Described as the "jewel in the crown" and the "beating heart" of Expo 2020, Al Wasl Plaza is a visual marvel for the visitor because of its striking scale. Incidentally, Dubai was once known by the historic name of Al Wasl, which means "connection" in Arabic.
The Plaza connects the three thematic districts (sustainability, mobility and opportunity) and entertains visitors with projection shows, restaurants, fountains and lush parks. In addition, Al Wasl is close to the UAE pavilion, the Dubai Metro and all seven entrances and exits to the exhibition.
The plaza features a 130-metre wide, 67.5-metre high dome that also serves as a 360-degree laser projection surface, making it the largest of its kind. In all, more than 800 specialists worked on its construction.
The dome's lattice design allows a special projection screen to be held firmly between its lattice structure. The design uses techniques to contain the temperature underneath the mesh, ensuring a comfortable environment.
The lattice structure of the dome is constructed entirely of steel with a total length, laid end to end, of 13.6 kilometres and a total weight of 2,544 tonnes.
The dome encloses a space of 724,000 m².
The steel truss is the centrepiece of the site, where all the roads intersect, and reflects the World Expo's goal of bringing people together.
Italian contractor Cimolai Rimond integrated the steel latticework into the intertwined logo of Expo 2020 Dubai, while Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture oversaw the design of the dome and plaza, and the facilities it houses.
The steel lattice is the centrepiece of the site, where all the roads intersect, and reflects the World Expo's aim to bring people together.
252 laser projectors project lights, images and films onto the surface of the Al Wasl Plaza dome.
These shows are provided by audiovisual giant Christie, the official partner of
The shows are provided by AV giant Christie, the official projection and display partner of Expo Dubai 2020, and can be viewed from inside the dome as well as from outside.
In addition to this, Al Wasl Plaza will host performances, concerts and events throughout the exhibition before concluding with the closing ceremony.
The venue also reinforces Dubai's thriving events scene, as it has been designed to be suitable for hosting experiences of all sizes and types, from small intimate events to large gatherings of 10,000 people, such as National Day celebrations.
Once Expo is over in 2022, the square will continue to play a central role - literally and metaphorically - in its legacy. There are plans to convert the surrounding 10-13 storey buildings into hotels and other commercial uses, thus completing the overall mixed-use legacy of the Expo site.