• Consults submit proposals for Expo site infrastructure and design
  • Award expected soo on the fast track project
  • Other connecting schemes are also progressing quickly

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has received proposals from consultants for the infrastructure design and supervision at the Expo 2020 site in the Jebel Ali area.

Consultants have given presentations to the client, and an appointment is expected soon as time is a critical factor as the venue has to be ready ahead of the Expo in 2020.

The Expo site is one of the most high-profile projects in Dubai and includes a 1.68-square-kilometre ticketed area. The concept design includes an open plaza called Al-Wasl, meaning ‘the connection’ and which is also a historical name for Dubai.

DWTC is also understood to be looking for consultants for the urban planning and the design public spaces, as well as the design of the development’s souq/market area.

The masterplan for the Expo site is being prepared by a team of US-based HOK and the UK’s Arup, which was appointed in August 2014 to further develop the preliminary masterplan that the team worked on for the Expo bid. A detailed masterplan is due to be submitted this year to the Expo’s organisers, the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

When Dubai secured the rights to host the Expo it said it will require €6.5bn ($7.4bn) of investment for development and operational costs until the end of the event.

In November 2014, DWTC appointed a team of US-based CH2M Hill and UK-based Mace Group for the programme management of the real-estate development at the Dubai Trade Centre Jebel Ali development, which includes the site that will be used for the 2020 Expo.

The UK Export Finance (UKEF) has issued a letter of interest worth $500m for projects that are part of the Expo programme.

Other projects that will support the Expo are also starting to move ahead. The largest is a new metro line, known as Route 2020, that will carry an expected 25 million visitors to the site between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021.

It involves the construction of a 15-kilometre-long line branching off the existing Red Line at the Nakheel Harbour & Tower station, between the Ibn Battuta Mall and Jumeirah Lake Towers stations. About 11km of the line will be elevated, with five elevated stations and two underground stations.The station at the Expo site will be an iconic station.

Firms interested in building the line have been given a 31 May deadline to submit prequalification documents by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority. It says it will evaluate documents during June and a shortlist of prequalified bidders will be announced on 30 June. The contract will then be tendered on 2 July, with a closing date of 6 December. An award is planned for 28 January 2016.

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