Jacobs Mace Supports the Expo 2020 Dubai Opening

Supporting the transformation of a 438-hectare site into a lasting urban legacy that is hosting the largest event ever held in the Arab world

The Jacobs Mace joint venture (JV) celebrates Expo 2020 Dubai as visitors discover 192 country pavilions and a host of signature thematic pavilions, thrilling entertainment and state-of-the-art innovative technologies.  

As the Official Program Delivery Management Provider for Expo 2020 Dubai, Jacobs Mace worked alongside the Expo team in managing the overall program delivery and masterplan of the infrastructure and public realm spaces for the event through to the site’s transition to a people-centric smart city, District 2020. The JV assisted Expo in managing more than 40 individual projects that run 24/7, including design management, urban planning, procurement services, construction/project management and logistics, across the three Thematic Districts, public realm and the Al Wasl Plaza centerpiece. 

Mace CEO for Consultancy Jason Millett said: 

“Playing a key role in the delivery of Expo 2020 Dubai’s site, the entire infrastructure and public realm has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. Driven by a vision to change the world with radical innovations, ideas and solutions, Expo 2020 Dubai will bring the people together during a time when we need it the most. Jacobs Mace is delighted to have been part of turning the vision into reality, bringing our project management expertise, delivery focus, and innovative management solutions to manage the delivery of this outstanding show since 2014.”

“We’ve helped drive the transformation of the site into a lasting urban legacy, that unites the world to innovate and create meaningful impact for future generations,” said Jacobs Vice President Amer Battikhi. “The Jacobs Mace JV worked alongside Expo all the way, from our work managing the masterplan and delivering the arrivals plazas and public realm spaces to our monitoring role in the construction of the thematic pavilions. We worked with Expo to make sure the experience truly inspires visitors and helps them understand their role in creating a more connected, sustainable world.”

The Thematic Pavilions, Sustainability (Terra), Mobility (Alif) and Opportunity (Mission Impossible), are designed to inspire meaningful action from people to tackle some of the world’s most critical challenges and embrace emerging opportunities posed by climate change, innovation and technology. 

Jacobs Mace’s program of work helped to transform the desert into a destination capable of hosting 300,000 visitors a day, creating an inspiring and entertaining Expo experience. Bringing consulting and program management expertise, Jacobs Mace collaborated with all project partners to transform the Expo site, leaving a memorable and sustainable legacy for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

Expo 2020 Dubai Chief Development & Delivery Officer Ahmed Al Khatib said:

“Our partnership with Jacobs Mace played a vital role in delivering not only a venue for the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, but a sustainable and human-centric city of the future. Exemplifying our theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, building a development of this scale to a demanding schedule required collaboration, knowledge-sharing, innovation and continuous improvement to working practices. Our partners were crucial in helping us to successfully deliver the project in time for Expo 2020’s opening."

Key program highlights include:

Smart master planning  

- Delivered efficiencies through master planning to enhance the visitor experience during event time and minimize effort and cost in transitioning the site to legacy. Included smart ways of using passive shading and retractable shade structures instead of more energy intensive outdoor cooling systems. 

- More than 80% of the physical infrastructure will be retained after the event in a sustainable and smart city that promotes an innovation-driven business ecosystem and balanced lifestyle.

- In a major sustainability milestone more than 120 buildings across Expo 2020 Dubai have been certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the US Green Building Council, which provides a framework to assess resource efficient green buildings. Seven score highest ‘Platinum’ certification, 103 are also LEED Gold, nine are LEED Silver and two are ‘Certified’.

Sustainable mobility solutions 

- Optimizing pedestrian movement through the site to reduce walking times and ease movement between transport nodes and entrances. Minimizing the effort and cost required in the conversion between event-time pedestrian concourses and shared pedestrian roads in legacy, a new approach in Dubai. 

- Focus on value engineering included conversion of temporary construction roads into more robust, permanent roads, saving money and time, and improving delivery reliability. 

Creating opportunity safely

- Created jobs, skills and opportunities for the community and contributed to raising the quality in health and safety and worker welfare standards in the region.

- The JV helped Expo develop and implement the “Promises” campaign in collaboration with stakeholders to increase the awareness of key behaviors that lead to serious injuries and fatalities through tactics such as visual impact training. This included Expo’s Worker Welfare app to help empower workers on the Expo site, by providing a reporting platform in multiple languages, access educational information, and monitoring of worker welfare across approximately 35,000 workers. 


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Jacobs Mace Expo 2020 Opening Ceremony