HOK architecture, is leading an architecture team (with Populous and Arup) focused on Dubai World Expo 2020 and has recently published the details of the Expo masterplan designing the site that will host more than 25 mln of expected visitors from all over the world. The project (here’s the official video) draws a site of more than 438 hectares near the new Al Maktoum Intl Airport and the Jebel Ali port (third busiest port in the world). The space is separated in three pavilions with a strong symbolic concept: opportunity, sustainability, mobility, with “innovation pods” and “best practice areas” in each thematic zone. These three zones emanate from a central plaza named the Al Wasl, the historic Arab name for Dubai meaning “the connection.” Inspired by the layout of a traditional Arabic “souk,” or marketplace, the design places larger pavilions to the perimeter while clustering smaller exhibit spaces toward the center of the site.
Good news is the great attention to sustainability and eco-building criteria: a huge photovoltaic system will cover the whole site providing at least a half of the total energy supply. Deutsche Bank and Global Investment House have valued the global investment volume in more than $40 billions with the ambitious airport expansion plans we’ve been through in a previous post and major infrastructure projects (railway and road system) for the key nodes of the Expo 2020 transport grid.
Huge investments are expected also in the hospitality industry due to the great income volume of businessmen, visitors, tourists as many market players have confirmed (Paramount hotels for example). The present hospitality potential will experience at least a 80.000 hotel rooms increase within 2020, with an overall expected investment of $7 bln. Then there’s the increase in the real estate development with more than 45.000 house units to be built, with an impressive effect on the market.
Countless are the international contracts already started, reaching an impressive $27 bln total volume. The chart highlights how many projects are already in an advanced status: my elaboration of the MEED Insight figures shows how 46% of the top 25 projects already awarded in 2014 is in the design step, while 18% is in the main contract bid step. The first 25 projects cover $22 bln on the global investment volume, so it’s a pretty reliable insight. The main drivers are huge projects like District One or Dubai Theme Park (we’ve been through these ones already) as well as development projects in the residential segment like the Nakheel contract for the Al Furlan Villas area.
Dubai is still running. Your company won’t miss the land of opportunities we’re seeing, especially if you’re in the design market with an excellence luxury product/service. It’s time to grab your place in the race.