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Al Wasl Plaza

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Al Wasl Plaza is the heart, and identity, of Expo 2020 Dubai and the soul of the Legacy District 2020. It serves as the central public space conceived to convene conversation, unite visitors, and provide orientation around a single spatial experience.

Al Wasl is the historical name for Dubai, meaning “connection” in Arabic. Fitting for the exposition’s theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the space represents Dubai’s history and symbolism through its geometry while introducing the balanced dialogue between nature and technology as a symbol of Dubai’s future. The trellis' distinctive geometry is based on a recently discovered 4000-year-old Bronze-Age ring found in the Emirates, linking the history of Dubai with the Expo.

Al Wasl’s design intent was to create a “Room-for-Living” as a spatial and experiential platform for unity through gatherings, conversation, and events. The sloped configuration of the garden offers landscaped “rooms” for relaxation, activity, and performances of varied types and scales. At night the structure transforms into an art display as the world’s largest 360-degree immersive projection experience educating, stimulating, and entertaining audiences of all ages, from all walks of life both locally and globally, to create unity, dialogue, and memories.

Designed as a comfortable microclimate, the unique form and materials extend the usable life of the garden year-round. Even during the warmest months, the shaded space, in combination with water features and landscape, provides comfort and a place of respite, quiet, and reflection connecting people to each other, the earth, and the sky. 

After the Expo completes in 2022, the plaza will continue to play a central role – literally and metaphorically – in its legacy. The surrounding 10-13 story buildings will be converted into hotels and other commercial uses, complementing the entire mixed-use legacy of the Expo site. The location will further strengthen Dubai’s thriving events scene, having been designed to be adapted to host experiences of all sizes and purposes, whether it be a small, intimate event or a large gathering of up to 10,000 people, such as National Day celebrations.

28 Oct 21  | Khaleej Times
Expo 2020 Dubai: Al Wasl Plaza is my best work ever, says designer
Al Wasl Plaza makes jaws drop at Expo 2020 Dubai. But in 2016, the structure, now considered the beating heart of the Expo, was just a few rough sketches in Gordon Gill's notebook... MORE

14 Oct 20  | Architect's Newspaper
Expo 2020 Dubai teases blossoming pavilions ahead of rescheduled festival
Expo 2020 Dubai is now technically Expo 2021 Dubai given the sixth-month global event was pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic with a new opening on October 1, 2021... MORE

19 sep 19 | Construction Week Online
The engineering behind Expo 2020 Dubai's Al Wasl Plaza
She carries the original name of Dubai... MORE

19 sep 19 | Construction Business News
Expo 2020 Dubai lifts final piece of Al Wasl Plaza’s dome into place
Months of planning have successfully led to the final piece of Al Wasl dome being lifted into place... MORE

18 sep 19 | MEED
Al-Wasl Plaza dome adorned with steel crown
Expo 2020 construction achieves key milestone following the installation of the 550-tonne Al-Wasl Plaza crown structure... MORE

17 apr 17 | Gulf News
Al Wasl Plaza at Expo 2020 site to offer a variety of experiences
Official says the covered area of Al Wasl Plaza was designed in a way that will attract global events following Dubai Expo 2020... MORE

5 apr 17 | Forbes Middle East
A New Breathtaking Hall Is In The Making For Expo 2020 Dubai
Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai are in for an architectural surprise, which will be the epicenter of the 4.38 kilometer site... MORE

4 apr 17 | Construction Week Online
Design of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza revealed
The plaza will be an open space that combines contemporary design, innovative technology, and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience... MORE

3 apr 17 | Emirates 24/7
Expo 2020 Dubai unveils new design space with Al Wasl Plaza
The last major element in the design of the Expo 2020 Dubai site was unveiled today: Al Wasl Plaza... MORE

3 apr 17 | The National
Huge dome planned for Dubai’s Expo 2020 site
A massive dome with trellis framework is being designed as the structure that will dominate the Expo 2020 site in Dubai South... MORE

Client

Expo 2020 Dubai