Laing O’Rourke will build the Leadership and Media pavilions and the ‘Hammerhead’ access road to Al Wasl Plaza, which will form the centrepiece of Expo 2020’s 4.38km2 site in Dubai South. Work will begin this month on the contracts, which also include landscaping as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing works.
Ahmed Al Khatib, senior vice president of real estate and delivery at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “We are delighted to announce Laing O’Rourke as the main contractor for these important two contracts. The company was selected from among strong international competitors due to its keen understanding of our technical and commercial requirements. It has a long and prestigious history within the UAE construction sector.
“These projects will be constructed in close proximity to the UAE Pavilion and other pavilions. This area is already a hive of construction activity, with all of these projects being built simultaneously. With this in mind, close collaboration between construction companies on site will be vital to coordinate logistics and ensure that work continues according to our schedule.”
Laing O’Rourke chief executive Ray O’Rourke said: “The continuation of work in Dubai South is a great opportunity to showcase the strength of our Middle East team on Expo 2020. We are committed to local employment in the region, and innovation, through our approach to offsite manufacturing, building on the knowledge and experience we have gained in the Emirates over the past decade.
“We are delighted that Laing O’Rourke has been chosen to build these prestigious projects, and look forward to playing our part in the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region in 2020.”
UAE-based real estate developer Meraas is managing design and procurement activities for Expo 2020’s Al Wasl Plaza, which was designed by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture.
The plaza will include a massive steel trellis dome, the contract for which was awarded to Cimolai Rimond ME in November 2017.
Expo 2020’s Leadership and Media Pavilions will be transformed into hotels post-Expo, as part of the District 2020 legacy development project. The Leadership Pavilion will accommodate UAE leadership during the Expo.
The Hammerhead, so called because of its distinctive shape, will house a ramped access road for Expo 2020’s truck tunnel – a subterranean road that will run underneath Al Wasl Plaza. It was designed by Pasadena-based Parsons Corporation.
Construction related to Expo 2020 is expected to reach its peak towards the end of 2018 and early 2019. There are already about 12,000 people working across all projects on the site; this figure is expected to grow to 35,000 by early 2019.
All shell-and-core construction on site is scheduled to be completed by October 2019 – a full year before Expo opens on 20 October 2020.