World Expo 2020 Drives Dubai Mega Projects


In November 2013, the United Arab Emirates won the right to host the World Expo in Dubai in 2020.

This will mark the first time that the World Expo is staged in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA).

In the lead up to the Expo, Dubai will construct the Dubai Trade Centre - Jebel Ali, on a 438 hectare site equidistant from the centres of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, capable of producing enough solar power to cater for 50 per cent of its power needs.

Dubai government has said that the Expo 2020 master plan remains on track with a target date for completion of all major construction activities on site by October 2019, allowing for a full year of readiness testing across networks, systems and technologies.

It is expected that AUD$7 billion in total investment in infrastructure-related projects in the run-up to Expo 2020 with nearly 277,000 new jobs being created.

In preparation for the event that is expected to draw more than 25 million visitors to the country, Dubai developers have entered a state of overdrive, as they aim to deliver iconic mega projects across the city in order to attract tourists.

Here we look into four of these mega projects to be completed ahead of World Expo 2020.

Al Habtoor City

Work has commenced on the the major mixed-use development, Al Habtoor City, and is progressing quickly.

Developer Al Habtoor Group is building more than 3,000 hotel rooms and residential units across three branded hotels – 1,460 of those apartments are considered luxury, alongside 11 penthouses.

Al Habtoor will feature a tennis academy and clubhouse with eight tennis courts, one of which is air-conditioned, classical French style gardens and a permanent Franco Dragone Entertainment Group water-themed production.


Three architecture firms have joined forces to construct the development.

British architecture firm WS Atkins are working on the residential blocks, while another British architecture firm John R & Partners and Khatib & Alami, an architecture firm from Middle East, are working on the hotel complex.

St Regis

, W Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road and Westin Dubai make up the three hotels in the city and between them offer more than 1,600 rooms, which will be operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Three interior design consultants have been responsible for the fit out of the buildings, including Hong Kong-based Bilkey Llinas, Singapore-based Silverfox Studios and London-based WA International Westin Dubai – Sheikh Zayed.

The mega development is expected to be completed by June 2016.

Dubai Water Canal

Coming with a price tag of more than AUD$2 billion, the Dubai Water Canal construction is underway and will connect the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf passing through the heart of Dubai.

The project will be constructed in three phases, with the last expected to be finished towards the end of 2016.


Phase one includes the construction of a bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road, comprising of eight lanes in each direction.

Phase two comprises of a bridge construction across the canal on Al Wasl and Jumeirah, providing a link between Dubai Creek and the Arabian Gulf.

The Dubai Water Canal will comprise one shopping centre, four hotels, 450 restaurants, luxury housing, walkways and cycle paths.

It is expected to provide new areas measuring 80,000 square metres for public places and facilities, as well as private marinas for boats and a new trade centre at the entrance of the canal.

The canal itself will measure six meters deep, bridges will be built eight meters high to allow the passing of yachts and marine craft.

Aladdin City

Inspired by the tales of Aladdin and Sinbad, Dubai Municipality is planning to build “Aladdin City”.

The development, which has no confirmed start or end dates as yet, will have three towers comprising commercial and hotel space, spreading over a distance of 450 meters on Dubai Creek.


Air conditioned bridges will connect the towers, driveways and parking lots.

The shape of the bridge, according to the Municipality, that will link the buildings represents the form of exotic marine life such as dragon and snakes.

The highest tower will meaure 34 floors and the other two will measure 26 and 25 floors, compiling a space of 110,000 square metres. There will also be parking spaces for 900 cars.

Al Mamzar Beach Project
Dubai-listed developer

Emaar Properties and Dubai Municipality have signed a memorandum to construct the Al Mamzar beach lifestyle development.

Planned around the 53-hectare Al Mamzar Lake for the project are waterfront residences, services residences, retail amenities, fountains, water features and water themed leisure attractions.

Emaar Properties will conduct feasibility studies and submit a detailed project report outlining the development potential to Dubai Municipality and following this process, project management structure will commence.

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