Dubai's regular visitors would find the landscape much different if they were to fly over the Expo 2020 site. The Al Wasl Plaza, the central core of the universal exhibition, which is scheduled to take place between October 2020 and April 2021, has just been crowned with its metal dome. Majestic!
The installation of this gigantic metal dome overlooking Al Wasl Plaza is the result of the work of more than 800 engineers and workers over a night. Eighteen hydraulic cylinders, assisted by steel lifting cables, lifted the 22.5-meter wide steel crown. It weighs 550 tons (just that!) and had to be placed on the dome with a margin of error of only three millimeters. This achievement was the focus of 14 months of work and represents a major step forward in the progression of the project.
This site is the cornerstone of the exhibition, which is expected to attract some 25 million visitors next year. While the metal structure still needs to be transformed into a 360-degree immersive projection surface (certainly, there is still work to be done…), Ahmed Al Khatib, Director of Development and Organization of Expo 2020, said that this operation was already the most exciting moment of his career.
“The coronation of the Al Wasl Dome was both incredibly exciting and one of the most challenging engineering operations in the world” he said.