A truly crowning moment for Expo 2020 - GulfToday

A truly crowning moment for Expo 2020

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Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

With every passing month, week and day, enthusiasm has been building up for the much-awaited mega event, World Expo 2020 Dubai.

Since being named the host, the authorities have left no stone unturned and taken innumerable steps to make the international gathering extraordinary, especially since it will be the first to be staged in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, MEASA, in the 168-year history of the event.

A notable moment came last week when the Expo 2020’s iconic Al Wasl dome was crowned in a groundbreaking engineering feat.

Raising more than 800 tonnes of steel hundreds of feet into the air with a margin of error of three millimetres – that was the complex task to complete the iconic dome structure of Expo 2020’s central Al Wasl Plaza.

The crowning is certainly a key milestone in Expo 2020’s delivery and the result of months of meticulous planning, with the final piece of the 130-metre-wide, 67.5-metre-tall dome positioned with the aid of special lifting equipment.

Expo officials have indicated that more than 800 engineers and construction experts and technicians worked on the groundbreaking feat, using GPS indicators to ensure perfect alignment.

Comprising 550 tonnes of moulded steel, Al Wasl dome’s crown was precisely positioned using a technique called ‘strand-jacking’: 18 hydraulic jacks, aided by steel lifting ropes connected to 18 freestanding temporary columns, slowly raise the curved steel crown into place.

The crowning of Al Wasl dome is the latest milestone in Expo 2020’s fast-developing site, with all permanent Expo-led construction on track to be completed by the end of 2019.

As Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo Dubai 2020 Higher Committee, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman, Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, pointed out: “The crowning of the Al Wasl dome is a significant landmark not just for Expo 2020 Dubai but for the whole of Dubai and the UAE. This new architectural marvel joins a long list of inspiring designs that our country has created through collaboration, sheer hard work and the unending, ambitious vision of our leadership and people. It is another example of what the nation can do when it combines all its talents to such formidable purpose.”

Reflecting the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the design and construction of Al Wasl dome is a global collaboration, involving contributions from companies from 13 countries.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s long term investment in the future of the country will boost its economy by Dhs122.6 billion and support 905,200 job-years between 2013 and 2031, as per an independent report published by global consultancy EY.

During the peak six-month period of the World Expo, the largest event to be held in the Arab World is predicted to add the equivalent of 1.5 per cent to UAE Gross Domestic Product.

New export markets and projects being launched ahead of Expo 2020 are already energising economic activity in Dubai, particularly in the trading and construction sectors, and businesses are confident of improved outcomes.

The quarterly survey of Dubai Economy recently showed Composite Business Confidence Index, BCI, in the emirate improving 2.2 points to reach 114.9 in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 112.7 points in the same period of 2018, with respondents anticipating higher volumes and profits.

Dubai is known as a visionary city. Expo 2020 is set to reinforce its image as a stupendous destination of possibilities.

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