innovations. Expo 2020 will offer new hope for creating a better tomorrow both for the region and the world.”

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed added: “Through Expo 2020, we will show the world how our union was the starting point for our development journey, and how our founding fathers established the robust foundations necessary for sustainable development and progress. We will also have an opportunity to demonstrate how the spirit of collaboration is embedded deep in our national ethos and serves as a means for progress and development.

“The world will also be able to better understand the achievements we have accomplished in the short period since our nation’s foundation, and will learn about our traditions and heritage, our diversity and our experience of peaceful coexistence.”

Their comments came during their visit to the Expo 2020 Dubai site when they were briefed about Al Wasl Plaza and the preparations to welcome the 192 participating countries and millions of visitors to Wxpo.

They were also briefed on the various phases of Expo 2020 completed in 2019 including major construction projects developed under the three sub-themes of the event.

The entire project has achieved 150 million working hours and has 38,000 people currently working on site.

Serving as the centre of Expo 2020, Al Wasl Plaza will be connected to the three districts based on the subthemes of Expo – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Expo 2020 Dubai, which opens in October and runs until April 2021, is set to attract 192 countries, and 25 million visitors, 70 percent of whom will come outside the country. The event is expected to receive an average of 150,000 visitors a day. Peak day visitor numbers are expected to total 300,000.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Marwan Ghayad

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