Thematic Districts, Expo 2020, Dubai

Supporting the delivery of the first World Expo in the Middle East

Between October 2020 and April 2021, Dubai will host the next World Expo.

Key information

Location: Dubai

Date started: 2017

Completion date: Ongoing

Client's requirements

Expo 2020 Dubai will bring the international community together, providing an opportunity over a six-months period to explore and experience different perspectives in line with the event’s overall theme: Connecting the Minds, Creating the Future and its three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Expo 2020’s subthemes are timeless, interconnected drivers of change that shape our world and create our future.

They will be physically represented by three Thematic Districts inspired by typical Arabic neighbourhoods, and with three-lined streets, shaded enclaves, traditional geometry and landscaping and colours to reflect each sub-theme.

The project is targeting a sustainability rating of LEED Gold.

Our contribution

Turner & Townsend was appointed by Hopkins Architects Dubai Ltd, to provide the following services:

Pre-contract stage:

Post-contract stage:

In partnership with Hopkins, Turner & Townsend successfully led and managed a large multi-disciplinary project team comprising 13 organisations in total. The project team included the senior architects, MEP consultant, civil and structural engineer, cost management company and the specialist engineering consultant.

A structured and effective stakeholder engagement process supported Hopkins in managing the expectations and aspirations of the client’s complex, multi-professional stakeholders and third parties.

Comprehensive governance documentation clearly and effectively set out the procedures for the delivery of the project and management of the design process. This approach provided clarity on roles and responsibilities, interfaces and design process and procedures resulting in effective and timely delivery.

A cloud-based common data environment, coupled with clear and effective information sharing tools and processes improved collaboration, streamlined the design process and enhanced transparency in information exchange and communication.

3D design reviews and visualisation enabled stakeholders to review, critique and approve multi-dimensional models.

Making the difference

The cloud-based common data environment and robust information sharing tools and processes also served to consolidate and effectively manage input from the 13 organisations that comprised the project team.

Our 3D design reviews supported the achievement of a coordinated design and our VR system gave the client team the opportunity to review multi-dimensional models during the early stages of the design and provide constructive feedback.

Hopkins and Turner & Townsend collaborative and agile approach successfully supported the achievement of a design that met the client’s vision and aspiration for the main contract to be awarded and main construction works to start on site five months ahead of schedule.

Andrew Ardill, Director at Hopkins Architect Dubai Ltd, said:

In partnership with Turner & Townsend, Hopkins Architects is proud to have acted as the Lead Consultant for Expo 2020 Dubai’s Thematic Districts, supporting the delivery of the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Turner & Townsend have provided highly experienced, capable and dedicated multi-professional team who consistently provided demonstrable value at every stage assisting Hopkins in realising Expo 2020 aspirations.